WILMINGTON — A custom-designed, limited-edition rosary commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington is now available, diocesan officials announced this week. The dark red and gold rosaries, manufactured in Italy by the Ghirelli Company, were blessed by Pope Francis on June 6 during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square.
The rosary features a crucifix modeled after the one at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Wilmington. The back of the crucifix is engraved with the words, “Catholic Diocese of Wilmington 150th Anniversary 1868-2018.” The front of the centerpiece holds an image of the Blessed Mother from the Our Lady Queen of Peace statue located on the grounds of Holy Spirit Church in New Castle. The other side includes an image of of St. Francis de Sales, the patron saint of the diocese.
In place of traditional “Our Father” beads, the rosary has a medal crest of the Diocese of Wilmington, including a map of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore on the back. All beads are eight-millimeter dark red Bohemian glass, while the chain and custom features are made of antique gold finish medal. It comes in a commemorative color pouch and is available for a suggested donation of $30, plus shipping and handling.
“We are pleased to be able to make a limited number of these keepsake rosaries available to the public,” said Robert G. Krebs, director of the diocesan Office of Communications and co-chair of the Sesquicentennial Committee. “We are sure that all will be very pleased with the quality, detail and workmanship of the rosaries, and that they will be cherished memories of our yearlong 150th anniversary celebration.”
Detailed photographs and an order form are available at www.cdow.org/150th.
The Diocese of Wilmington’s sesquicentennial celebration began March 3 and concludes on the same date next year. Regional celebrations are being held, and a traveling exhibition featuring artifacts and historic documents is being planned. Two books — a coffee-table keepsake book and a graphic history of the diocese — will be published in the coming months.
Additionally, a gathering of Catholics from across the diocese will take place on Nov. 3 at the Ocean City (Md.) Convention Center. Entitled “Convocation 150,” it will include a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, prayer and Mass.
Other activities include a Marian pilgrimage; prayer service to honor the religious men and women of the diocese; Masses in honor of saints John Neumann and Francis de Sales; and ecumenical prayer service for Christian unity; and closing Mass.