VAL CARON, Ontario (ChurchMilitant.com) - Catholics across the Great White North are rallying to the Rosary.
From Vancouver in the west to Cape Breton Island in the east, Canadian Catholics are banding together in anticipation of Rosary on the Coasts and Border for Life and Faith, Canada, a massive Oct. 7 Rosary crusade to intercede for the soul of their nation.
Late last week, Church Militant spoke with husband and wife team, Stephen and Jennifer Paufler, who are spearheading the event.
"Canada is succumbing to the Culture of Death," they warned.
To fight the collapse, "We are encouraging Canadian Catholics to organize locations across our country, to gather and pray the Rosary together."
"We are asking Our Lord to protect life in our nation from conception to natural death, to protect the family and grant us a rekindling of our Roman Catholic faith in our country," they continued. "We are also claiming Canada for, and under the rule of, Christ the King and Our Blessed Mother, His Queen."
Jennifer explained the initiative was inspired by the chain of national Rosary rallies that touched off in Europe last October: "My husband, Stephen, and I wanted Canada to follow Poland, Italy, Ireland and the United Kingdom since we first read of their national Rosaries."
The couple began organizing Rosary rallies through Canada Needs Our Lady in 2016. Building on this work, they were inspired to add Canada to the growing ranks of states organizing national Rosary crusades.
The Pauflers launched the campaign in April, after meeting with their spiritual director. Though serving as lead organizers for the event, they note the movement has no official epicenter. "We are encouraging groups to form at the grassroots level across the country," they said.
Canadian faithful are responding generously to the call.
"We have had a great response from Catholic laity from across the country," the Pauflers told Church Militant. "Many ask what they can do to help. We ask them to spread the word and encourage people to come forward with prayer locations across the nation."
On the initiative's Facebook page, for example, they challenge to their countrymen to lead pilgrimages to Canada's National Shrine to the Blessed Mother, located between Montreal and Quebec City in Trois-Rivieres: "Will you Organize a Pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Cape Shrine/ Notre-Dame-Du-Cap for October 7, 2018?" they ask on their page.
Long-time followers of Church Militant, the Pauflers are issuing a special call to other followers of the apostolate: "We're calling on followers of Church Militant in Canada to organize locations across the country to pray and also to spread the word, inviting practicing Catholics and those who may have fallen away."
"We're calling Canadians to join this effort as a way of repentance to God for turning our backs on Him and rejecting the gift of life He's given us," they continued, describing the effort as "a way of petitioning Heaven for the blessings God wants to give us, His people, and of calling on God's supreme reign over us."
"We are welcoming Christ as our King and His Blessed Mother, our Queen of Canada," they added.
Reflecting on the spiritual unraveling of their country, the Pauflers stressed Canada's need for the Rosary has never been more pressing:
Canada is in a great state of moral decline. In Canada, until a child fully exits his mother's womb, he can be killed — "aborted" — in Canadian hospitals, fully funded by Canadian taxpayers. The current prime minister (self-described Catholic, Justin Trudeau), has stated he will not allow anyone who is pro-life to run for his party. Since June 17, 2016, euthanasia (or "medical assistance in dying") has been legal. The family is under grave attack. Our Catholic churches are closing down at an alarming rate, and this should be of great concern to all Catholics.
Contemplating the spiritual significance of the national prayer rally, the couple recalled affirmations of the Rosary's power: "Pope St. John Paul II implored Catholics to pick up their Rosaries and rediscover their heritage. Father Patrick Peyton called the Rosary 'the Bible on a string' and stressed 'The family that prays together stays together.' And St. Padre Pio proclaimed the Rosary the weapon for these times."
Above all, they noted, "Our Lady of Fatima said that through the Rosary we can obtain peace in the world."
The Rosary on the Coasts and Borders for Life and Faith, Canada will coincide with the Oct. 7 Holy League of Nations' international Rosary initiative (which includes the United States, Britain, Ireland, Australia, Poland and other nations), but is itself an independent group.
Those interested in joining the Canadian effort can contact the Pauflers through the event's Facebook page; an event website will soon debut, as well.
"Imagine a nation turning to God by using the weapon He gave us through Our Blessed Mother," they said. "It will greatly bless our nation and be a strong show of faith and dependence on the One, True God. Maybe, one of the biggest blessings will be that it will call fallen-away Catholics back home."