"There is no question that we are living in the most troubled times," Burke declared in a video message to all U.S. Catholics on Thursday. "Fundamental truths about human life about marriage and the family and about the conscience are being called into question by threatening the lives of individuals and of our society."
"But we are full of courage because we know that our Lord is with us," he added. "He's called us to be His soldiers on the ground, working with Him for the salvation of the world. And so I invite you to be good and courageous and faithful soldiers by joining across the nation in the praying of the Holy Rosary, our most powerful prayer, on Oct. 7."
Shortly after the cardinal's announcement, Church Militant spoke with Bree Dail, National Coordinator for Rosary Coast to Coast, about the endorsement.
"We're thrilled," she said. "He has been the sponsor for Fr. Heilman's Holy League, which is a group that is associated with Eucharistic adoration and spiritual warfare. We are very happy for him to come on board and endorse."
Sponsored by the Holy League, the Oct. 7 event will unite Catholics from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the 49th Parallel to the Rio Grande — and beyond — in prayer for the soul of the United States. The initiative seeks to "heal our country and return it to holiness" by rallying Catholics to "call upon God through the powerful intercession of Our Lady of the Rosary."
In addition to Cdl. Burke, Rosary Coast to Coast has been endorsed by a bevy of American bishops, including Robert Morlino of Madison, David J. Malloy of Rockford, Michael J. Sheridan of Colorado Springs, David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh, Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville and Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, as well as leading evangelists like Fr. Donald Calloway.
"And we've got others who will be coming out to endorse in the next few weeks," Dail told Church Militant. "We reached out to all U.S. bishops within a week of our launch. We sent written letters to all chanceries of the USCCB. Those that we've received back, we've posted onto our website."
"We are encouraging our coordinators in the United States to reach out to their chanceries, to encourage their bishops to engage with us," she continued. "I should also say that when the U.K. launched their Rosary on the Coast campaign, they received a papal blessing, and that encouraged the other bishops in the British Isles to join with them."
"They had almost unanimous participation by the bishops in the British Isles," she noted. "We are intending to do the same."
Dail placed the U.S. event in the larger context of the global wave of national Rosary events that began in October 2017.
Many in the secular press have misinterpreted the phenomenon as intended to bar individuals from coming into participating countries, she said.
"Instead," she countered, "in lining the coasts and the borders of these countries with the Rosary, I see it as literally a marking place or a shield — a spiritual bulwark, again, of Our Lady for those countries."
"I believe that the clarion call, as we say, has been sounded throughout the world," Dail reflected. "People from all the different nations that have Catholicism in their borders are starting to hear this call, internally," she said. "We definitely did."
"I see this as the beginning of the triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary," she told Church Militant, adding:
Father Chad Ripperger has said he believes the reason why God is permitting things to get so bad in the Church and in the world is because when Our Lady fulfills the prophecy of crushing the head and her Immaculate Heart triumphs, there will be no doubt that she has done it, and that she will be given the glory for it. It is for Our Lady's glory that He's going to allow this to occur. So, we're seeing "rats" being exposed in the public sphere as well as in the Church — the corruption is being exposed. Like any good physician, our divine physician is purging the Church of impurities in order for it to be healed.
Dail also stressed the importance of participating in the 54-Day Rosary Novena for Our Nation, a preparatory prayer campaign culminating in the Oct. 7 main event. Catholics are asked to sign up to participate, even if their parish isn't officially taking part.
Those who sign up will receive a daily e-mail to assist them in praying the novena.
"Every day will be spiritual combat in preparation for Oct. 7," Dail explained. "The novena elevates the final event."
Over 400 Rosary sites have been registered across the United States since Rosary Coast to Coast's April launch, and more are being added each week.
Participants are invited to gather on Oct. 7 along American coasts and borders, in parish churches, in front of state capitols, as families or while viewing the live stream of the National Rosary Rally in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.
The event will take place simultaneously across all U.S. time zones: 4 p.m. ET; 3 p.m. CT; 2 p.m. MT; 1 p.m. PT; 12 p.m AT and 10 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian.
Rosary Coast to Coast organizers and supporters are urging U.S. Catholics to get involved — to pick up their Rosaries and spread the world.
"The calamities in our times merit all these prayers," Cdl. Burke said Thursday. "Please be as generous as you possibly can in praying for the needs of our nation, and of our world, and of the Church, as she is called by Our Lord to be his mystical body — to be his bulwark for the truth and love of God in our world."
"May God bless this holy endeavor," Burke added, "and may He inspire you to be fully part of it."