Parishioners and friends of St. Andrew the Apostle Parish in Drexel Hill came out for a Patriotic Rosary for the Consecration of our Nation July 3, the evening before Independence Day.

The parish-based observance was held as a way to participate in the 12th annual Fortnight for Freedom. The campaign was observed nationally June 22 to July 4, 2023 and sponsored by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).

The campaign, which begins each year on the feast day of St. Thomas More and St. John Fisher, who both exemplified courage, conviction, and faith in the face of persecution, is a unique opportunity for Catholics across the nation to respond in a united fashion to the numerous challenges infringing upon religious liberty.

“We sure do need it [prayers] for our country,” said Marie Coleman, a parishioner from neighboring Nativity B.V.M. Parish in Media.

Raphael Vantine, who leads the St. Andrew Pro-Life Ministry, initiated this tradition for her church with the optimism that it would grow and bring together not only the parish community but also friends and neighbors.

Vantine described this year’s crowd as “small, but powerful” sharing that that those who attend are dedicated.  The event has become an annual tradition for some while others, such as Coleman, attended for the first time.

(Photo: Dan McCarty)

Gathering in front of the statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, faithful prayed the Patriotic Rosary which dedicates one Hail Mary to each state of the United States and asks for God’s continued blessings on America. The crowd also offered a decade for government officials and leaders and recited the five Joyful Mysteries.

Faithful also commemorated Independence Day by singing traditional patriotic selections including ‘America,’ ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic,’ ‘America the Beautiful,’ ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ and ‘God Bless America.’ The night ended with a prayer to St. Michael the Archangel.

“We love our country,” said Margie Vickers, a parishioner of St. Andrew’s who attended the outdoor event and led the first Joyful Mystery. “We love the rosary…We know the Blessed Mother is on our side.”

Prayer resources by the U.S. bishops may be found at

Members of the parish community pose in the garden with rosaries in hand after praying the Joyful Mysteries. (Photo: Dan McCarty)