Director’s Letter

Director's Letter

Director’s Letter


In his encyclical Spe Salvi, also known as On Christian Hope, Pope Benedict XVI teaches us that we are not saved alone. Salvation is actually a communal thing and, even though we live in a world that tells us to prioritize ourselves in everything, when it comes to our eternal souls it is not just our own salvation that should concern us. But it is the salvation of our family, our friends—those that the Lord has placed in our life—that should be our concern, as well as the salvation of our own soul.

In this month dedicated to the Holy Souls, we remember our loved ones who have died and we pray for them because they can no longer affect their own salvation. But we can hope. We, who are still on earth, can help. We can pray. We can offer sacrifices. We can help not only ourselves, but our loved ones, get to heaven!

There is no better way to help souls than to pray for them. In order to pray well, we need to develop a habit of prayer. A great way to build a habit of prayer is to sit at the feet of Our Lady, allowing her to teach us about the life of her Son, Jesus Christ, in the prayer of the Most Holy Rosary. And we can offer all of our prayers for others.

At the end of Spe Salvi, Pope Benedict likens our life here on earth as a pilgrimage and says that we are often given lights to guide us on our journey. He tells us that Mary, Star of the Sea, is one of the most important lights we have been given.

As I write this letter to you, the Dominican Friars are days away from leading thousands of Catholics on pilgrimage with Our Lady for the first national Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage in Washington, DC. The impetus for this Rosary pilgrimage was simple: we wanted to bring Catholics together with Our Lady to learn about her and about the Rosary. Simply, we want to pray. And we want to encourage that the prayer we pray is the Rosary, the prayer Our Lady handed to the Dominicans through our founder, St. Dominic. Our Lady continually teaches us that prayer is the means to turning many hearts toward God.

So, in thinking about this theme of Christian hope, the hope of the Dominican Friars is that by leading others to Jesus through devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Jude, many souls will be saved.

In Christ, Our Lady, and St. Jude,




Father John Paul Kern, O.P.
Director, Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude

Throughout the month of November, daily Masses will be offered for the dead at the Rosary Shrine of Saint Jude. Enroll your loved ones by clicking here.