Catholic Diocese of Wilmington offers rosary commemorating 150th anniversary

July 15, 2018

A custom-designed, limited-edition, dark red and gold rosary is now available to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington, diocesan officials have announced. The rosaries, manufactured in Italy by the Ghirelli Company, were blessed at the Vatican by Pope Francis June 6, during His Holiness' Weekly Audience in Saint Peter's Square.

The Official Custom Rosary of the Diocese of Wilmington's 150th Anniversary features a crucifix that is designed after the beautiful crucifix in the Cathedral of Saint 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 rosary's centerpiece holds an image of the Blessed Mother from the famous Charles Parks Our Lady of Queen of Peace statue located on the grounds of Holy Spirit Church in New Castle.

On the centerpiece's reverse, is an image of Saint Francis de Sales, the patron saint of the Diocese of Wilmington. In place of the traditional "Our Father" beads, the rosary has a medal crest of the Diocese of Wilmington, with a map of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore on the back, indicating the 12 counties that comprise the diocese. All beads are 8 mm dark red Bohemian glass, while the chain and custom features are made of antique gold finish medal. The rosary comes in a commemorative color pouch, and is available for a suggested $30 donation each, 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 Office of Communications of the Diocese of Wilmington, and co-chair of the Diocesan 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 mementos of our year-long 150th anniversary celebration."

The rosaries are economically priced. Detailed photographs of the rosary, and an order form are available online at

The Diocese of Wilmington's Sesquicentennial Year celebrations began March 3, and will conclude with a Mass March 3, 2019. Throughout the 12-month period, regional celebrations will be held. A traveling exhibition, featuring artifacts and historic documents is being planned. Two books; a coffee-table style keepsake book featuring diocesan and parish history and photographs, as well as a graphic history book of the diocese, will be published in coming months.

Additionally, a gathering of Catholics from across the diocese has been announced for Nov. 3 at the Ocean City Convention Center in Ocean City, Md. The gathering, titled "Convocation 150," will include a keynote presentation, breakout sessions, roundtable discussions, prayer, and Mass. The gathering will be an opportunity to celebrate, affirm, and deepen the Catholic community's commitment to discipleship rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Other activities during the 150th anniversary year include a Marian Pilgrimage, a prayer service to honor the Religious Men and Women of the Diocese; Masses in honor of Saints John Neumann and Francis de Sales; an ecumenical prayer service for Christian unity; and a closing Mass scheduled March 3, 2019.

Throughout the year, detailed information about the 150th anniversary celebration will be posted at and at, and @CDOW150th on Twitter and Instagram.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland's Eastern Shore. There are over 244,000 Catholics in the diocese.