Our Youth

In Bensonhurst, a School That Prays the Rosary Together…

Students at St. Athanasius Catholic Academy, Bensonhurst, show their love of Mary
with a “balloon rosary.” (Photo: Tim Harfmann)

By Tim Harfmann

Bead by bead, or in this case balloon by balloon, students prayed the rosary at St. Athanasius Catholic Academy in Bensonhurst.

The month of May is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

To honor her, students formed a human rosary in the schoolyard on May 30, holding balloons and rosary beads, hands folded around them in prayer as they recited the decades.

“This is a tool for these young kids to learn devotion to Mary and the rosary,” said Msgr. David Cassato, pastor of St. Athanasius.

He believes that teaching children the rosary at a young age creates a strong relationship between them and the Mother of God.

When You Need a Break

“When you need a little break from what’s going, hold onto the rosary and pray the rosary,” he said.

“I feel, like, it’s really important,” said third-grader Anya Lerner, “because since we’re in a Catholic school, that’s probably the key to what to do: to pray.”

“She’s a mother to everyone because she was the Mother of God, our Savior and our Lord; and she’s just a very important part of my life,” said Jezebel Minchala, a fifth-grader who said she sees Mary as her role model.

Ten Languages

From Spanish to Italian, Arabic to Albanian, students prayed in ten different languages.

Eighth-grader Annalisa Conte led the recitation in Italian.

“Not everyone speaks the same language,” she said, “and everyone gets the opportunity to pray.”

After praying, students let the inflatable rosary soar into the cloudy sky, symbolizing their prayers rising into heaven.