Diocesan News

United by the Rosary

Students Learn About Their ‘Heavenly Mother,’ Pray for Others at Diocesan Rally

Photos Ed Wilkinson and Briana Podlovits

Schoolchildren from around the diocese learned about the Blessed Mother as they prayed the rosary in union with each other and Auxiliary Bishop James Massa at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, Prospect Heights, Oct. 3.

The annual rosary rally for the schoolchildren of the diocese drew participants from 12 different schools with close to 1,000 students coming together in prayer.

Pope Francis asked all Catholics to pray the rosary daily during October – the month traditionally dedicated to the Holy Rosary – as a defense against Satan in a time of turbulence.

During their time together at the co-cathedral, Bishop Massa taught the boys and girls about Mary. He also asked them to think about important people in their own lives and to pray for them.

“Teaching the children the rosary is such a strong way to teach the faith,” Bishop Massa said. “I told them about the special relationship that Mary has with children. She is the heavenly mother that watches over them. She is also very important in this time of the Church because the love and care of Mary is needed by so many people.”

“Today, with all these children, you can see the future of the Church, but also society. Giving them and showing them the relationship they can have with Mary is beautiful. I asked them to think of and have in mind someone who needs their prayers for each bead and dedicate that prayer to them,” he said.

Afterward, a boy approached him with a card where he had many names written. Praying for others is something his class does every day, he said.

“It was excellent to see the strength of the rosary already in so many of them,” the bishop said.

Dr. Thomas Chadzutko, diocesan superintendent of schools, was happy to see such a great turnout of children from various schools.

“This allows us to build community and recognize the importance of the Church. We can pray to our Blessed Mother as we need her guidance. First and foremost, it gives the children an opportunity to see prayer is an important part of their life.”

While students offered prayers for individuals close to their hearts, Nicholas Guariniello, eighth grader at St. Bernadette Catholic Academy, Dyker Heights, chose to pray for his peers.

“When Bishop Massa asked us to think of someone to pray for, I immediately thought of not just my classmates, but all the students here today,” he said. “I pray for them to have a good school year and for them to always have their faith.”