The Catholic Church refers to Our Lady with so many titles – all given to the same individual named Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. In the month of October, the month of Holy Rosary, Mary is honoured as “Our Lady of the Rosary” because at her apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, she asked for us to pray the Rosary. Many devout Catholics have made the Rosary their favourite prayer, praying it daily and without fail.
Most of our Catholic BEC families welcome each other into their homes, generally preferring to pray the family rosary instead of praying the NEWBEC reflection papers (NEWBEC is an abbreviation for New Way of Being Church) as praying the rosary somehow brings peace to mind, heart and soul. Furthermore, the Rosary has become a shield and comforter, and a way of expressing and safeguarding their Catholic faith.
On 18 October 2018, The Pontifical Foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has once again invited all children, families, parents, teachers and priests around the world, to pray the rosary for unity and peace. The “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” (Un Milione De Bambini Recita IL Rosario) campaign first started in Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, in 2005. It has since become a prayer campaign on a global scale. It is to observe the appeal of Saint Padre Pio of Pietrelcina who said, “When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.” This prayer campaign shows the world what the power of a child’s prayer can achieve.
The ACN chose 18 October because we are in the month of Our Lady and it is the feast day of Saint Luke, the Evangelist, who handed on to us the narrative of Jesus’ childhood and Jesus was very close to Mary. In addition to this, the Virgin Mary proclaimed to the three visionary children – Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta – in Fatima, Portugal, asking them to pray the rosary every day for world peace. ACN makes available instructional material for “One Million Children Praying the Rosary 2018” in several languages for both children and adults. Unfortunately, the Pontifical Mission Societies’ (PMS) Directors of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei only made these materials available during the Priests Recollection on 17 October 2018, thus it could not be distributed to our catechism children and families on time. However, I did manage to disseminate this information via whatsapp message, so thankfully, most of our BEC coordinators managed to get the children and their families together, to pray the rosary, joining the ‘one million children of the world’ campaign.
All catechism teachers and parents should encourage their children to continue praying the rosary, especially during the month of rosary. The entire world is suffering – due to the effects of terrorism and war – and we can play our part in bringing unity and peace, through our prayers.
This Sunday, 21 October 2018, we will distribute the materials to our catechism children during their catechism class. I hope all our faith educators will be able to organise a rosary prayer session (Joyful Mysteries) with their students, either at the beginning or end of the class. I hope our children will learn to love praying the rosary, finding the strength and assurance they need, to love and trust in God and in their Catholic faith.
Rev. Fr. George Packiasamy
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