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School and Parish unite in the month of the Rosary

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The parishioners and school staff took two and a half school terms for our group of parents and parishioners to make and pack the 800 bags for the whole community. Photo: Supplied
The students, parishioners and school staff took two and a half school terms to make and pack the 800 bags for the whole community. Photo: Supplied

800 students have teamed up with teachers and parishioners at St John Bosco in Engadine in southern Sydney in a whole-school and parish initiative, making their own Rosary beads to strengthen devotion to Our Lady in October, the month of the Rosary.

Family Educator at St John Bosco Primary, Mrs Tracey Richardson, said the program has been discussed since late last year and it has had a remarkable impact on students, teachers and parents.

“The parishioners and school staff took two and a half school terms for our group of parents and parishioners to make up the beginning parts of the Rosaries from the crucifix to the centre bead and to pack the 800 bags for the whole community” Mrs Richardson explained.

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“The children then thread all the beads together and don’t have to worry with tying on any knots onto the beads and can just start focusing on praying the Rosary with their families and their classmates”, she added.

800 students have teamed up with teachers and parishioners at St John Bosco in Engadine to make their own Rosary beads to strengthen devotion to Our Lady in October, the month of the Rosary. Photo: Supplied
800 students have teamed up with teachers and parishioners at St John Bosco in Engadine to make their own Rosary beads to strengthen devotion to Our Lady in October, the month of the Rosary. Photo: Supplied

As part of the initiative, the whole community joined in praying the Rosary on Tuesday 18 October as part of a global initiative led by Aid to the Church in Need which brought together one million children across the world.

The program at St John Bosco Primary at Engadine relies on a buddy system whereby students in Year 6 are mentoring kindergarten students, introducing them to the Rosary, while Year 5 students are mentoring Year 1 and Year 4 are mentoring the Year 2 class.

The school’s Religious Education Coordinator Mrs Donna Mahoney-Bennett said the students are then invited to a weekend Mass to have their rosary beads blessed.

The whole community will join in praying the Rosary on Tuesday 18 October as part of a global initiative led by Aid to the Church in Need which will bring together one million children across the world. Photo: Supplied
The whole community will join in praying the Rosary on Tuesday 18 October as part of a global initiative led by Aid to the Church in Need which will bring together one million children across the world. Photo: Supplied

“Particularly after the past few years with so much disconnection through COVID, there’s been a really great connection between the parish and the school through this project. It’s also really helped the parents deepen their appreciation of the Rosary since they may not have necessarily had a strong connection to it growing up”, Family Educator Tracey Richardson added.

School parent, Mrs Jennifer Hynes, said the active involvement of the local parish, school and parents is what has made the initiative so effective.

“It’s definitely a lot more meaningful for the children when their parents are invited to participate as well in making the Rosary beads with their children, rather than just being handed some Rosary beads by their teacher in class”, Mrs Hynes explained.

Family Educator Mrs Tracey Richardson is confident that the Rosary month will become an annual initiative at her primary school throughout the month of October and she hopes it will, in time, inspire other school communities to also take it up.

“It brings the reality of the Rosary to children, so it’s truly visible and tangible and not something that’s foreign and far away for them. They can ask Mary at any time to pray for them and to pray for peace in their families. So it’s not just a prayer that’s prayed in Church: It’s for all of us”.

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