The true meaning of Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, may not have been forgotten by the secular world and replaced with scary costumes and candy, but one Sydney Parish is bringing it back.
St. Michael’s parish in Belfield weekly children’s Rosary group came together on the evening of Saturday 31 October to celebrate and pray to the Saints they look to for guidance, dressing up for the night as their favourite Saints.
More than 100 children were gathered on the church grounds to pray and hear about what Halloween means for Catholics before finishing the night with a sausage sizzle with treats for the kids in the school hall.
The group started nearly five years ago when parishioners would gather in their homes to pray the Rosary. As the numbers grew the group had to begin holding their prayer meetings in the Church.
When Rita Said, one of the Rosary group organisers, was approached by her children who wanted to go trick or treating, she came up with the idea to celebrate the true meaning of Halloween. Rita ran it by parish priest Fr Benton who loved the idea.
Sarah Tohme, who was a parishioner at St. Michael’s before she got married and moved in to another area, took her three children Grace, Faith and Mason dressed as their favourite Saints to the Rosary group.
“I have always held St. Michael’s church close to my heart,” said Mrs. Tohme. “Its doors are open 24 hours a day seven days a week and all are welcome.”
Mrs. Tohme said that the children understand that All Hallows Day is a celebration of all the Saints who are in heaven and know how special they are in bringing us closer to God.
“They pray daily to Saints they’ve grown to love and they know which Saints they need to pray to for special intentions,” said Mrs. Tohme. If they have lost something they will pray to St. Anthony. If they are feeling scared at times they pray to their guardian Angel.
The parents and community at St. Michael’s also understand how important this message is for their children.
“As parents our main objective is to guide our children on the path of Christ so they radiate him to all and also so they see Christ in all people they meet,” said Mrs. Tohme. “Our duty as Earthly parents is to prepare our children for heaven where their Eternal Father awaits them.
“We must lead by example, and that’s what the organisers of this beautiful Rosary Group have done. They have paved the way for families to journey as a community in instilling the Faith in our Children.”