Rosaries for Schools
St Dominic’s prophesised that one day through the Rosary and the brown scapular Our Lady would save the world.
In 2016, pondering what could halt the high rate of young people who lapse from the Faith in these secular times, Kevin Prendergast (Chester Circle) obtained a small number of Rosaries which had been blessed by the Pope, from ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ (ACN), and offered these to his local primary school St Clare’s in Chester. Rather than just distribute these, the head teacher Mrs Marian Ryder created a quiet room where the mysteries of the Rosary were displayed during May and October, and invited children of Key Stage 2 and above if they wished to come in voluntarily during their lunch break to pray the Rosary. Each time a teacher was present. She subsequently wrote that the children’s voluntary response “humbled and amazed her”
It was obvious that this was something that would be worth rolling out to as many primary schools as possible. A suitable multi coloured children’s Rosary was again sourced through ACN. However there was still the problem how to give credibility to what was planned. About this time Kevin visited Michael Blackburn, who single handed ran the ‘Catenian Rosary Group’. Michael was an inspiration and helped with a wealth of advice and information. With his agreement a separate apostolate under the ‘Catenian Rosary Group’ banner entitled ‘Catenian Rosaries for Schools’ was established to prevent confusion with what Michael was doing –collecting and dispatching used/ surplus Rosaries to the missions and also procuring Rosaries for prisons in England and Wales.
October 13th 2017 was the centenary of the last Fatima apparition and the miracle of the sun, also on October 18th of that year a worldwide annual venture entitled ‘One Million Children Praying the Rosary’ was to take place. (The campaign recalls St. Pio of Pietrelcina’s words: “And to think that if one million children prayed the Rosary. How many graces would be shed over the world!”) Linking in with these dates and with permission and blessing from bishops in 34 dioceses 55,000 free children’s Rosaries were dispatched as a result of requests from approximately 700 primary schools throughout the British Isles and the Irish Republic.
Quite early on in this exercise it seemed to be logical to supply each child receiving a Rosary with a ‘How to Pray the Rosary’ A5 folding card, and these are now sent with each box of Rosaries dispatched
Typical of the touching thank you e mails received were the following
“Thank you for the kind gift of Rosary Beads for our school. We thought you might be interested to see how we have used them. They are now enclosed in ‘Rosary Bags’ which the children take home to share with their families during October. All families in school take a bag for one evening, in an attempt to encourage the families to pray together during this month. They are very popular with the children!”
“We took part in 1 million children praying the Rosary on 18th October. We used your beads to enable each Key Stage 2 class to learn about the Rosary…The reception class were inspired to make their own with threading beads in class. We are hoping to set up a Rosary club when our Prayer Room is established. The beads enabled whole classes to take part”
20,000 more children’s Rosaries have been ordered to continue the apostolate into primary schools and we have started a pilot project to promote the Rosary in Secondary schools.
To date (September 2021) we have issued 78,960 children’s Rosaries
Should anyone require more information or advice or wish to provide support for Rosaries for Schools then please contact Kevin Prendergast, Hawarden House, 12B Lache Lane, Chester, CH4 7LR or phone 01244 681 816