Scotland’s biggest and most colourful Rosary will be blessed by Cardinal Keith O’Brien on Friday 8 February 2013, as Mission Matters Scotland launches its Year of Faith Mission Rosary campaign at Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill.
The colourful, giant, five-decade Rosary, around four feet in diameter, has beads the size of tennis balls and a crucifix two feet high. It was made by staff and pupils at the North Lanarkshire secondary school as a large-scale copy of over 100,000, normal-size Mission Rosaries being sent out by Mission Matters Scotland to parishes and Catholic schools, to reintroduce the rosary as a form of daily prayer across the country. The Rosaries are accompanied with easy-to-follow instruction cards for both adults and school pupils and represent Scotland’s contribution to a world-wide campaign of prayer organised by Pontifical Mission Societies and centred on the Mission Rosary.
Father Tom Welsh, director of Coatbridge-based Mission Matters Scotland, which sends money collected in this country to Rome for distribution to missions across the world, said: “The Mission Rosary, which has different coloured decades, representing each of the five continents of the world, is an ideal way to raise the prayer life of Scotland and to remind people of the importance of the missions. In this Year of Faith, when the Catholic Church is reaching out through its new evangelisation, it’s a simple and ideal way of re-introducing the Rosary to Scotland at a time when the country and the world need prayer, and the benefits it brings, both at home and on the missions, as never before.”
The campaign has the backing of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. He said: “This new Rosary Campaign encourages families and schools to rediscover the great prayer of the Rosary, and opens minds and hearts to the work of missionaries overseas. The Bishops are delighted to support it as a real fruit of the Year of Faith.”
Cardinal Keith O’Brien said: “I am very pleased to have been invited to bless this giant rosary and copies of the small ones now being sent out to schools and parishes across Scotland. We are all called to prayer and this campaign fits in well with Mission Matters Scotland, which follows the great and proud tradition that we have as a nation of missionary work, when it invites us to pray a little every day, both for this country and for the missions.”
Cardinal Newman High School head teacher Isabelle Boyd said: “We are very pleased to help launch this Rosary campaign as we have a great Rosary tradition in the school with Rosary prayed by pupils and staff every Friday in our oratory at lunchtime. We see this as a great opportunity to boost the awareness of this accessible and easy-to-say form of prayer further among pupils, staff and parents in this Year of Faith.”