The autumn sunshine smiled on the hundreds of people, young and old, who took part in the 55th annual family rosary procession in St Helens.
The procession took place on Sunday 4 October and was led by Bishop John Rawsthorne, who was joined by the deputy mayor and mayoress of St Helens, Cllrs David and Jeanette Banks, together with local clergy. The procession wound its way up Church Street and along to the Town Hall Square before going down Corporation Street on its way to its final destination of St Mary’s, Lowe House.
During the procession, decades of the Holy Rosary were recited for a number of intentions – local, national and international. These included the family, youth, sanctity of life from conception to natural death, relief from unemployment, relief from disease and famine, and the progression of the sainthood causes of Blessed Dominic Barberi and Mother Elizabeth Prout, both of whom are buried at Sutton.
A particular intention this year was peace in the Middle East – especially Syria, Iraq and the Holy Land – and for help for the refugees from these conflicts.
The procession concluded with the traditional sung Benediction service, celebrated by Bishop John. During his short homily, he highlighted the need for prayer, especially as the Bishops were about to meet in Synod in Rome, with a lot of family matters to be discussed.
The organisers thanked all participants for their continuing presence and expressed their gratitude to St John Ambulance and St Helens Police for their support in making this annual tradition possible. Next year’s procession will be held on Sunday 2 October, ending at Holy Cross Church.