Children in Kenya Link up on Facebook
ahead of Global Rosary Prayer Initiative
The Catholic Church in Kenya has heeded to the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” call by the pontifical foundation Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) to pray for unity and peace in the world, with children in the East African country participating in prayers through a Facebook live video.
In an interview with ACI Africa Friday, October 2, Fr. Bonaventure Luchidio, the National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies (PMS) in Kenya said children from all over the country logged in to a live prayer session on the PMS Kenya official Facebook page on Thursday, October 1 to pray for all continents of the world at the onset of the Rosary Prayer Month.
“We are working with our Dioceses and (PMS) Diocesan Directors to invite all the children to pray the Rosary now that places of worship have been reopened,” Fr. Bonaventure said.
He added, “We are also complimenting physical meetings with virtual prayers since many people can now only be found on social media.”
Thursday, October 1 was the first day of the virtual rosary prayers and the PMS Kenya office is still advertising the prayer meetings, he further said.
The member of the Clergy of Kenya’s Kakamega Diocese also told ACI Africa that parents are being encouraged to join in the prayers to ensure that their children are safe when praying with others on Facebook.
The climax of the prayers, he said, will be Mission Sunday, which will be celebrated on October 18 when the children, through their parishes will give donations to their respective Parish Priests to help the mission of the Church across the globe.
Fr. Bonaventure further said that the children will join Pope Francis on October 7 in prayers on the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary after which an official announcement will be made on the logistics of joining the rest of the world in the “One Million Children Praying the Rosary” initiative.
Announcing the initiative in a communique shared with ACI Africa Thursday, October 1, ACN leadership said that the prayer initiative slated for October 18 is expected to bring together children from all parts of the world.
“Children from around 80 countries and on all continents will be participating. From Ghana to Syria to Papua New Guinea,” the ACN leadership says, adding that the organization has provided materials for the prayer campaign in 23 languages, including Arabic and several African languages.
“May this joint worldwide Rosary prayer initiative fill us all with new courage and confidence in God’s loving protection, which He wishes to bestow on us through His Holy Mother”, Fr. Martin M. Barta, Ecclesiastical Assistant of ACN International says in the statement shared with ACI Africa.
The leadership of the Catholic Pontifical organization notes that the year 2020 has provided a special context owing to the global threat to healthcare and economy and invites members of parishes, nurseries, schools and families to participate in the prayer initiative noting that “one million children praying the Rosary can change the world.”
In the communique sent to ACI Africa October 1, the President of ACN International, Mauro Cardinal Piacenza describes the challenges amid COVID-19 as “a crisis in which the entire world has been and continues to be exposed to.”
The pandemic is about “an invisible virus that has brought death to hundreds of thousands of people and devastating, and as yet unforeseeable, economic and social consequences. Our world is no longer the same world, and what was taken for granted until now will no longer be so,” Cardinal Piacenza says.
In a letter to children expected to take part in the prayer initiative, the ACN official said that in difficult situations like the one presented by the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is very important to work together and help one another, without forgetting that “the biggest help of all comes from God.”
Children who will not be able to participate in the October 18 prayer initiative owing to the fact that it will be on a Sunday are encouraged to pray the Rosary with other children in schools or kindergartens on Monday, October 19.
Information provided by the Catholic charity organization indicates that the children’s rosary campaign was initiated in 2005 in Venezuela’s capital, Caracas.
“While a number of children were praying the rosary at a wayside shrine, several of the people present recalled that Saint Padre Pio had said, ‘When one million children pray the rosary, the world will change.’ The campaign quickly spread across the world,” ACN leadership narrates.
The organization has supported the campaign since 2008 and took over the organization of the entire event worldwide two years ago.
The Catholic pontifical organization provides a free leaflet for prayer in parishes, children's groups or families, which contains instructions on how to pray the rosary, child-friendly reflections on the mysteries of the rosary, and a child consecration to the Mother of God.
On top of praying for unity and peace, which has been set by ACN leadership, children in Kenya have a special intention for people to become charitable towards each other “to avoid the rising cases of suicide” according to the National Director of PMS in Kenya, Fr. Bonaventure.
“We are using our prayers and the mission activities as a conduit to make people aware that one can become a missionary even without going to another country to evangelize by simple acts of prayer and charity, by giving one’s energy to help others, giving out resources and by supporting others through prayers,” he told ACI Africa October 2.
In his message to the children in the east African country, the Kenyan Cleric said, “Let us remain steadfast in the Lord through reading of the scriptures and praying with the rest of our family members and support each other especially those that need our help.”
“Let us never forget to always be children who help other children through our little gifts and prayers,” Fr. Bonaventure said.
ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa