By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — Students from St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School gathered on the playground to recite the rosary as part of the One Million Children Praying the Rosary campaign Oct. 18.
Principal Julie Delaney said Father Bill Kneemiller, former parochial vicar at St. Paul, planted the seed to pray the rosary as a school and to encourage parents and grandparents to participate. Along with Father Kneemiller’s inspiration, the school learned about this initiative through the National Catholic Education Association.
Pope Francis proclaimed October as an extraordinary month of mission, in addition to the traditional month of the rosary. The parish joined in the worldwide challenge set by Aide to the Church in Need calling for 1 million children pray the rosary for unity and peace Oct. 18.
Third-graders at St. Paul led the rosary for the school by taking turns reciting the prayers through a microphone. A statue of Mary faced them as they prayed. The rest of the students prayed from their spots on the playground. Parents, grandparents and parishioners participated as well.
“This is an awesome morning to pray together,” said Father Tony Herold, the pastor. He asked the students if he and Father Scott Foley, parochial vicar, could give them a blessing. The gathering responded with a resounding “Yes!” Everyone sang the hymn Immaculate Mary after the blessing.
Rosary at other schools:
• Lourdes Catholic School students in Bettendorf recited the rosary Oct. 18 inside the school.
• Assumption High School in Davenport recited the rosary Oct. 15.
• St. Joseph Catholic School in DeWitt recited the rosary Oct. 7, the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary.
• Students in grade 7-12 at Regina Catholic Schools in Iowa City recited the rosary together Oct. 16.