By Pamela Seal
Diocese of Lake Charles
LAKE CHARLES — The saying “there is power in numbers” was on full display during the sixth annual Rosary Around the Lake on Sunday, October 1, in the Diocese of Lake Charles.
With rosaries in their hands and special intentions in their hearts, 550 people of all ages prayed for Divine protection of the community and nation, strength of families, the Catholic Church, true repentance for and reparation of sins, salvation of souls, and reunion of all Christians.
The event, organized by the Ruth Institute as part of the national Rosary Coast to Coast, took place outside the Lake Charles Civic Center. The Catholic Church designates October as the Month of the Holy Rosary.
The National Rosary Rally is planned for Saturday, October 7 — the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary — at the nation’s capitol.
This was 11-year-old Mae Giovanni’s first year participating. She was one of several from the St. Pius X Catholic Church youth group leading the First Glorious Mystery, The Resurrection.
“It was exciting. I think it was very cool that everyone, even if they were not Catholic, could hear the rosary being prayed as a community,” said Giovanni. “When I pray the rosary, it makes me feel happy.”
Also attending for the first time from St. Pius X was Ashleigh Leger, a sophomore in high school. As a member of the St. Pius youth group, Leger said she was eager to help when she learned they were invited to lead the First Mystery.
“I enjoy praying the rosary in groups, but I also pray the rosary on my own,” she said. “It fills me with grace knowing Jesus’ mother will intercede for us when we turn to her with our prayers and intentions.”
Deacon Brian Soileau, who served as emcee, extended a special welcome to any non-Catholics in attendance as well as Catholics who may have been away from the Church. Soileau is director of Saint Charles Center and Camp Karol in Moss Bluff.
The rosary was recited in four languages — English, French, Latin, and Spanish.
The Most Reverend Glen John Provost, Bishop of Lake Charles, led the recitation of the Apostles Creed and the Our Father to begin the Marian devotion, followed by students at Immaculate Conception Cathedral School leading the first three Hail Mary prayers.
State Senator Jeremy Stine led — in French — the Second Glorious Mystery, The Ascension. He was assisted by Canon Jean-Marie Moreau, Rector of the St. Francis de Sales Oratory in Sulphur, and Bishop Provost.
The Third Glorious Mystery, The Descent of the Holy Spirit, was recited in Latin by the Rocky and Monica Harrington Family, members of St. Francis de Sales Oratory.
The Hispanic Community of St. Henry Catholic Church led — in Spanish — the Fourth Glorious Mystery, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
To conclude the rosary, members from Junior Catholic Daughters of the Americas at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Church and St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church led the Fifth Glorious Mystery, The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Margaret Zimmermann, a parishioner of Our Lady Queen of Heaven Catholic Church, has participated in Rosary Around the Lake every year since it started in 2018.
“The event feels so holy. It is wonderful to be a part of it,” she remarked, noting that she enjoyed hearing the rosary prayed in different languages.
Several ladies from the St. Henry Catholic Church Altar Society had T-shirts designed with the message: Our Lady of Fatima. Pray the Rosary.
“It is awesome for everybody to be praying together,” said Deborah Richard, one of the ladies. “What better way to pray than to have everybody together. And now it is in four languages.”
Other ladies wearing the special T-shirts were Theresa Guillory, Joyce Lefrere, Paula Sheffield, Sandra Walker, and Ginnetta Bilbo.
Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, acknowledged several people and groups for the event’s success:
- The Catholic Daughters of the Americas at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Parish, and the Lay Carmelites, for decorating the staging area
- Lucas Orsot, Francis Orsot, Richard Suarez, and John Pellerin for the sound equipment
- Boy Scout Troop 107 from Our Lady Queen of Heaven for Presentation of the Colors
- Lucas Orsot and Bianca Gonzales for assistance with music
- Knights of Columbus for providing chairs and tables
- Paula Michalko for arranging for boats to participate from the lake while the event was broadcast on FM 107.1
- Hispanic Community of St. Henry for the display of Our Lady of Guadalupe
- All the volunteers who helped on the day of the event and during the planning stages