MARION – St. Mary Parish is offering a uniquely Catholic perspective for its Vacation Bible School program this summer. July 27-31, the volunteer-led program will focus on one of the most beloved and traditional forms of Catholic prayer, the Rosary.
Open to children of all ages and religious backgrounds, the Vacation Bible School will focus specifically on the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary during sessions which take place 6-8 p.m. each evening at the church, located at 251 N. Main St. in Marion. Participation in VBS is free and registration is in progress.
After several years of subscribing to prepared curriculums and modifying them to include aspects of Catholic doctrine, this year’s program was self-developed by St. Mary’s Director of Religious Education, Glenna Celestino, and her staff. “Vacation Bible School this year will be teaching a Catholic basic, the Holy Rosary,” said Celestino. “Each day will focus on one of the five Joyful Mysteries in a way that is geared for young children.”
The Rosary is a traditional form of Catholic prayer which is a guided meditation on the life of Christ and his mother. Prayed on a set of rosary beads, the full prayer includes 20 clusters of prayers called decades and is divided into four groups of Mysteries – the Joyful, the Sorrowful, the Glorious and the Luminous.
The Joyful Mysteries include: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation, and the Finding in the Temple. The Annunciation is the angel Gabriel announcement to the Virgin Mary that she would bear Jesus, the Son of God. The Visitation is Mary’s subsequent visit to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. The Nativity is Jesus’ birth. The Presentation refers to Jesus’ traditional dedication as an infant in the Jewish Temple. And, the Finding in the Temple is Mary and Joseph’s return to Jerusalem to locate the child Jesus following the celebration of Passover; he is found in the discussing God with the Temple religious leaders. Each of the Mysteries teaches a virtue, which, for the Joyful Mysteries, includes humility, love of neighbor, poverty of spirit, purity and obedience.
In addition to teaching the Rosary, St. Mary’s VBS will offer a host of games, crafts, snacks, and songs for the education and enjoyment of the children.
Noting that like most VBS programs, St. Mary’s offering is heavily volunteer-dependant, Celestino encouraged both adult and teen volunteers to staff the week-long program.
“The participants of our VBS can be children of all ages, from those potty-trained on up,” she said. Students in grades 5 and above are welcome and will be able to participate as small group leaders and in other helping roles. All adults assisting with the program must have already had a background check with the sheriff’s department and taken the 3-hour safe environment course, Protecting God’s Children, offered by the Diocese of Columbus.
Additional information, including pre-registration, is available by calling St. Mary’s Office of Religious Education at 382-2262.