Rosary Walk for Mary

 

Anton A., the student council president, carried the school’s large icon of the Blessed Mother in the 18th annual Rosary Walk for Mary.

 

Praying and honouring the Blessed Virgin Mary during the month of May has been a Catholic tradition for hundreds of years. This devotion to Mary is especially meaningful to IHMS because of her prominence in the school’s name, and in the order of Sisters who own and operate the school.

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One student from each class carried either an icon or a statue of the Blessed Mother

 

In the past, St. Nicholas School (the school that eventually became Immaculate Heart of Mary School in 1962) held an annual “Crowning of Mary” ceremony every May. Since the custom of Mary crownings has fallen out of vogue in recent decades, IHMS has replaced it with a different form of veneration – a prayer service and rosary walk.

 

Students praying in the back lane during the Rosary Walk for Mary 

 

This was the 18th consecutive year that IHMS has initiated a prayer service and rosary walk for Mary. This year’s prayer service was held on Friday, May 24 with students and staff gathering in the school gym at 9:00 a.m.. immediately after the morning’s opening exercises.

 

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As usual, the students sat on the floor facing a temporary altar that was set up in the center of the gym. The altar held various statues and icons of Mary that were collected from prayer corners from each of the different classrooms.

 

The above photo shows the altar that was set up in the gym for the prayer service. Each grade brought a statue or an icon to be carried in the procession and placed it on the altar. 

 

With the students quietly sitting on the gym floor, Mr. Picklyk welcomed everyone and began the prayer service by projecting the words to the song “O Maria”, which the students sang.

 

The words to the song “O Maria” (in Ukrainian) on the gym wall
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The Angel Gabriel
Sister Ruth Aney, SSMI then read a passage from the Gospel According to Luke about Mary’s visitation from the angel Gabriel (the photo to the left depicts a Byzantine era icon of the Angel Gabriel). The passage described Gabriel’s announcement to Mary that she will be giving birth to the Son of God.

Next,  grade 6 student Kristen S. and grade 7 student Conor R. read a set of petitions, after which everyone replied: “Oh Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us”.

 

 Sr. Ruth read from the Gospel of Luke about the Blessed Virgin Mary’s visitation from the angel Gabriel (top photo). Grade 6 student Kristen S. and grade 7 student Conor R. read a set of petitions for the prayer service (bottom photo).

 

Since everyone was gathered for a Rosary Walk, most students brought their own rosary beads from home. Mr. Picklyk spent a few minutes talking about how to pray the rosary – 10 “Hail Marys” followed by an “Our Father”. Students who forgot to bring a rosary from home were told that they could keep track by using their 10 fingers.

 


 

Sister Sofia Lebedowicz, SSMI, Superior General Visits IHMS 


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On May 24, 2019, the students and staff of IHMS welcomed one of the most important guests to ever visit our school – Sister Sofia Lebedowicz, SSMI, Superior General. Sister Sofia, who resides in Rome, is the worldwide leader of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, the order of sisters who own and operate IHMS and Holy Family Home.
Sister Sofia’s visit on Friday May 24 coincided with the school’s annual Rosary Walk for Mary. Shortly after students and staff assembled in the gym for the Rosary Walk, Sister Sofia Lebedowicz, SSMI was welcomed to our school in a short ceremony where two grade 6 students presented her with a gift of bread and salt and a bouquet of roses.
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After the presentation of bread and salt, Sister Sofia Lebedowicz, SSMI spoke briefly to the students through an interpreter.
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Mr. Picklyk then called a preselected student from each grade to approach the altar and receive either an icon or statue of Mary. These students had volunteered to carry an icon or statue while leading their class on the walk around the school.

 

A grade 1 student with the icon he carried on behalf of his classmates

 

The procession began with the Kindergarten and grade 8 students (who paired up together), followed by the grade 1 and grade 7 students (who also paired up together), followed by the rest of the grades. Charles C., a grade 8 student, led the procession with Ms. Paulic and one of her kindergarten students. Anton A., the school’s student council president, followed behind carrying a large icon of the Blessed Mother.

 

In the procession around the school, kindergarten and grade 8 students paired up, while the grade 1 and grade 7 students paired up. In the above photos, Ms. Paulic and one of her kindergarten students can be seen pairing up with grade 8 student Charles C. In the second photo, Anton A., the school’s student council president, can be seen following behind carrying a large icon of the Blessed Mother.

 

Some of the IHMS staff members praying during the walk

 

 

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The Rosary Walk Route


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 The procession moved:

1. Out of the side door of the gym
2. Through the front gates and west down the sidewalk to McKenzie St.
3. South on McKenzie St. to the school’s back lane
4. Down the back lane to the large car gates
5. Across the school yard and out the front gates again

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During her visit to IHMS, Sister Sofia Lebedowicz, SSMI, Superior General participated in the Rosary Walk for Mary with the rest of the students and staff.

 

Basically, the students walked through the playground and around the school twice. The entire walk lasted about 10 minutes. During the walk, the students recited the rosary, and continued to do so for 2 complete laps around the school.

 

Students and staff made 2 complete laps around the school during the Rosary Walk. After 2 complete laps, everyone filed back into the gym to finish praying the rosary as a group.

 

After the second lap, everybody filed back into the gym to finish off the rosary and to sing “Ava Maria” as a closing hymn.

After completing two laps around the school, students and staff reassembled in the gym to finish off the rosary as a group and to sing a final hymn

 

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