On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Holy Cross Family Ministries joined in a Global Rosary Relay for Priests as part of the annual celebration of World Priest Day. More than 60 locations worldwide, including several ministries of the Congregation of Holy Cross, participated on Friday, June 7, creating a prayer chain circling the globe.
At the direction of Blessed John Paul II, the Church began World Priest Day in 2002 in order to have a day set aside to pray for the sanctification of priests. World Priest Day is now held annually on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. This is the fourth year that the Global Rosary Relay for Priests has been held in conjunction with the celebration.
The Global Rosary Relay idea is a simple, yet powerful one. Each of the 60 participating locations prayed a Rosary at a particular half hour on the day to give thanks to God for the Church's priests and to implore the protection and loving care of Mary, Mother of all priests, over all her priestly sons. In this way, by the end of the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the entire world had been encircled in prayer for priests.
Participating in the Global Rosary Relay for Priests fits well with the mission of HCFM, which was founded by Servant of God, Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. Peyton traveled the world as a missionary, spreading devotion to Mary and the Rosary, particularly among families. He popularized the phrase, "The family that prayers together stays together."
As a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, Peyton also looked to the Sacred Heart of Jesus as the model for his religious priesthood. The founder of Holy Cross, Blessed Basile Moreau, had consecrated the Congregation's priests to the Sacred Heart.
At the HCFM mission office in Santiago, Chile, the celebration for priests began with praying the Joyful Mysteries, followed by a special Mass by the Dean of the Cathedral, Msgr. Juan Suarez Campos, who as a seminarian knew Peyton.
In the Philippines, Family Rosary staff and Holy Cross religious also prayed the Joyful Mysteries.
A special Mass was held at College Notre Dame d'Orveau in France, where close to 300 people attended.
In Uruguay, the 12 stations that transmit HCFM's radio program, “Tiempo de Maria,” prayed the Rosary over the broadcast and interceded especially for religious vocations.
Eight hundred students from Holy Cross Lake View Senior Secondary School in Jinja, Uganda, prayed the Joyful Mysteries and offered Masses with special intentions for Holy Cross priests.
At HCFM's world headquarters in North Easton, Massachusetts, staff and religious gathered at the Father Peyton Center’s outdoor Rosary Walk to pray the Joyful Mysteries. After the outdoor Rosary, staff members celebrated Mass in the chapel.