Procession, Global Living Rosary Honors Blessed John Paul II at Local High School

By: Mariann Hughes, Office of Communications 

While a sea of balloons floating over a football field filled with children may sound like a scene from the movie “Up,” it was actually for a much more poignant and touching reason that several hundred assembled at Pope John Paul the Great High School, Dumfries, on May 1.

In honor of the beatification of Blessed Pope John Paul II, faithful from across the Diocese of Arlington gathered for an evening including a Eucharistic procession with Bishop Paul S. Loverde presiding, a Global Living Rosary, two homilies and beautiful singing.

A large Rosary was arranged around the football field, with large colored balloons representing each Rosary bead. Each decade was color-coded to symbolize a different continent and the students stationed under each “bead” prayed the first part of the “Hail Mary” in a different language, while the congregation responded in English.

Take a moment to enjoy the photos below of this evening honoring Blessed Pope John Paul II. It was one of three lead-up events to the diocesan pilgrimage on Oct. 8 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. And be sure to attend the last remaining lead-up event at St. Michael’s, Annandale, on Sept. 11. The events are coordinated in partnership with Eucharistic Family Rosary Crusade.

Singer Marie Miller and her guitarist lead praise and worship music at Pope John Paul the Great High School on May 1 before the start of the Eucharist procession.

The Eucharistic procession begins to wend its way toward the football field after the Blessed Sacrament is reverently removed from the school's chapel.

Deacon J. Paul Ochenkowski carries the Blessed Sacrament toward the altar set up at one end of the football field.

The Eucharistic procession begins walking on the football field track.

Deacon Ochenkowski places the Blessed Sacrament on the outdoor altar.

The faithful gathered sing during the procession.

Deacon Ochenkowski proclaims the Gospel on the "Bread of Life."

Children seated in chairs underneath the balloons representing the beads of the Rosary await the beginning of the prayer.

Bishop Loverde gives a homily on the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and Blessed Pope John Paul II.

Fr. Jim Kelleher, S.O.L.T. explains the importance of praying the daily family Rosary, and encourages participation in the diocese's October pilgrimage.

Fr. Kelleher holds the microphone while students pray the first part of the Rosary in a different language.

A pair of children pray the first part of the "Hail Mary."

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