by BRENDAN ROBERTS
Candles flickered, voices rang out joyfully with prayers and singing as parishioners adored the Blessed Sacrament at the shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes at St Therese church in Mangere on October 23.
This was the culmination of a week of devotion to our Blessed Mother for the month of the Holy Rosary for both St Anthony’s, Mangere Bridge and St Therese.
The two parishes decided on a special way to commemorate the month. While there is already a strong devotion to Our Lady with Saturday observance of devotion and a short time of adoration following the Saturday morning Mass, organisers did not know how people would respond. But to their amazement both the morning devotion and the evening devotions were well attended.
Both parishes from Monday to Saturday had daily prayer, rosary, adoration, sharings/preaching and Mass.
Different groups led the prayer and sharing such as the Legion of Mary and prayer groups such as the Samoans, Tongans, Divine Mercy Prayer Group and the youth.
The parish priest, Fr Manoj Kunnath, was delighted with the outcome of the week of celebrating the Holy Rosary. He was very moved by how many people stayed in adoration praying the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament outside until midnight on the last day.
“It was a testimony to the very strong faith of the people and their love of our Blessed Lord in the Holy Eucharist”, Fr Kunnath said.
He also emphasised the beauty of the various cultures, who led the rosary in the grotto in their native languages.
“It’s such a joy to see the people praying for the needs of their families and our country.”
The parishes also held an outdoor Mass at the Mangere Lawn Cemetery for the first time. Parishioners were encouraged to bring their friends, as all relatives who had passed on were remembered and prayed for at this time.