WILKES-BARRE — Theresa Chupka, of Hanover Township, remembers a day, probably at least 60 years ago, when she heard the Rev. Patrick Peyton give a talk at Artillery Park, urging people to pray the rosary.
“Ever since that day, we manage to say the family rosary at home, or while we’re driving in the car,” she said, noting that Peyton’s slogan was “the family that prays together, stays together.”
While other family members have passed on, Chupka said, she and her sister, Mary, continue the tradition.
On Sunday afternoon, it was especially nice, she said, for the two sisters to share their daily devotion with dozens of people at St. Nicholas Church in Wilkes-Barre during the 42nd annual Rosary Rally organized by the combined Knights of Columbus Councils of Wyoming Valley.
“It was inspirational,” she said after the service that included a Mass, a crowning of the statue of the blessed mother, and the praying of the five Glorious Mysteries of the Rosary.
Immediately before the service, several Knights of Columbus had carried the Our Lady of Fatima Pilgrim Virgin Statue in a procession from the church on Wilkes-Barre’s South Washington Street to Public Square and back to the church. About 75 people followed the statue along the mile-long route and prayed the five Joyful and five Sorrowful Mysteries aloud.
Each “Mystery” commemorates an event in the lives of Jesus and his mother, Mary.
Carrying a megaphone as he strode along, event coordinator Christopher Calore led the “Our Fathers” and “Hail Marys” for the walking group.
“I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful Sunday afternoon,” he said after the walkers joined a congregation who had been waiting at the church.
“I enjoyed praying the rosary with a large group of people,” participant Donna Pasquini, of Kingston, said later. “It brings back beautiful memories.”
“I have a great devotion to Our Lady of Fatima,” Pasquini said, using a title the Catholic Church gave to Mary, the mother of Jesus, after three shepherd children in Fatima, Portugal, reported she had appeared to them in 1917 and predicted World War I would soon end.
In recent years, the Knights of Columbus Rosary Rally has taken place in Pittston, Kingston, Plymouth and Ashley. It is held at a different church each year.