As the beads of a rosary are connected so too the Fatima College community—staff, students, families, alumni, reciting the rosary every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 p.m. using Zoom.
Fr Gregory Augustine CSSp, the principal of Fatima College said it was paradoxical, “The isolation and distancing has made us kind of come closer…We have the time [as] we are all mandated to stay at home, days are a little longer and the nights and so on. It is also an opportunity to reflect, to pray, to think.”
The rosary is normally recited at the college every day, but schools were ordered closed March 16, before the end of the term April 3. The government subsequently introduced measures to prevent large gatherings in one place. The rosary shifted to online and has been ongoing since March 23.
Fr Augustine said, “I just felt it (the rosary) was a way of connecting our Fatima community, the parents and students and old boys, so there was an invitation that went out three weeks ago to all…it is not exclusive to us, anybody who is interested can join.”
There are now about 250 participants which he said is a very good response. “The time now allows us to put aside that half hour every evening. At a different time if we had done that, we may not have gotten that response,” Fr Augustine said.
In an April 3 telephone interview, he recalled a conversation with his brother, a diocesan priest in Jamaica and member of Mustard Seed Community, who mentioned they also started praying the rosary online. “He was saying it really has taken off in terms of numbers whereas before it was ten people, now over 100,” Fr Augustine said.
Zoom, a remote conferencing platform was chosen for Fatima’s rosary nights. Different families of parents, teachers and ‘old boys’ lead the recitation of the rosary. Fr Augustine gives the meditations. “There are five of us every night leading a different decade…so those joining in will get a sense that all of us are doing this together. It is not one person. I am not the only one being seen. That is what I wanted. To get a sense of communion, we are sharing this, we are all in this,” Fr Augustine said.
The intercessory prayers are for “everything”, both personal and communal. “Last evening there was a prayer for a person who was ill. We remember people on the frontline: medical personnel, those who are in the supermarkets doing a fantastic job, different intentions.”
There is no end date for the rosary online. Fr Augustine said, “We’ll continue as long as we can”. He added, “We have the time, we are called to give it to something deeper”. To participate, go to https://zoom.us/j/270419471.