EXETER — Students at Wyoming Area Catholic celebrated The Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary on Oct. 7 in their own unique way.
Students and faculty gathered in the school parking lot to celebrate the Feast Day with a Living Rosary program in which they recited the rosary prayer and released a chain link of balloons that resembled rosary beads.
Principal Eileen Rishcoff said the balloons were filled with helium and were bio-degradable, so as to not harm the environment.
She said this was the third year in a row the students have released a rosary balloon.
“We like to have this visual, this living rosary because the students love it,” said Rishcoff. “We’ve tried other things like different activities, but this is our most creative one.”
Our Lady of the Rosary is another title for the Blessed Virgin Mary and a Feast Day is a day on which a Christian celebration is held.
The Our Lady of the Rosary Feast Day comes in celebration of when the Christian fleet defeated the Ottoman fleet at the Battle of Lepanto on Oct. 7, 1571.
Rishcoff said the idea for the rosary balloon was sparked a few years ago when she and Wyoming Area Catholic religion teacher Toni Griseto put their heads together to find a different way to celebrate the day.
“(Rishcoff) and I were talking and I said I thought it would be neat to do something different to spice it up a bit for the kids,” said Griseto. “One thing led to another in our conversation and we came up with the idea of the balloons. Mrs. Rischoff found the idea for it online and we took it from there.”
The balloons were ordered, inflated and tied together by Balloon Works at Party Zone in Wyoming and were blue with some pink.
“The blue represent the Hail Marys and the pink, we do a different color every year for this, represents the mysteries of the rosary,” she said. “There are several different mysteries of the rosary that are prayed on different days of the week, and on Wednesday it’s the glorious mystery. So, they represent the mysteries of the rosary, which are events in the life of Christ.”
Griseto and Rishcoff both said releasing the balloons has become something the students and faculty look forward to doing and will continue to be a tradition at the school.
Griseto hopes the students will take something more from reciting the rosary than just releasing the balloons on Feast Day.
“We encourage them to pray the rosary, obviously,” she said. “For me, I’m hoping they take these lessons forward and they continue them in their personal lives and not just on Feast Day.”