It was an example of the rosary’s power to unite people from different ethnic groups.
Close to 300 parishioners of the Church of Our Lady Star of the Sea prayed the rosary during an outdoor rosary and candlelight procession on June 13, with each decade being said in Tagalog, Tamil, Chinese, Malayalam and English.
A statue of Our Lady of Fatima, which was recently purchased from Fatima in Portugal and flown to the parish, was carried during the procession.
Parish priest Fr JJ Fenelon was in Fatima recently for a Marian pilgrimage and led in a decade of the Sorrowful Mysteries during the rosary devotion and procession there one night.
He said he was impressed with how each decade was led by people from different nationalities praying in their own language, and yet the thousands of pilgrims from all over the world responded in their own languages.
Fr Fenelon said that as the shepherd of a parish made up of people from a variety of language groups, he felt inspired to trust Mother Mary to unify his parish. He decided to buy and arrange for a statue of Our Lady of Fatima to be flown from Fatima and delivered to the church.
Two of the pilgrims who were with him sponsored the purchase and shipment of the statue, which was blessed before the start of the procession.
The recent celebration was the beginning of the Fatima devotion and candlelight processions to be held at the church on the 13th of each month.
Fr Fenelon says his prayer is that the devotion will unite and strengthen all the neighbourhood Christian communities, ministries and language groups in the parish to fulfil their vision and mission “to be a Christ-centred family that loves and serves one another with joy and humility”.
Most of the church’s parishioners come from Yishun and Sembawang.
By Raymond Chang