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'The Value of Human Life' is Rosary Crusade theme

LEWISTON -- When Western New York's Rosary Hill College became Daemen College in the early 1970s, it seemed yet another sign that saying the rosary might fade away. Yet many have never forgotten the reported message of the Lady at Fatima to say the rosary.

"Our Blessed Mother requested that her children pray the rosary to obtain peace," said Dolores Laurrie, chairwoman of the annual Rosary Crusade for World Peace.

"There's no problem, no matter how difficult it is, in the private life of each one of us of our families, of the families of the world, that can't be resolved through the prayer of the rosary," Laurrie said.

The Rosary Crusade, to mark its 30 anniversary next year, takes place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. next Sunday at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, 1023 Swann Road.

Young students will lead a procession from the shrine to outdoors, as people from all walks of life recite the rosary. Many are expected to carry flags and banners. This year in the procession, there will be a Statue of Our Lady of Visitation, among 250 other statues blessed by Pope John Paul II a dozen ago in Rome.

There also will be a coronation of the statue of Mary, blessing of children and young adults, and a benediction. Pope Benedict XVI has bestowed his Apostolic Blessing upon all participants in this year's event. Members of the Niagara University ROTC will take part in the crusade. Free rosaries will be distributed at the public event.

The theme for this year's crusade is "The Value of Human Life."

Monsignor J. Thomas Moran, pastor of St. Bernard Parish in Youngstown, serves as moderator of the crusade, which is sponsored by the Niagara Council of Catholic Women. Homilist will be the Rev. James L. Fugle of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Niagara Falls.

Nearly 700,000 Catholics live on the Niagara Frontier, and for those who may want to attend this crusade but haven't recited their rosary since perhaps the Rosary Hill days -- here are the words to prayers of the rosary, said to have originated in the 13th century.

Here are the "mysteries" to meditate on in saying the rosary:

*The Joyful Mysteries: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation and the Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple.

*The Sorrowful Mysteries: the Agony in the Garden, the Scourging at the Pillar, the Crowning of Thorns, the Carrying of the Cross and the Crucifixion.

*The Glorious Mysteries: the Resurrection, the Ascension, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption of Mary and the Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Pope John Paul II instituted a change in the rosary, adding the following fourth set of mysteries to contemplate:

*The Luminous Mysteries: Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, Jesus' self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, Jesus' proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, Jesus' transfiguration and Jesus' institution of the Eucharist as the sacramental expression of the paschal mystery.

Have an idea about for Religion News? Write to: Louise Continelli, The Buffalo News, P.O. Box 100, Buffalo, NY 14240 or e-mail her at

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