‘The power of technology and religious fervour really came together this summer to achieve a massive increase in numbers joining the Global Rosary Relay for Priests,’ says Marion Mulhall, founder of Worldpriest, speaking in Dublin.
‘All forms of communications technology and social media were unleashed to our advantage, allowing live television broadcast streams to excel, while helping people to join in across all platforms, including YouTube and Facebook. The end result was that we reached far greater numbers than we touched in 2016. There was a live global broadcast from the grotto at Lourdes, courtesy of EWTN and partnered with the local organising committee. From the grotto at Lourdes the Rosary Relay was then spiritually sent forth to Fatima. Live television streaming overall was up 25 per cent on last year. There was also live coverage from Knock Shrine in Ireland, when people from around the world joined prayerfully via live streaming. This practice was repeated from many locations globally, including other key lead locations – resulting in much higher viewership levels. Much of the sheer wonder of the day has been captured on video and in photographs, which are now available on the media page of the Worldpriest website www.worldpriest.com/video/. We would personally like to thank all those who joined in to make the Global Rosary Relay 2017 such a landmark event.’
The breakdown of the staggering ten million figure consisted of those faithful followers who have been with us every year over the past eight years, as well as those who have discovered the event for the first time – joining us from dedicated locations and from offices, homes or wherever they just happened to be in a world where boundaries and borders are becoming increasingly irrelevant to the power of prayer. This year the geographic spread was enormous and included places not renowned for Christian devotion. Places like Pakistan, Iceland, Japan and Korea, along with Chile, Thailand, Peru, Hungary, Malta and Hawaii being just some of the newer locations to join us. There was a real sense of joy in knowing that these diverse peoples, speaking a multiplicity of languages, were united in the common activity of prayer, which belongs to the whole world.
It’s worth looking closer at the story from Pakistan. Only two days before the relay a Christian gentleman from that country came across the Worldpriest website and contacted us with much enthusiasm, wanting to know all about our unique apostolate. He was very impressed by the Global Rosary Relay and noticed that his country was not listed, so he singlehandedly set about organising his country’s participation, putting up promotional material at churches and other important locations which had been supplied by Worldpriest and translated into his own language. He then began spreading the word through family and friends in his local community. We are very grateful for his wonderful and inspiring initiative and his dedication and courage to achieve such success. He has set an example for everybody to follow, and we pray for this wonderful man and his family.
Along with the resources of powerful technology, this wonderful success would not have been realised without the work and dedication of many committed people around the world. Worldpriest extends its heartfelt thanks to all those people who gave freely of their knowledge and time to make things happen as they did on 23 June. We hope such exceptional individuals will reap the benefits of their efforts through increased blessings in their own lives.
As usual we will select a location from the sixty-five countries that took part this year and that location will be awarded the Global Rosary Relay for Priests Award for 2017. This is not an easy task, but it is an established part of the annual celebration of prayer. We will announce the name of the winning location in our next newsletter. If you are not signed up for our newsletters please do so today.
We want to keep the momentum going for 8 June 2018 as we invite locations around the globe to contact us about their plans for next year at www.worldpriest.com/participating-shrine-list/. ‘A world at prayer is a world at peace’, said the great Father Patrick Payton. God knows the world needs this peace now more than ever.
We are a small team who employ our combined skills in advertising and marketing to further our aims. We have been working flat out for eight months to mount the Global Rosary Relay, and we are therefore under considerable pressure to go organising such an ambitious event as numbers participating continue to climb. So we ask our supporters to help us to increase our financial and operational resources to extend the Global Rosary Relay activities and promotion for 2018. We also appeal for funding to expand our website and awareness of our unique apostolate worldwide. Along with the success of the Global Rosary Relay we have totally revamped our website, but much more needs to be done to create even better resources for Catholics all over the world to benefit from our efforts.
Worldpriest was established to provide for the advancement of the Catholic faith, to support and affirm Catholic priests worldwide in their daily ministry in persona christi, to unite priests and laity so that all may enter into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. This is accomplished through the creation and distribution of various on-line and print resources and through ‘real-time’ events as exemplified by our Annual Global Rosary Relay for Priests.