Parishes mark World Mission Sunday with Rosary vigil

October 27, 2020

Parishioners of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Houston hold a Rosary made out of balloons during the parish’s World Mission Sunday Rosary prayer service on Oct. 18. (photo courtesy of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Houston)

HOUSTON — Father Victor Perez, pastor of St. Joseph and St. Stephen Catholic Churches, joined catechism students who led the Missionary Rosary following the 10:15 a.m. Mass on Oct. 18, World Mission Sunday, in the park next to the historic parish.

Under bright blue skies, a multi-colored balloon Rosary unfurled during prayer and soon lifted up to sky at the conclusion of the Rosary prayer.

The World Mission Rosary was envisioned by Venerable Archbishop Fulton John Sheen, then the national director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, in 1951. He made the request on a radio show that his listeners “Embrace the world in prayer.”

To do so he introduced this Rosary. Its uniqueness is in the five colors represented in each of the decades. Color symbolism in a Rosary is a gentle reminder on which to focus the prayers.

This Rosary honors the work of mission, our call to be missioners, and world unity and peace through its special emphasis on each of the Earth’s regions, where prayers are needed for all people.

Each region is represented by a different color — green is for the forests and grasslands of Africa; red recalls the fire of faith that brought missioners to the Americas (US, Canada, Latin America and Native Americans); white symbolizes Europe, the home of the Holy Father; blue is for the ocean surrounding the Islands of the Pacific in Australia and Oceania; and yellow represents the morning light of the East and “beginning of civilization” in Asia and the Middle East.

To learn more about World Mission Sunday, visit