.- Holy Cross Family Ministries is promoting a three-month rosary campaign leading up to World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid, Spain.
The prayer initiative, called Firm in the Faith with Mary, aims to make World Youth Day, “ a truly spiritual event for all the young people,” Father John Phalen, president of the ministry, told CNA.
“We know that many young people have found their calling to a religious vocation at World Youth Day, so we're especially asking people to dedicate their rosaries to that,” he added.
The rosary campaign is being promoted by Family Rosary International, one of Holy Cross' several ministries. They are asking families and individuals to pray the rosary every Saturday from now until World Youth Day in August, for young people around the world to be awakened and deepened in their faith.
The ministry aims in particular to spread the word through social media.
Officials of Firm in the Faith with Mary said full, dynamic and up-to-date use of the internet is an opportunity not available until recently. They have a Facebook page with logos, e-flyers, banners, wallpapers, and more available for download and dissemination to motivate people to participate.
Fr. Phalen said the Facebook page only has 125 “likes” so far, but only five days into the effort, he's holding out hope. “The sky's the limit,” he said, “we want there to be many thousands of people dedicated to praying the rosary every week.”
“We may start asking people to offer up their suffering for the success of this campaign,” Fr. Phalen stated, “which is something our founder Servant of God Father Patrick Petyton, CSC, always did.”
This is the first year for Firm in the Faith with Mary, but their parent organization, Holy Cross Family Ministries, was present at the previous three World Youth Days in Australia, Germany and Canada.
They will again have a presence in Madrid.
“This year we are joining with bigger organizations such as Knights of Columbus and Sisters of Life to establish a home-away-from-home for English-speaking pilgrims,” Fr. Phalen told CNA. “We will have concerts, talks, and a cafe where young people can meet and establish relationships with each other.”
The English-speaking center called “Love and Life” will also have witness testimonies, Eucharistic adoration, prayer and movie screenings . The World Youth Day website notes that the center will be located at Palacio de Deportes, the city’s top venue for athletics and concerts.