It began on Oct. 13, 2007 when Jean Floro and her companions formed a youth-led Living Rosary at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Clovis, in the Diocese of Fresno. They invited 50 young parishioners to represent the beads of the Rosary, while leading their parish family in prayer. They offered their intentions before saying the first part of the Hail Mary by mentioning a name of a priest beginning with Pope Benedict XVI, and their Bishop, the late John Steinbock. The parishioners, especially the parents of the junior leaders, were touched at hearing the young voices leading them in prayer. One of Jean’s companions even exclaimed, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have the youth-led parish family living rosary for the next nine years as a novena that will culminate at the 100th year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima?”My twin sister invited me to ask our parish priest to hold a parish family living rosary in our church the following year with the same format: a youth-led rosary simultaneously prayed with their parish family. It seemed like a lofty task, but after having dreamt of a beautiful woman, who with unspoken words gestured to me to sit next to her, I woke up in tears and knew that it was the Blessed Mother who was asking me to do this. And so, it happened. I invited a group of parishioners in the South Bay to start a Rosary Cenacle for the purpose of the Parish Family Living Rosary. On Dec. 22, 2007, we brought the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima to a host family to stay with them while they prayed the Rosary every day, until the following Saturday when we would pick up the Pilgrim Virgin to be brought to another home, encouraging the host families to continue to pray the Rosary daily. By June 2008, the inspiration to bring the Pilgrim Virgin of Fatima from parish to parish was crystal clear. And each year since, every second Saturday of October, an increasing number of whole parish families have united to pray together as one family. On Oct. 11, 2008, the first Parish Family Living Rosary Pilgrimage to four churches was held by parish families in the South Bay (and two in the Diocese of Fresno). Approximately 300 Parish Youth led their respective parish families in prayer at St. James and St. Lawrence Martyr in Redondo Beach, St. Catherine Laboure and Nativity in Torrance, Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Clovis, and Sacred Heart and St. John’s Cathedral, Fresno.On Oct. 10, 2009, clusters of parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles held a Parish Family Living Rosary on the same day; some made a pilgrimage to neighboring parishes using a Pilgrim Virgin Fatima. On Oct. 9, 2010, Auxiliary Bishops Joe Sartoris (at St. Catherine Laboure) and Oscar Solis (at St. Margaret Mary, Lomita) joined the youth and their respective parish families in solidarity of prayer. A growing number of parishes in the Archdiocese were added to the list, and an international connection began with parish youth and families at St. Francis of Assisi in Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines.Last year — Oct. 8, 2011 — our core group saw 22 parishes join the Solidarity of Prayer with a youth-led Rosary, Benediction by the Clergy and in some parishes, a celebration of Mass. These parishes represented seven countries on four continents (North America, South America, Africa and Asia) forming a “Mark of the Cross” on the globe. We are now on our fifth year of a nine-year novena of Parish Family Living Rosary Pilgrimage in the South Bay. On Oct. 13, as the Year of Faith begins this month, many parishes within and outside the Archdiocese of Los Angeles will unite in prayer with their youth (ages 7-17) leading their parish families in praying the Rosary. This year’s participating parishes include:San Pedro Region: Holy Family, Artesia; Nativity and St. Catherine Laboure, Torrance; St. Anthony, El Segundo; St. Philomena, Carson.San Gabriel Region: St. Dorothy, Glendora; St. Madeleine, Pomona.San Fernando Region: Mary Immaculate, Pacoima; St. Bridget of Sweden, Van Nuys; Our Lady of the Valley, Canoga Park; St. John Baptist De La Salle, Granada Hills; Our Lady of Peace, North Hills; St. Genevieve, Panorama City.Our Lady of the Angels Region: Our Lady of the Bright Mount, L.A.At the end of the prayer service, the clergy will invite each of the participating youth to pray a decade of the Rosary throughout the year, until we meet again next year. Our goal is to ignite a fire of love and devotion to Jesus through Mary, to offer our youth “a taste of holiness” throughout the year by saying just a Decade of the Rosary and experience an “encounter” with the Blessed Mother.We hope to see you at the next Parish Family Living Rosary Pilgrimage in the parish nearest you. To Jesus, through Mary.Jane Sonoda may be reached at (310) 619-4636 or [email protected].