Share this story

 | Keishla Espinal

Parishioners Pray at a Local Park to Highlight the Reason for the Season

A group of believers from St. John the Vianney Parish in St. Petersburg gathered at a local park to publicly pray and give witness to their faith. Amid the park’s twinkling lights and holiday decorations, parishioners, clergy, and religious prayed the Rosary to remind people of the true reason for the season.

“This event is a good reminder about what the Advent and Christmas seasons are truly about,” said Rebecca Lorenzen, event coordinator and parishioner at St. John Vianney Catholic Church.

Lorenzen has been a parishioner at St. John Vianney for over thirty years and is the driving force behind this annual gathering, held on December 3rd this year.

“I usually walk and pray the rosary on the beach, where I live,” said Lorenzen. “People will notice me or sometimes people come up and ask me to pray for them. I just thought, I am just one person doing this and we could make it bigger.”

This is the sixth year that St. John Vianney Parish has organized a Rosary Walk at North Straub Park in downtown St. Petersburg during Advent. Thirty people attended, despite the forecast that called for showers.

Linda Wathen, a parishioner at St. John Vianney has been attending the Rosary Walks since they first started.

“This event is very important because we need to focus on Jesus during this season,” said Wathen. “It also builds community; we pray together, we’re witnessing to the public and it is just a beautiful thing.”

Once the rosary was completed, the group gathered below the Christmas tree and sang Silent Night.

If you would like to learn how to pray the rosary, click here.

To view photos of the Rosary Walk, click on the arrows below.

Walking With Mary 2023