On a warm, sunny morning, more than 300 students and staff from Our Lady of Lourdes School, West Islip, honored Mary by participating in a Marian prayer service after the parish’s 8:30 Mass on May 25 . Msgr. Brian McNamara, pastor, and Father Andrew Garnett, associate pastor, led a procession of children from the church to a grassy area where the service was to be celebrated.
Different groups of students took turns at the podium, reciting the rosary in a variety of languages, including Greek, Polish, Croatian, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Dutch, Gaelic, Latin and English. Second-graders dressed in their first Communion attire sang a special hymn to the Blessed Mother and one of the members of the class, Zoe Nolde, later climbed a ladder to crown a statue of Mary with a wreath of colorful flowers.
Photos by Gregory A. Shemitz
Msgr. Brian McNamara, left, parish pastor, and Father Andrew Garnett lead the procession of students from church.
Third-graders Emily Thompson, left, and Erin McCloud carry bouquets of flowers to the prayer service.
Second-grade girls, wearing their first Communion dresses, sing.
Second-grade boys, wearing their first Communion suits, sing.
Parents, teachers and students gather on the parish lawn for the service.
First-grader Frank Albarella holds a bouquet of flowers for Mary.
Second-grader Zoe Nolde, who recently received her first Communion, crowns a statue of Mary with a wreath of flowers.
Fourth-grader Courtney Ortiz gives a bouquet of flowers to principal Louise Jane Krol for placement near the statue of Mary.
Second-grader Aliah Costa, wearing her first Communion dress, descends from a platform following the service.
Bouquet of flowers are piled high near the base of a statue of Mary in front of the parish school.