Balloon Rosary Tradition Continues at Wyoming Area Catholic School

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EXETER, Pa. -- Students and teachers came together at one Catholic school in Luzerne County for a yearly tradition.

The outdoor assembly recognizes a religious observance coming up over the weekend.

Biodegradable balloons were filled by volunteers at the Wyoming Area Catholic School in Exeter to create a rosary.

The inflatable rosary is part of a yearly assembly that includes an outdoor prayer with all the students for the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary.

"It's nice to be here," said parent Irene Kovalesky. "It's a special day that the school community comes together."

Principal Eileen Rishcoff says she started the tradition six years ago to inspire the students.

"I wanted to teach them to love to pray the rosary, so I had to bring it down to a kid level," Rishcoff explained. "What better way to do that than with balloons?"

Once the balloon rosary is complete, the students come outside and pray the rosary together.

"We tell them that we're releasing their prayers to heaven when we let go of the rosary," Rishcoff said.

On a windy day, it didn't take long for the biodegradable rosary to reach the heavens.

Teachers at Wyoming Area Catholic School tell Newswatch 16 the theme for the prayer is peace.

"Peace in the world, peace in our town, peace in our home, and peace in our hearts," Rishcoff said.

Students tell us they also have other things on their minds.

"I'll be praying for all the people from the hurricane and affected by it and hoping that they get back to living like we live right now," said eighth grader Morgan Crake.

"All the people who like don't have a lot in the world," added eighth grader Caitlyn Maslar.

Caitlyn hopes her participation in the prayer sets an example for the younger kids at the school.

"It's a big responsibility to be in eighth grade and you want to show that to all the kids underneath you."


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