In a world filled with growing conflict and tensions, one Viatorian parish is focusing on the positive by immersing themselves in a devotion to Mary for the next year.

Fr. Dan Belanger blesses the new rosary garden at St. George Church.

Led by Fr. Daniel Belanger, CSV, pastor, and with the help of a committee that includes Viatorian associates, nearly every parish group has embraced the theme and looked for ways to embrace Mary in their work.

The many decorations include Marian banners hand painted by a parishioner.

From the liturgy, art and environment, and music ministries, to the garden club, family ministry, bereavement support, religious education students and even social justice; the life of Mary and her unconditional love have inspired the parish.

The year opened Sept. 7, with a candlelight procession of parishioners praying the rosary. Led by Fr. Dan, they wove through the parish’s campus, including through its new rosary garden, created by a parishioner.

A candlelight procession wove through the church grounds.

“Hail, Holy Queen,” Fr. Dan said. “With this prayer, St. George begins its year of Mary and how her life relates to us in 2020.”

Associate David Surprenant

At Mass, Associate David Surprenant reflected on Mary and the Viatorian connection, starting with its founder, Fr. Louis Querbes. He described how Fr. Querbes would assemble students before the shrine of Our Lady of Grace, at St. Nizier Church in Lyons, France, where they would sing songs and recite prayers to the Blessed Mother.

A replica of Our Lady of Grace can be found at several Viatorian institutions, including on the campus of St. George.

“The whole year is coordinated to reflect our devotion to Mary,” says Associate Susan Surprenant, “and how her life continues to speak to us.”