Huge response to family crusade
BY last Sunday more than 75,000 people in the Lancaster diocese had signed promises to say the Rosary daily as a family for the rest of their lives.
This is the result of the Family Rosary Crusade conducted by Fr. Patrick Peyton, during wich 7,000 men went from house to house urging Catholics to make the promise.
During Thursday and Friday telegrams announcing the .parish results were received at Bishop's House, and by thc week-end most of the totals were in.
When the announcement was made in all the churches on Sunday, it was confidently expected that the final total would be larger. Results had still to come in from some of the remoter parishes.
Winding up the Crusade, Bishop Flynn said in a pastoral letter last Sunday:
"No effort has beeVspared to make the Crusade an unqualified success. Out of it came art entire diocese consecrated anew each day to the Mother of God through the Family Rosary.
"In every parish the calibre of Leadership was the highest. The faith and burning zeal of our priests and laymen brought men to realise the need of family prayer if homes and nations are to survive.
" And though the Crusade organisation was composed entirely of men, its success was due in no small part to the work and prayers of the women and children.
"Truly the faithful of the Lancaster diocese have set an example worthy of imitation through the success of this Crusade."
Many non-Catholics signed the Rosary pledge.
In three parishes non-Catholics asked the priest if they might take the pledges to C.atholle homes. In each case they had started to say the family Rosary themselves.
Commenting on the results Bishop Flynn said : "The nturibers of pledges are far greater than anyone could have anticipated two months ago.
"This fact is attributable not merely to the appeal Fr. Peyton made or to the remarkable technique of his organisation, although these must take first place, but also the wholehearted cooperation of the clergy and lay workers.
NEW CAMPAIGN " We wish Fr. Peyton even greater success in future Crusades."
Although the Crusade is finished, plenty of work remains. A followup plan will be sent to all the priests ot the diocese when Fr. Peyton returns to his headquarters in America.
The figure given above represents largely the adults and children above school age, although in some cases parents signed the pledges on beha:f ef infants.
"In future children will have the opportunity of signing the family pledge themselves when they make their first Holy Communion.'