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St. Anne's Service Offers Prayers Against Hurricanes

July, 24, 2005 — While the Virgin Islands observed Hurricane Supplication Day earlier this week, the prayers against hurricanes continued Saturday. About 120 parishioners of St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church marched in procession to the Frenchtown bayside where prayers were recited and a blessing of the fishing boats was held.
Worshippers marched from the chapel while reciting prayers and offering hymns of praise. Some carried banners complete with pictures of the various saints of the church.
Aside from prayers against bad weather, it was the celebration of the chapel's patronal feast. The men of the parish carried a statue of St. Anne bedecked in a bed of yellow flowers. Others carried a replica of a boat of yesteryear, signifying close ties to the fishing industry.
As Pastor Neil Scantlebury sprinkled the line of fishing boats with holy water, a light sprinkle came down in the form of a rain shower from the east. More prayers were offered in front of the shrine on the grounds of the chapel.
Scantlebury celebrated Holy Mass at the church after the procession and in a sermon noted the irony of the shower that came down during the blessing of the boats.
"As we blessed the boats, God blessed us with a sprinkle," he said.
Scantlebury urged residents to continue offering prayers against hurricanes and tropical weather systems. "We call on St. Anne to intercede for all of us, whether we use the sea for recreation or to make a living."
The actual feast day of St. Anne is July 26. The chapel, high atop Gallows Hill in Frenchtown, has been named for St. Anne since the 1920s when it was constructed.
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