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Rosaries in the News

Rosary garden a dream come true for church

Posted: October 11, 2013 - 7:25pm
Mary Franz, center with microphone, offers a prayer during the dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon for Aubry's Angels Rosary Garden, on the southeast side of Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 S.W. 25th. The garden was made in honor of Franz's daughter, Aubry Williams, who died at age 15 in 2009 from a brain tumor.  PHIL ANDERSON/THE CAPITAL-JOURNAL
Mary Franz, center with microphone, offers a prayer during the dedication ceremony Sunday afternoon for Aubry's Angels Rosary Garden, on the southeast side of Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 S.W. 25th. The garden was made in honor of Franz's daughter, Aubry Williams, who died at age 15 in 2009 from a brain tumor.

Before she died of a brain tumor at the age of 15 on Oct. 6, 2009, Aubry Williams dreamed of having a rosary garden at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 S.W. 25th, where she was an active member.

Those wishes weren’t forgotten, and four years to the day of her death, Aubry’s Angels Rosary Garden was dedicated this past Sunday afternoon in an outdoor ceremony on the southeast side of the church.

About 150 people — including many youths — took part in the ceremony.

Mary Franz, Aubry’s mother, thanked everyone for coming to the event and remarked how the garden was the result of many people assisting.

She said her daughter “wanted a place in Topeka where people could come, night and day, in times of joy or in times of sorrow” to pray and be close to the Lord.

Plans for the garden started shortly after Aubry died, with people from the Christ the King parish pitching in to see the project through to completion.

Many times, Franz said, it was clear that “the Blessed Mother” intervened on behalf of those working on the project.

One example, Franz said, came in the form of an 8-foot tall marble statue of the Virgin Mary, which is the centerpiece of the garden.

“We had a budget of about $9,000 for a 7-foot statue,” she said. “But when we found out how much one would cost, it was $35,000.”

Franz said members of the garden committee took it upon themselves to find other options. Before long, someone found a marble statue of Our Lady of Lourdes on the Internet. The price for the 1-ton statue had been $10,000 but was discounted to $4,500.

“She is the crowning glory of our garden,” Franz said.

Additional help came from local businesses, including Penwell-Gabel funeral homes, which offered some granite that was made into five benches in the garden — each one depicting one of the five mysteries in the Rosary.

Those planning the garden initially hoped for it to be on a 100-by-100 feet piece of land on the northeast part of the church grounds. However, the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas “had other plans” for that piece of ground, Franz said.

So the location was moved to the southeast side of the building, and though a little smaller — at 75-by-75 feet — than the original plan, Franz said there was no question it was the perfect place for the garden.

Tom Flynn, a member of Christ the King, was part of the project from the beginning.

Ground was broken in the fall of 2011, and Flynn said he was gratified to see it completed by this past weekend, but noted it would always be a work in progress, what with upkeep and new plants being added to the grounds.

“We built this with the intention of it being for the entire city,” Flynn said. “It’s here at Christ the King, but it’s an asset for the entire city.”

Flynn said those working on the project “have been very blessed,” noting that many of the supplies were given to the church for free or at greatly reduced prices.

Bob Conroy, another Christ the King member, said the Rosary is a prayer of contemplation and meditation that has a history dating back about 1,000 years.

He said people already have come to Aubry’s Angels Rosary Garden, even as the finishing touches were being made to it.

“We noticed people are coming here all the time,” Conroy said. “Just like yesterday — we were still doing some work on the garden, and a lady came up and went up to the statue and was intentionally in prayer. She prayed about three minutes, then got in her car and left.”

Though it is near S.W. 25th and Wanamaker, the garden — which is surrounded by a wrought-iron fence — has a tranquil feel to it, something not lost on those responsible for building it.

“This is the perfect place for the garden,” Conroy said. “It just feels right.”

Source:  http://cjonline.com/life/religion/2013-10-11/rosary-garden-dream-come-true-church


Facets of Faith: Prayer beads

At noon Saturday, Catholics gathered at thousands of rallies across the region and nation to pray the Rosary, part of the 2013 Public Square Rosary Crusade.

America Needs Fatima (americaneedsfatima.org/) promotes this annual event to ask God to solve problems we haven’t solved as humans.

“He will hear our prayers, especially if we pray the Rosary of His Blessed Mother. Without prayer, and specifically the Rosary, we will not find solutions to our nation’s many problems,” the website says.

Prayer ritual

The most identifiable part of the Rosary is a strand of rosary beads. A series of prayers, which includes the “Our Father,” “Hail Mary” and “Glory Be to the Father,” is guided by a patterned string of beads. A typical set has five sets of 10 beads separated by a single bead.

Source:  http://theadvocate.com/features/people/7270779-123/facets-of-faith-prayer-beads


Community prayer and the Holy Rosary

By Benny Balweg

Friday, October 11, 2013

PRAYER is electricity at work. It is energy at source, activated and activating. Before that, there is nothing but mere potency, just waiting to be tapped; an inert power, waiting to be harnessed.

Whoever has passed by the brims of the Ambuklao Dam on his way from Baguio to Aritao or vice versa has seen the giant dam, unmoving stored water. But then as the proper valve is opened to let go the heretofore immobile water towards a nozzle directed to a turbine, you can watch the start of miracles upon miracles of unbelievable phenomena that were formerly only in the minds of geniuses. The same with prayer; the spillway that is the mind of the person praying must be concentrated. Without concentration, there is no power needed to turn the turbine, meaning, we cannot achieve what we would like to achieve by the prayer.

Aside from concentration, there is in prayer the importantly helpful element of magnification. Power can be magnified or amplified. This is easily illustrated to the ordinary man in sound systems. Amplification in prayer is done through community prayer. For this reason we have churches. Church in the real sense is a community of people in prayer (communing in spirit with God), not the church building that we usually point to when we speak of church. But the amplification is not brought about just by the physical gathering but by the conviction that it holds as regards the power to attain an identified purpose. This conviction is commonly termed faith in religious congregations, an unquestioning trust or belief.

Outside the Holy Mass, the foremost community prayer among Roman Catholics is the Holy Rosary to which the month of October is officially dedicated. It is popular because it is simple, attractive and purposive. It combines meditation on the divine, verbal communication, and acknowledgement of our own inadequacy. It brings people together and enhances their camaraderie. The employment of the Lord's prayer, Our Father, itself indicates full faith in God's acceptance of what is prayer for. The Hail Mary bolsters that faith because of the intercession of a powerful and most pleasing mediatrix, no other that God's Mother herself.

One question often directed against Holy Rosary Prayer is the "repetitiousness" of the Hail Mary. This question only strengthens our position that prayer is energy that is activated and activating. The syllabicated sounds that we make are more for inducing and magnifying the power stored in us by the Creator who chose to work in us and through us. Whatever helps in that idea of co-creationism, whether it be for adoration, thanksgiving, atonement, reparation or petition, from the part of man, is welcome. The same response can be given to the other question why pray still through Christ's Mother and not directly through Christ Himself. Beside this, however, I would like to add to the answer by means of an allegorical observation.

Yesterday very early in the morning in Bauang, La Union, upon my arrival from the highlands, I saw my brother-in-law and active BARP member, Gerardo Cacayuran Ancheta, sitting in front of his computer where the prayer of the rosary was coming from. I was a bit surprised because for sure he was not just a kneel-and-fold-your-hands man even during his student days at SLU in Baguio. As an Engineering student, he was full of why, why, why in matters of doing things. But there he was, still immobile, not ready to be disturbed as he seemed sincerely interacting with the leader of the rosary prayer as practiced in Quinavite, Bauang during the month of October. He, Gerry? The operator, manager and sometimes the surrogate cashier of those unfeeling rice mill machines now joining in what was traditionally considered by some busy men as concern only for the old women?

I looked at the piles of sacks of grains ready to be milled or already milled and what grace they would bring to thousands of hungry clients. Did he learn from those machines? I smiled to myself, as I proceeded to the second-floor of the family house. The repetitious bog bog bog of the rice mills were not monotonous anymore, much less irritating. They began to sound like the sough-for repeated Hail Marys of the Holy Rosary: source of benefits, non-debatable for form.

Source:  http://www.sunstar.com.ph/baguio/opinion/2013/10/11/balweg-community-prayer-and-holy-rosary-308075


Bishop Sullivan leads rosary at Cherry Hill clinic

bishopandpeople-webBishop Dennis Sullivan greets pro-life activists after praying the rosary with them in front of the Cherry Hill Women's Center on Oct. 9.

Photo by James A. McBride

Standing with a crowd of up to 75 people here in front of the Women's Center Oct. 9, Bishop Dennis Sullivan led the rosary, asking Our Lady to intercede for a stop to abortion and healing for pregnant and post-abortive women.

Christians of all ages stood in prayer with the bishop on the sidewalk in front of the building. Many of the pro-life activists held pro-life signs, as well as literature for any mother coming to the clinic who would be willing to speak to them.
While some pro-lifers routinely pray at the clinic, many had come to participate in the national 40 Days for Life campaign, a pro-life effort that aims to end abortion through prayer, fasting and peaceful vigil.

"We cover the (Women's Center) with prayer; we're hoping to close it down," said Claire Howson, the Cherry Hill director for 40 Days for Life.

During the 40 Days for Life, which began Sept. 25 and lasts until Nov. 3, there are at least two people at the clinic praying the rosary each hour from 7 a.m.-7 p.m., each day.

Next to Howson stood nine members of the pro-life club from Camden Catholic High School in Cherry Hill. Each held a rosary.

"I believe in my faith and am protesting the death of innocent children," said Abigail Camden, a Camden Catholic senior.  "Everybody (should) have a chance to live," said Alexis Castro, also a senior.

Father Michael Goyette, director of Catholic Identity for Camden Catholic, explained that the rosary with the bishop is just the start of what is hoped to be a busy year for the Pro-Life club. A January trip to Washington, D.C. for the Pro-Life March, praying the rosary in school, and a baby clothing drive are also in the planning stages.

"It's good for students to stand up for life," he said. "And through their experience today, praying the rosary with Bishop Sullivan, they can come to believe in life even more."

Source:  http://www.catholicstarherald.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8119:bishop-sullivan-leads-rosary-at-cherry-hill-clinic&catid=102:latest-news


Catholics to mark 'Miracle of the Sun' Saturday with Rosary rallies

Carol McPhail | cmcphail@al.com By Carol McPhail | cmcphail@al.com
October 09, 2013 at 2:03 PM, updated October 09, 2013 at 2:21 PM
Our Lady of Fatima.jpgA statue of Our Lady of Fatima is shown near Birmingham, Alabama.

MOBILE, Alabama – Marking the 96th anniversary of the "Miracle of the Sun," Catholics everywhere, including along coastal Alabama, will gather at public rallies Saturday, Oct. 12, to pray the rosary.

Events are set for noon in Mobile, Daphne, Whistler, Saraland and Chickasaw. They will be among 10,000 rallies scheduled across the nation.

The Miracle of the Sun refers to an incident on Oct. 13, 1917, in which the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to 70,000 people in Fatima, Portugal, the final of several appearances that year. She urged repentance and the building of a chapel at the site.

According to the story, "Our Lady of Fatima" predicted an end to World War I, gave the children visions and lifted her hands to the sky just as a child, Lucia, exclaimed, “The sun!” The sun suddenly emerged from behind the clouds, breaking up a day of rain. Observers said the sun appeared to whirl.

The rallies will be at these locations: the Cathedral Portico in Mobile; Daphne City Hall; St. Bridget Catholic Church parking lot in Whistler; Wal-Mart on the grass next to the parking lot at Highway 158, Industrial Parkway in Saraland; and the corner of Grant Street and U.S. 43 in Chickasaw, according to the Archdiocese of Mobile.

The U.S. rallies are sponsored by America Needs Fatima, a nonprofit organization.

Source:  http://www.al.com/living/index.ssf/2013/10/catholics_to_mark_miracle_of_t.html


Oct 07 - Homily: Rosary For the Win

Uploaded by AirMaria on Oct 7, 2013

Fr. Elias and the the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. He outlines the history of the feast, starting with the Battle of Lepanto where the Christians won a naval battle against the Muslims despite being outnumbered thanks to Pope St Pius V, calling all Christians to pray the Rosary. He exhorts us to pray the Rosary today primarily to win the battle for our own sanctification and to enter heaven. Ave Maria! Mass: Our Lady of the Rosary.

Source:  http://www.catholic.org/video/watch.php?v=8778


Andrea Doria, Lepanto, and the Power of the Rosary

Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary  

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed reading history. Usually, I wasn’t reading the history that I was supposed to be reading in the classroom.  I really didn’t do that well in school until I served two hitches in the Marines and then decided to get out and go to college. Grade school and high school? Homework, schmomework!

When Christmas loomed in our house though, my mom knew what I was interested in and what presents to get me: military history books. Ships, planes, tanks, armies, navies and air forces were her sure-fire ticket to success for Frank. In one of those books I learned about the Andrea Doria.

The ironic thing is that this wasn’t a warship. But it was famous because of one of the most heroic stories of a rescue at sea, after a collision. The rescue was so impressive,  that it wound up in one of the books I was reading. It never, ever, occurred to me that Andrea Doria was a man, nor what importance he held in the history of Christendom, or in Western Civilization. I definitely had no idea what Our Lady of Guadalupe had to do with him either. I was a kid (a non-Catholic one, to boot), remember? I just figured it was just a girly name given to a cruise ship.

Now, though, I know better.

Today, you see, is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. It used to be commemorated as the Feast of Our Lady of Victory, because on this date in the year of Our Lord 1571, the Battle of Lepanto was fought, and won, by a smaller, underdog coalition of European Christian forces, primarily Catholic and Orthodox, with a smattering of Protestant support, over the larger, and seemingly invincible forces of the Islamic Ottoman Empire, led by Ali Pasha. Giovanni Andrea Doria was one of the admirals fighting on the Christian side, in command of the Fortuna. The Christian forces were called the Holy League, and were under the command of Don John of Austria.

This may be news to you, but the Muslim sultans had been cleaning the clocks of Christian nations, and conquering the same, since Islam arose following the collapse of the Roman Empire. All that hoopla about the Crusades? Well, the Crusades were a military failure. And wherever the Islamic forces won, which they did early and often, Christianity, and most, if not all of the freedoms that grow out of the Faith, ceased to be.

But don’t take my word for it, crack open a history book or two or visit North Africa, Spain and Portugal. To me, though, the most interesting part of this war story is that while preparing for the battle, Admiral Dorea went down to his stateroom and prayed in front of a reproduction of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. You may recall that image appeared on a certain Mexican peasants’ tilma in the year 1531. And,

Andrea Doria had kept a copy of the miraculous image of our Our Lady of Guadalupe given to him by King Philip II of Spain in his ship’s state room.

After this prayer break, the wind turned in favor of the Christian allies, giving them advantages, the much sought after weather guage, which was detrimental to the Ottoman forces.  As a result, the undermanned, but heavily armed Christians, of the Holy League, defeated the Ottoman forces in a naval battle for the very first time.


Big deal? G.K. Chesterton thought so, as he wrote a great poem about this event. Does prayer make a difference? Pope St. Pius V thought so, because prior to the battle, he asked all of Europe to pray the Rosary to ensure victory. According to the Wikipedia citation,

The Holy League credited the victory to the Virgin Mary, whose intercession with God they had implored for victory through the use of the Rosary.

Source:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/yimcatholic/2013/10/thanks-for-the-faith-of-andrea-doria-and-the-rosary-prayers-of-christiandom.html

Hundreds come together in prayer at Rosary Bowl NW
Attendees pray during Mass at Rosary Bowl NW.
Attendees pray during Mass at Rosary Bowl NW.
Tess Pimentel, Zena Martin and Alicia Garcia, from the Legion of Mary, teach attendees how to make their own rosaries. 
Tess Pimentel, Zena Martin and Alicia Garcia, from the Legion of Mary, teach attendees how to make their own rosaries. 
How to pray the Rosary

How to pray the Rosary

1. Make the sign of the Cross and pray, “The Apostles’ Creed.”

2. Pray the “Our Father.”

3. Pray 3 “Hail Marys.”

4. Pray the “Glory Be to The Father.”

5. Announce the First Mystery, then pray the “Our Father.”

6. Pray 10 “Hail Marys,” while meditating on the First Mystery.

7. Pray the “Glory Be to the Father.”

8. Announce the Second Mystery, then pray the “Our Father.” Repeat 6 and 7 and continue with the Third, Fourth and Fifth Mysteries in the same manner.

9. After completing the fifth Mystery, pray the “Hail, Holy Queen” on the center medal.

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Amen.

Our Father

Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Hail Mary

Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, mother of God. Pray for us sinners. Now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Glory Be to the Father

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Hail, Holy Queen

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of mercy, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy towards us. And after this our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, o Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. Amen.

More than a thousand people gathered today at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, clutching rosaries as they prayed for peace in the world and in their hearts.

The seventh annual Rosary Bowl NW, coordinated and staffed by volunteers from all over the Salem-Keizer and Portland-metro areas, brings Catholics together for a day of apostolic blessing with plenary indulgence, Mass, rosary, adoration, solemn vespers and benediction.

It’s all done for the love of Mary, said volunteer Deletta Fuller, a parishioner at St. Boniface Church in Sublimity.

“It’s a chance for us to get everyone together to pray for peace and to serve the Lord as best we can,” she said.

Archbishop Alexander Sample celebrated Mass, along with priests from other parts of the Archdiocese of Portland and seminarians from Mount Angel.

Held on the first Saturday in October, Rosary Bowl NW began in 2007. A group of lay Catholics was inspired by Servant of God Father Patrick Peyton, who promoted the family rosary and had a devotion to the Blessed Mother. Rosary Bowl NW promotes the motto popularized by Father Peyton: “The family that prays together stays together.”

Keynote speaker this year was Marian Father Leszek Czelusniak, director of the Marian Formation Center in Kibeho, Rwanda. Originally from Poland, Father Czelusniak and other Marian missionaries seek to provide financial, social and spiritual stability for a population healing after civil war and the genocide of nearly one million people in the 1990s.

A 15-person committee, led by President Rob Hale, Vice President Brian Beyer, and secretary Lisa Walker, works throughout the year to organize the large-scale prayer event, which is funded strictly through donations.

“The goal is to get more and more people every year,” said Beyer, who is in charge of the Eucharistic Miracles of the World exhibit. Set up in the large pavilion, the exhibit shares historical photographs and descriptions of church-recognized miracles that have taken place all over the world throughout history.

Ed Gustafson, a Knight of Columbus from St. Joseph the Worker Church, answered visitors’ questions about the Dominican Rosary Center in Portland. He attends the Rosary Bowl every year.

“I’m devoted to the rosary myself,” he said, adding that it’s important for others to understand the power of prayer. “The rosary is something you can focus on and help get yourself on the right path.”

Organizer Rob Hale said people travel all over the region to attend the event.

“There’s nothing else like it,” he said. “They enjoy being able to come and pray with so many other people.”

Source:  http://www.catholicsentinel.org/main.asp?SectionID=2&SubSectionID=35&ArticleID=22555






‘Magical,’ ‘voices of saints’: The rosary’s transformative power

October 2nd, 2013

Here is Part 2 of readers’ personal rosary stories, shared with Catholic San Francisco in anticipation of the rosary rally at Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, Oct. 12. Thanks for all your contributions. The stories were invited and edited by assistant editor Valerie Schmalz.

Praying the rosary brings perspective.

Praying the rosary hasn’t made me rich. Praying the rosary hasn’t made me famous. Praying the rosary hasn’t given me a promotion at work. So why do I pray the rosary? Praying the rosary regularly gives me perspective. I start to see things the way God wants me to see them. I don’t obsess over the little things in this world that aren’t important to my eternal salvation. Praying the rosary helps me focus on what is truly important – my relationship with God. It hasn’t made my problems go away, but it has given me the strength to endure and overcome them just as Jesus Christ did in the sorrowful mysteries.
Brent Villalobos, St. Robert Parish, San Bruno

Praying the rosary answered prayers throughout life.
The rosary is “magical.” It brings the life of Christ to a present form that I can enter into and be a part of. All of the characters have been an integral part of my life since my first Communion and so are viable and real for me. There are days when the Holy Spirit uses a specific mystery to help me ponder a bit more. When I pray the most holy rosary these days it is in front of the tabernacle. Today it was in a board and care facility with an 89-year-old new friend and she didn’t miss a beat. Both of us were very much at peace as we finished the litany to the Blessed Virgin.

Soon after my brother entered the seminary, we began to pray the family rosary together. Two of my older brothers were drafted during World War II, my sister entered the convent and with just my mom and dad and a younger brother I think the family rosary brought my brothers home from the South Pacific and China. Those in the religious life did their share for sure. It is nice to be able to share this.
Joan Nortz, St. Vincent de Paul Parish, San Francisco

The rosary brings protection
I was encouraged to recite the rosary daily after I discovered that my sister Rosemary C. Richards (1948-2012) had been reciting about eight rosaries a day – and that as a result she had made a tremendous improvement in her condition! I was also inspired by my friend David C. Lewis, who told me that he recited the rosary daily at 5 a.m. and after three years he said that he could hear the voices of saints! Many monasteries have a prayer hour at that time, and a friend told me that “Angels put a special blessing on the first rays of the sun before dawn.” So, I try to do rosaries at 5 a.m. or before dawn, and if I fall asleep, I just continue when I wake up!

The rosary is a very special prayer, and I consider it to be a “key” to obtaining divine intervention via Mother Mary, and there is no problem that she cannot remedy.

Just think: What if the U.S. presidents had requested that everyone recite the rosary in times of crisis?

I especially enjoy reciting the luminous mysteries, which were more recently made available (by Blessed John Paul II), and cover the active ministry period of Christ. I propose that the luminous mysteries be expanded from five to 10 mysteries.
G. Richards, St. Rita Parish, Fairfax

Hearing-impaired parents trusted to Mary, rosary
My parents, Joseph and Julia Guella gave me the gift of devotion to Mary through the rosary. 
My mother was born on Oct. 7, the feast of the holy rosary. Mom had great devotion to Mary and passed it on to her children. My parents were hearing impaired. They could speak but they could not hear. We did not have a car. Both sides of the family were afraid for my parents’ safety and wished they would not travel.  They had great faith and trust that God would protect them. Mom always said, “I have the rosary in my hand and I pray it as I travel, I am safe.”

I feel the same way, I have a rosary on my nightstand, in my desk at St. Timothy’s, on the altar behind my desk and in my pocketbook. Fingering the rosary, especially during sleepless nights, makes me feel safe.
Trudy Marie Guella, secretary, St. Timothy Parish, San Mateo

Source:  http://www.catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=26&id=61802


Rosary Rally an act of faith

September 29, 2013 11:54PM
EILEEN GODIN Times Leader Correspondent


WILKES-BARRE – Weaving through the streets of downtown Wilkes-Barre, hundreds of area Catholics participated in a Rosary Rally procession with a Pilgrim Virgin Fatima statue on Sunday afternoon.

This was the 37th annual Rosary Rally held by the combined chapters of the Wyoming Valley Knights of Columbus.

Christopher Calore, Rosary Rally chairperson and member of the Knights of Columbus, Plymouth, Chapter 984, said the procession is a way for Catholics to show their faith and offer prayers for the sins of the world.

St. Mary’s message was to make repentance of sins of the world through prayer and self sacrifice, he said.

As the Knights of Columbus, in full-dress uniform, lead the procession, rosaries of all colors and styles dangled from the hands of parishioners who were reciting the appropriate prayer each bead represented.

-The Pilgrim Virgin Fatima statue was carried through the streets and rested in front of the congregation in St. Mary’s Church.

Calore said the reaction of downtown residents and patrons as the procession walked past was one of surprise.

“We passed store fronts and pubs,” he said. “Many would come outside and watched. I think it reminded them of the Catholic processions of their childhood.”

The procession began at 2 p.m. in the parking area of Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre, over East South Street, to South Main Street, over East Market Street and down South Washington Street to St. Mary’s Church.

Marion Devotions were at 3 p.m. followed by a Mass at 3:20 p.m. with Monsignor Thomas Banick presiding.

Inside St. Mary’s, people filtered in, greeting one another. Calore estimated there were about 300 or more people.

“This was a better turnout than last year,” he said.

Banick told of the three messages of the Fatima that were given to three shepherd children in Portugal from May through October in 1917. The Pilgrim Virgin Fatima statue is said to be designed based on the descriptions from the children.

Calore said one of the three miracles predicted by St. Mary, which was recorded, was after a long stretch of rainy weather; the sun came out and spun violently around, drying the clothes of the people where they stood.

It was noted the sun seemed to get closer, Calore said.

Source:  http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/870313/Rosary-Rally-an-act-of-faith



What makes the rosary special for you?

September 25th, 2013


In preparation for the rosary rally Oct. 12 at Civic Center Plaza, San Francisco, we asked readers to share their personal stories about the rosary. Here are some of your responses, compiled by Valerie Schmalz, with more to come in the Oct. 4 issue.

Young adult convert says the rosary
I am a young adult convert to the Catholic faith, so I didn’t grow up with the rosary. However, I can remember in college learning how to pray my first Hail Mary on vacation with my friends, and knowing that Our Lady had a hand in bringing me to the church. I still struggle to pray a full rosary, but hope one day it will become a part of my daily prayer life, and can imagine teaching it to my future children. For now, I appreciate the rosary most as a beautiful, visual sign of our universal faith.
Chasa Toliver, St. Dominic Parish, San Francisco

Rosary was hard to start
My promise to Our Lady to pray the rosary every day proved difficult. A friend who prayed two rosaries every day serenely told me that she could not get to sleep at night unless she had finished. I could only wish for that! In looking for a way to fulfill my promise I tried iPhone apps and rosary audio files. I joined the Dominican Rosary Confraternity in order to add my prayers to those of the other members. When completing a daily rosary became somewhat easier, I also took on one decade of a “universal” rosary. Now, after five years, I look forward to my time with the rosary. Sometimes I may not be able to concentrate fully, but when my mind wanders during prayer these thoughts often bear good fruit in my life.
Mary Bordi, Our Lady of Refuge, La Honda

Makes rosaries for sanity
I make and repair rosaries for sanity. I got started about seven years ago when I needed a rosary for my uncle’s rosary (before his funeral Mass). So, in answer to the question, as I make my rosaries, the beads are no longer just beads, they become my connection with our Blessed Mother. Sometimes, I will say a decade or two or just have a conversation with her. The Blessed Mother has helped me through some trying times in my life. She has always been there talking to me. Thanks to the rosary making, I turn my mind off to listen.
Debi Gould, ‘Rosary Lady’ of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, San Francisco

Youth director says a rosary commuting to work
“I say a daily rosary on my way to work driving from Novato to San Francisco. Let’s just say it’s my way of meditating and preparing for the day. Each day I pray the rosary, it gives me strength and energy. Plus, I pray for my family, the sick, the dead, peace on earth and most important, my unending love for God. Quite simply, it’s my way of exercising without going to a gym.
Randy DeMartini, assistant director, Salesian Boys & Girls Club, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish

Praying during workouts at the gym
As a child, growing up in the Salesian parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in North Beach, I learned to pray the rosary often by the good Salesian Sisters who taught us about its mysteries and gifts, its spiritual benefits and power. October was rosary month and we attended daily Mass, and certainly prayed the rosary daily as well. As an adult, I am afraid to say that I do not pray it often enough. Saturday mornings at the gym is one regular time for me. I can be working out physically and spiritually on a machine! I also like to pray it in the car while I am driving and in the quiet before morning Mass. But my favorite place and time is to pray the Sunday Glorious Mysteries on a walk or a hike in nature. Mary, help of Christians, pray for us!
Frank Lavin, Sts. Peter and Paul Parish

Praying on hiking trail in Marin
I enjoy saying the rosary on a hiking trail near the Corte Madera wetlands preserve. Nature is a great gift for contemplating the rosary’s mysteries. Often, I run into other people out walking their dogs. I keep a low profile but continue to humbly pray as they pass by. My strong sense is that quiet, public prayer is an effective witness to our faith. In the distance, the trail overlooks San Quentin prison. How many of us are imprisoned by work or our lower appetites? The rosary provides the grace to free us. But its liberating power goes well beyond that. Our Lady has said that the rosary is the instrument she will use to crush her adversary’s proud head. First, she will chain Satan and restrict his movement. Ultimately, she will completely bind him in its chains so her angels can cast the prince of this world into the abyss. The rosary is the chief weapon for the triumph of the immaculate heart of Mary.
Steven Patrick Kasch, St. Sebastian Parish, Greenbrae

‘Morning walk is favorite time to pray’
My favorite place to pray the rosary is on my morning walk. I didn’t always like the rosary, thinking it was a bunch of mindless repetition of aves and therefore offensive to Mary, until a wise and reverent priest – Father Anthony Rosevear – reminded me that Mary points us toward her son, and would not be offended if repeating aves brings us closer to him. This was a breakthrough for me, and I began to pray the rosary more frequently and spend a lot of time meditating on the mysteries.
Chris Guirlinger, Reno, Nev.

‘A gradual opening of my spiritual eyes’
I never had a draw toward praying the rosary because I never understood its purpose. It wasn’t until much later in life, when I started dating a man with a strong devotion to the rosary, that I was able to understand. It was like a gradual opening of my spiritual eyes – the more we prayed it together, and the more I started praying it on my own, deeper layers of revelations began to happen. By meditating on the different mysteries, the Blessed Mother has helped me to connect the experiences in my life to events in Jesus’ life so that I could relate to him in a much more personal way.
Annabelle Benin, Our Lady of Peace, Santa Clara

From September 27, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco.

Source:  http://www.catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=26&id=61776


Bishop Bacani urges watching less telenovelas, more prayer

 By Jocelyn R. Uy
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr.

MANILA, Philippines — As violence and corruption beset the country, a Catholic bishop is calling on the faithful to watch less telenovelas, pray the rosary more often and leave behind the culture that breeds selfishness.

At a recent Mass during the visit of the international pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima, Novaliches Bishop Emeritus Teodoro Bacani Jr. said sparing 15 minutes allotted to watching telenovelas to say the rosary was not hard to do at all.

“Since we can do it, let’s shorten our telenovela time a bit… let’s use 15 minutes to pray the rosary in our homes… so that you will have peace,” CBCP News, the official news service of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines quoted the retired bishop as saying in his homily.

He said the rosary was the Virgin Mary’s gift to the Church to bring peace to one’s country, home and to oneself.

Bacani addressed some 2,000 people who gathered last week at the San Fernando de Dilao Parish in Paco, Manila to venerate the 66-year-old image of Our Lady of Fatima, which will be visiting 41 dioceses all over the Philippines until December 18.

In his homily, Bacani also observed that the “I, me and myself” mindset was also becoming evident in the excessive “selfie” snapshots posted on various social networking sites especially by the young people.

He was referring to photographs taken by one’s self with the use of a smartphone or digital camera.

“We are selfish, this is what we need to do away with—I, me and myself — those who keep on taking ‘selfie’ photos,” said Bacani.

“I joked some people, telling them, ‘You’re all about picture-taking, but never about picture-giving. This is the world today, it’s all about taking,” he said, also taking a swipe at those in power— not for taking “selfie” photos, but for taking from the pork barrel funds.

He said the “selfie” phenomenon showed an “unnatural self-centeredness” in the society, which also revealed a culture that needed God more than ever.

“What God wants to say is leave your selfishness. This is what you need to leave and live in God instead because in God [there] is true peace,” added the prelate, noting that praying the rosary and turning away from selfish ways were part of the message the Virgin Mary gave to the three children in Fatima, Portugal in 1917.

With too much corruption and violence happening in the country and in other parts of the world, Bacani said it was important that the faithful recognize peace as something God-given. It can only be achieved through prayer and penance, he said.

“The original meaning of penance is to return to God,” said the bishop, dismissing the notion  that penance must be done through extreme physical mortification like self-inflicted pain. “Prayer and penance is a formula to lasting peace,” he added.

Source:  http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/494229/bishop-bacani-urges-watching-less-telenovelas-more-prayer



Thousands expected at annual Arizona Rosary Celebration



Thousands expected at annual Arizona Rosary Celebration 

Joyce Coronel | September 18, 2013
Catholics carry a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during the 2009 Arizona Rosary Celebration. Our Lady of Fatima will be honored during this year’s event at the Phoenix Convention Center. Oct. 13 is her feast day. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN FILE PHOTO)

Catholics carry a statue of Our Lady of Fatima during the 2009 Arizona Rosary Celebration. Our Lady of Fatima will be honored during this year’s event at the Phoenix Convention Center. Oct. 13 is her feast day. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN FILE PHOTO)

In one of the largest public rosary gatherings in the nation, Arizona Catholics will once again gather to honor the Blessed Mother under her title of Our Lady of Fatima. The colorful, annual event known as the Arizona Rosary Celebration takes place Oct. 12-13.

It’s the 37th annual celebration that calls Catholics from around the state to unite in praying the rosary. This year’s event falls on the 96th anniversary of the last apparition of the Blessed Mother to the three children of Fatima. Her messages there implored that the faithful pray the rosary in reparation and for the conversion of sinners.

Thousands of Catholics from all over the state are expected to attend the two-day celebration that takes place in Tucson and Phoenix. Fr. James Presta of Chicago, who will deliver the keynote address at both locations, holds numerous degrees, including a doctoral degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical University Marianum in Rome.

Mario Fierros, one of those who helped organize ARC 2013, said it’s particularly important for the faithful to participate this year.

“Our nation is at a crossroads — our moral values and freedom of religion are at stake,” Fierros said. “The rosary is the weapon for this spiritual battle. Evil succeeds when good people do not do anything.”

John Garcia, of the Knights of Columbus, said he thought it was fortuitous that the Arizona Rosary Celebration falls on the Fatima anniversary this year.

“Mary’s message to the children — that we need reparation for our sins, we need conversion and we need to come together in prayer — that’s urgent today too,” Garcia said.

The blessing procession of parish groups, religious orders, lay organizations and families, one of the noteworthy features of the Arizona Rosary Celebration, will again delight the crowd as participants carry colorful banners, statutes and images of Our Lady forward and past the stage where they will receive the blessing of their respective bishop.

As in previous years, there’s a poster contest. Children from Catholic schools and religious education programs throughout both dioceses are invited to create a poster for the event. The winners of the contest — 24 from each diocese — will attend a pizza party luncheon with their respective bishops in December.

The Arizona Rosary Celebration is sponsored by the Knights of Columbus Arizona State Council. The Diocese of Tucson and the Diocese of Phoenix as well as the Legion of Mary, Catholic Daughters of the Americas and many other lay organizations also assisted with planning the Arizona Rosary Celebration 2013.

Arizona Rosary Celebration

When: 2 p.m. Oct. 13

Where: Phoenix Convention Center, Halls F and G, 100 N. Third Street, Phoenix

Source:  http://www.catholicsun.org/2013/09/18/thousands-expected-at-annual-arizona-rosary-celebration/


 St. Mary's Youth join in balloon rosary

  • By: Dan Slabaugh

  • August 31, 2013


Dan Slabaugh | For The Republic More than 40 children gathered at 9 a.m. Aug. 18 in the courtyard at St. Mary's Catholic Church in North Vernon to pray the Rosary together. Each child recited a prayer before releasing a balloon into the clear, blue sky.

NORTH VERNON — Children of St. Mary’s Catholic Church sent a rainbow of colors heavenward while participating in a new twist on an old tradition: a balloon rosary.

About 40 children gathered in the church courtyard after Mass the morning of Aug. 18. The balloons represented the beads on a traditional physical rosary, which looks like a long necklace with a crucifix and 59 beads. The person reciting the prayer uses the beads to count prayers and focus their meditation.

In Roman Catholic tradition, the rosary is a series of prayers representing meditations on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The traditional origin of the rosary prayers is credited to Saint Dominic, who experienced a vision of the Virgin Mary. Saint Dominic passed on Mary’s cycle of prayers to the Catholic Church, which formally recognized it in 1214.

The prayers used in the rosary are familiar to Christians as the repeated prayers: Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Pater Noster (Our Father) and Gloria Patri (Glory Be).

The children are enrolled in St. Mary’s religious education program “Jump Start.” After reciting the rosary, the children went into their

classrooms with their teachers to receive their lesson for the week. This is the first of what the teachers hope will become at least an annual event for the religious education program at St. Mary’s.

The Rev. Jonathan Meyer, pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, said that the prayers of children are special. The release of colorful balloons is akin to sending flowers toward heaven bearing the children’s prayers.

Source:  http://www.therepublic.com/view/local_story/Jennings-St-Mary-s-youth-join-_1378001978


 The Mysteries of Light of the Holy Rosary: First and Second Mystery

The reflections on the Mysteries of Light of the Holy Rosary of the Virgin Mary are excerpted from a Prayer Booklet written by Deacon Keith Fournier

The Mysteries of Light or Luminous Mysteries are now placed between the Joyful and sorrowful mysteries in our recitation of the Rosary on a sequential basis.  Each of these mysteries points the believer to the central meaning of the Mission of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ. While the believer asks for the prayerful intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, he or she is invited to reflect on the meaning of the mystery presented and allow the Holy Spirit to draw them more deeply into its intended effect in their own lives as they seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and participate in His ongoing mission, in and through the Church, for the sake of the world. 

 In 2002, Blessed John Paul II released an apostolic letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in which he referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. He also proposed that the practice of praying the rosary would be enhanced by additional mysteries of light for reflection

In 2002, Blessed John Paul II released an apostolic letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in which he referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. He also proposed that the practice of praying the rosary would be enhanced by additional mysteries of light for reflection.

CHESAPEAKE, VA (Catholic Online) - In 2002, Blessed John Paul II released an apostolic letter on the Rosary of the Virgin Mary (RVM) in which he referred to the Rosary as a compendium of the Gospel. He also proposed that the practice of praying the rosary would be enhanced by additional mysteries of light for reflection. He wrote:

"Moving on from the infancy and the hidden life in Nazareth to the public life of Jesus, our contemplation brings us to those mysteries which may be called in a special way "mysteries of light". Certainly the whole mystery of Christ is a mystery of light. He is the "light of the world" (Jn 8:12).

Yet this truth emerges in a special way during the years of his public life, when he proclaims the Gospel of the Kingdom. In proposing to the Christian community five significant moments - luminous mysteries - during this phase of Christ's life, I think that the following can be fittingly singled out: (1) his Baptism in the Jordan, (2) his self-manifestation at the wedding of Cana, (3) his proclamation of the Kingdom of God, with his call to conversion, (4) his Transfiguration, and finally, (5) his institution of the Eucharist, as the sacramental expression of the Paschal Mystery. Each of these mysteries is a revelation of the Kingdom now present in the very person of Jesus."


  The Mysteries of Light or Luminous Mysteries are now placed between the Joyful and sorrowful mysteries in our recitation of the Rosary on a sequential basis.  Each of these mysteries points the believer to the central meaning of the Mission of the Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

While the believer asks for the prayerful intercession of Mary, the Mother of the Lord, he or she is invited to reflect on the meaning of the mystery presented and allow the Holy Spirit to draw them more deeply into its intended effect in their own lives as they seek to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and participate in His ongoing mission, in and through the Church, for the sake of the world.

First Mystery of Light: The Baptism of the Lord in the Jordan

"Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to deter him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented. As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." (Mt 3,13-17)

"The Baptism in the Jordan is first of all a mystery of light. Here, as Christ descends into the waters, the innocent one who became "sin" for our sake (cf. 2Cor 5:21), the heavens open wide and the voice of the Father declares him the beloved Son (cf. Mt 3:17 and parallels), while the Spirit descends on him to invest him with the mission which he is to carry out." (Blessed John Paul II, RVM 21)From antiquity, the Christian church has pointed to the Baptism of the Lord in the river of Jordan as the event wherein the full plan of God for His Church and the entirety of creation itself is made manifest. It is not only the beginning of the Lord's public ministry; it is the beginning of the new creation, now being re-constituted in Him.

The beloved disciple John wrote in His first letter: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope based on him makes himself pure, as He is pure. (1 John 3:1-3)

We shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is? How?  When we live in Him, we grow in holiness and manifest His glory for others. We see Him and he sees us. We know Him and He knows us. He lives in us and we live in Him. This process of conversion and transformation begins at our Baptism. He initiates the relationship, and it continues through our communion with Him in prayer, His Word, the sacraments and our life in the Church. 

Through our own baptism we are incorporated into Christ. We enter into His Mystical Body, the Church. We live in Him for the sake of the world. We begin to see Him as He is and in the continuing encounter which that mystery entails, we become "like Him" for others. We become a manifestation, an epiphany of God in a world stumbling along in the darkness of sin. We also become immersed in God.

The word Epiphany is not often used in Eastern Christianity, Orthodox or Catholic. It is replaced by the word Theophany, which in Greek literally means the manifestation of God. The Theophany speaks to the vocation of the whole Church and of every Christian to be immersed in God and bring the whole human race and the world along with us.

The Apostle Peter writes in his second letter to the dispersed early Christians that we become "partakers of the divine nature". (2 Peter 1:4) The Baptism of Jesus reveals the Holy Trinity to the world. The heavens open, the voice of the Father speaks to the Son and the Spirit descends! We are invited into a participation in that life of the Trinity - beginning now, through our Baptism into Jesus Christ! Our life can become a deepening experience of that participation, as we cooperate with grace.

The waters of the Jordan are sanctified by the Son. In the first creation, God created the heavens and the earth through the Son. Now, that Son come among us as a man goes down into those waters and re-creates the world. From antiquity, the Church has found a deeper meaning in this Baptism in the River Jordan. Symbolically, all water is sanctified when God the Son is immersed into it. Just as the Spirit hovered over the waters of the original creation, the Spirit now hovers over these waters when the Son, through whom the entire universe was made, is immersed. (Genesis 1:9/ St. John 1:1-5)

In Eastern Christian Churches, when this feast is celebrated, waters are blessed. In the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches the clergy lead the faithful to rivers and bless the waters. Into these waters, through which the people of Israel were once delivered, the entire human race is now invited to follow Jesus in every Baptismal Font, in every Church, for all eternity.

In Christ, all water has been sanctified. What was once the means of God's judgment at the time of Noah has become the fountain where men and women are delivered from sin and made new! The heavens open and the Holy Spirit appears as a sign of the beginning of the new creation in each new life. Through Christ's Baptism the waters of the whole earth have been sanctified and the Church is given new water for her saving and sanctifying mission.

In the waters of the Jordan, the Trinity, the Communion of Divine persons, in perfect unity, is revealed. In the great liturgical prayer of the East the Church proclaims: "When Thou, O Lord was baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest... O Christ our God who has appeared and enlightened the world, Glory to Thee."

The waters of Baptism now flow with mercy. The Creator who spoke those waters into being through the Son, in Him condescended to take on our humanity and be immersed in the waters of the Jordan! Once, the Spirit hovered over the waters. Now the Word Incarnate descends into Jordan's water making it holy. In this Baptism, Jesus begins the re-creation of the universe. We who are now baptized into Him are called to share in this work. The public mission and ministry of Jesus began at the waters of Jordan. It continues now through His Church, which is His Body, of which we are members.

Second Mystery of light: The Self-revelation of the Lord at the Wedding Feast of Cana

"On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus' mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus' mother said to him, "They have no more wine."

"Dear woman, why do you involve me?" Jesus replied, "My time has not yet come." His mother said to the servants, "Do whatever he tells you."

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, "Fill the jars with water"; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, "Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet." They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew.

Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, "Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now." This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him." (Jn 2,1-12)

"Apart from the miracle at Cana, the presence of Mary  remains in the background.  The Gospels make only the briefest reference to her occasional  presence at  one moment  or  other  during the preaching of Jesus (cf. Mk 3:31-5; John 2:12), and they give no indication that she was present at the Last Supper and the institution of the Eucharist.

Yet the role she assumed at Cana in some way accompanies Christ throughout his ministry. The revelation made directly by the Father at the Baptism in the Jordan and echoed by John the Baptist is placed upon Mary's lips  at  Cana, and it becomes the great  maternal  counsel which Mary  addresses to the Church of every age: "Do whatever he tells you." (Jn. 2:5) This counsel is a fitting introduction to the words and signs of Christ's public ministry - and it forms the Marian foundation of all the 'mysteries of light'. (Blessed John Paul II, RVM 21)"

It is no accident that the first miracle the Lord performed, the first sign of His Kingdom, during his earthly ministry occurred in the context of a Wedding. The Nuptial mystery at the heart of marriage reveals the very meaning and structure of of human existence. The Sacrament of Marriage is a sign of Christ's love for the Church which is His bride. Jesus is the bridegroom. Each Holy Mass, each participation in the Most Holy Eucharist is a participation in the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.(Revelation 19:6-9) 

It is also no accident that the first miracle of turning water into wine occurred at the request of the Mother of the Lord. The prayers of a Mother are powerful. Mary is the Mother of the Lord. She is also our mother because she is the Mother of the Church. He entrusted her to us from the cross. (Mt. 19:25-27)

There is a nuptial meaning to our life. Our destiny is prefigured prophetically in Christian marriage. God fashioned us out of love and for love. We have been created, - spiritually as well as physically - for the complete gift of ourselves to the other. Through that gift we also give ourselves to God in Christ - for the sake of the world.

This is why St Paul's letter to the Ephesians is such a fertile ground for instruction on Christian marriage. Its singular intent is to communicate the profound mystery of Christian marriage - God thought first of the spousal union of Christ and His bride, the Church, and He then made husband and wife to look like it, reflect it and make it present sacramentally!

In the order of creation, something of this plan hidden from the ages (Ephesians 3:8-9) is revealed. However in Christian Marriage, through its participation in and with Jesus Christ, it is all elevated and transformed. It is a Sacrament, a vehicle of grace. The good of the human relationship of marriage becomes a real, substantial participation in Trinitarian Love! God's eternal plan is to marry the Church.

Christian Marriage is a model, a mystery and a mission. It reveals the unfolding of Gods loving plan for the entire human race. Nature is for grace and the order of creation is transformed by the order of redemption. The married couple lives their vocation now in Christ and participates in His very life and action with His bride, the Church. This is the great mystery Paul so profoundly alludes to in his text. Christian marriage is a vocation, a call to holiness, and a mission in and for the world.

The nuptial mystery also lies at the heart of the Christian vocation to consecrated celibacy. But whereas the participation in this mystery called Christian Marriage is mediated through a spouse, in the life to come it will be unmediated!

The Scriptures make it clear; there will be no specific marriages in heaven. Rather, we will be like the angels. (St. Matthew 22:30) Marriage is the eschatological destiny of all Christians, because we will be married to Christ. All human love will be perfected and comleted in the fullness of God's love.

It is within this understanding that consecrated celibacy is a prophetic and eschatological participation in that eternal union. It is the immediate or unmediated spousal love of God, in Christ, made possible in the here and now by grace.

Source:  http://www.catholic.org/homily/yearoffaith/story.php?id=52269


Eagle Scout's efforts lead to walkable rosary garden in Franklin Park

Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal

By Donna S. Dreeland

Published:  Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal</em></div>Eagle Scout Thomas Osheka of Marshall Township stands by the cross in the rosary garden at SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park on the day the rosary garden was dedicated, Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013. Osheka created the garden as his Eagle Scout project. <div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal</em></div>Ed Adams of Franklin Park (left) follows the Rev. Joseph McCaffrey on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, as McCaffrey blesses a rosary garden that Eagle Scout Thomas Osheka of Marshall Township created at SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park as a community-service project. Every bead of this walkable rosary is represented by a circular concrete stone or an engraved granite square set near church’s main drive. <div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal</em></div>Eagle Scout Thomas Osheka of Marshall Township leads a prayer Thursday, Aug. 15, 2013, during the dedication of a rosary garden at SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park. The rosary garden was Osheka's Eagle Scout project. <div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Randy Jarosz | For the North Journal</em></div>Ava Taylor of Economy Borough examines her rosary during the dedication Aug. 15, 2013, of a rosary garden at SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park
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 Eagle Scout Thomas Osheka of Marshall Township stands by the cross in the rosary garden at SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park on the day the rosary garden was dedicated. Thursday, Aug 15, 2013.  Osheka created the garden as his Eagle Scout project.

At SS. John & Paul Catholic Church in Franklin Park, each step can be a prayer.  Through the efforts of Eagle Scount Thomas Osheka, 16, of Marshall ownship, a rosary garden has been installed on the church property.  Every bead of this walkable rosary is represented by a circular concrete stone or an engraved granite square set near the church's mail drive.  In 59 steps, prayer and meditation can be a kind of physical exercise.

 “You're walking it, saying it and thinking it,” said Osheka, a son of Susan and Jerry Osheka. “All your senses are involved, and you can feel the wind through the trees.”

The rosary garden was dedicated Aug. 15, the holy day for the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, after the church's Mass. The Osheka family was part of the gathering.

The Rev. Joseph R. McCaffrey, pastor of the church, said he appreciated Osheka's idea when he heard about it in June 2012.

One of the requirements that must be met to become an Eagle Scout, the highest Boy Scout rank, is completion of a community-service project.

“It was a great idea,” he said. “We have beautiful grounds, and this will make them more inviting by (welcoming) people to pray.”

And the collaboration began. Osheka, a junior at North Allegheny, clocked 152 hours of work on the project, and fellow Scouts, his parents and brother, volunteers from the Legion of Mary and specialists at Donatelli Memorials in Ross Township provided another 321.

“We wanted something easy to maintain and comfortable to use,” the pastor said.

This rosary reinforced old connections when the new parish was decreed on Feb. 12, 1994. Ultimately, the parish was named not only for St. John and St. Paul but also in honor of the late Pope John Paul II, McCaffrey explained.

The pope, now being considered for sainthood, had such a deep devotion to Mary that he marked religious year 2002-03 as the Year of the Rosary and created the Luminous Mysteries that guide the prayers from one set of beads on the rosary to the next.

In the rosary garden, the pope's coat of arms is engraved in black granite. The cross is made up of six squares of white granite, and a statue of the Holy Family donated by a parish family connects the chain.

The original budget was $600, Osheka said, but one day of fundraising at the church produced $2,012 for the project.

“The parishioners are fantastic,” he said.

Extra funds allowed him to build a box for the informational pamphlets he had printed and to buy lots of mulch to place the stones of the cross on a slight incline. Once all of his bills were paid, he was able to return $264 to the parish.

When the rosary was in place in late December, Osheka, focused and sure-footed, prayed through the steps.

“Once you walk around the garden, you have a sense of accomplishment and connection with God,” he said. “You end up next to the statue, and it's powerful.”

While it took a lot of planning, Osheka said, he learned a few lessons, especially those involving communications and networking. He'll leave the task of additional landscaping to others, but the winding path will remain a journey for devout souls.

“With a little thought and a little prayer, it came together nicely,” McCaffrey said.

Source:  http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yournorthhills/yournorthhillsmore/4643293-74/osheka-rosary-garden#axzz2ejeQLd1J


Countdown to 33 Day Rosary Challenge

Contact: David N. Calvillo, Real Men Pray the Rosary, 956-664-1000

MCALLEN, Texas, Aug. 15, 2013 /Christian Newswire/ -- Real Men Pray the Rosary and friends throughout the world launch a countdown towards the start of a "33 day Rosary Challenge." With this initiative, RMPTR encourages all Catholic faithful to pray the Rosary daily for 33 days. We all need a challenge and what better way to begin a challenge than with the help of our Blessed Mother. Please consider joining us in this worldwide prayer initiative. The start of the 33 day initiative begins on August 29th. The 33 days concludes on October 1, the Month of the Rosary. David N. Calvillo, co-founder of the group said: "As Popes throughout history have told us, praying the Rosary provides 'genuine training in holiness.' Who wouldn't want Mary as their spiritual trainer? Join us in praying the Rosary daily. Will you take the challenge? Invite someone you love.  

Real Men Pray The Rosary, Inc. is a nonprofit global apostolate dedicated to "promoting the Rosary with conviction... in the light of Scripture, in harmony with the liturgy, and in the context of our daily lives." RMPTR was founded by David & Valerie Calvillo in 2009 to promote the Rosary among all Christians, especially men. They are the co-authors of a book entitled "Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer" published by Ave Maria Press.

For more information, please contact David N. Calvillo or Valerie Calvillo at david@rmptr.org or at 956.664.1000. You may also visit the 33 day Rosary Challenge page: www.33dayRosaryChallenge.com

Source:  http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/4186972621.html


Balloon rosary launches at St. Mary Church: Students participate in a summer program

Students at St. Mary Catholic Parish in Port Huron launch a balloon rosary.Students at St. Mary Catholic Parish in Port Huron launch balloon rosary.

The staff at St. Mary Catholic Parish in Port Huron has stepped away from the traditional summer Vacation Bible School.

“We wanted to get more adult participation,” Mary Shoudy said. “So we combined it.”

Shoudy is the assistant at St. Mary to Pat Isaacson, director of religious education. They came up with a three-week program — on Wednesdays — with the theme of “Stepping up Closer to Jesus.”

The purpose, Shoudy said, was to foster “hopefully a closer relationship with Jesus Christ. That’s the whole thing.”

The program ended Wednesday with a potluck dinner to foster community, Isaacson said, followed by a recitation of the rosary and a balloon release.

The balloons were arranged as the beads on a rosary.

“Our theme tonight is ‘Stepping up Closer to Jesus through Prayer,’” Isaacson said. “The adults will be out here praying it with us.”

Catholics who pray the rosary can arrange the decades — five groups of 10 prayers — around what are called “mysteries.” The mysteries are events from the life of Jesus.

Wednesday, the children in the program acted out the Five Joyful Mysteries from Jesus’ childhood: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity, the Presentation and the Finding in the Temple.

Isaacson said the previous two programs were a presentation by a troupe called the Parable Project and the combined choirs of St. Mary and Holy Trinity Parish in Port Huron.

Deacon Tim Maxwell was helping put the balloon rosary together.

“The programs are wonderful,” he said. “The religious staff has done a wonderful job in providing novel expressions of our religion and faith.”

Source:  http://www.thetimesherald.com/article/20130628/NEWS01/306280011/Prayers-ascend-sky?nclick_check=1


How to Pray the Rosary

How to Pray the Rosary by Chau Nguyen

The rosary is sometimes called “the poor man’s breviary.” (The breviary is a book used by priests and religious in daily prayer containing prayers for the church year, including the full 150 psalms of the Psalter.) To use a breviary, one must be able to read and to have access to the book. The rosary grew up as a daily prayer for illiterate believers who would never own a book. The people praying the rosary became the book, as they recited prayers learned by heart.

While the patterns differ slightly from country to country, and throughout various religious orders, in the U.S. the usual structure of the rosary is:

The Our Father
Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
The Hail Mary (recited three times)
Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Gloria Patri (Glory Be)
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be. Amen.

Then the prayer moves to the body of the rosary. This consists of 15 decades of Hail Mary’s, each recitation of the Hail Mary accompanied by a meditation on the faith, often called a mystery. When all 150 Hail Mary’s (the same number of prayers as there are psalms) are prayed, the rosary brings the one who prays it into the lives of Jesus and Mary, and into the full annual cycle of the church year.

Before each decade (or set of ten) Hail Mary’s, recite the Our Father. At the close of each decade of Hail Mary’s, recite the Gloria Patri (or Glory Be.)

At the conclusion of the rosary, recite the prayer known as Hail, Holy Queen.
Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

Each of the decades focuses upon a mystery of the faith. (By “mystery” we do not mean a puzzle to be solved. A mystery is a truth we can never fully explore or comprehend or understand. There will always be more to discover.)

The mysteries are divided into three sets of five: The Five Joyful Mysteries – The Annunciation, The Visitation, The Nativity, The Presentation, The Finding in the Temple

The Five Sorrowful Mysteries – The Agony in the Garden, The Scourging at the Pillar, The Crowning with Thorns, The Carrying of the Cross, The Crucifixion

The Five Glorious Mysteries – The Resurrection, The Ascension, The Coming of Holy Spirit Upon the Apostles, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin

In October 2002, Pope John Paul II added five new mysteries to the rosary, called The Five Mysteries of Light. These focus on Jesus’ public ministry. They are – Our Lord’s Baptism, Our Lord’s Manifestation at the Wedding of Cana, Our Lord Proclaims the Kingdom of God, Our Lord’s Transfiguration, Our Lord’s Institution of the Eucharist

Many people use rosary beads as an aid to prayer. The beads help us keep our place in the recitation, but they are not necessary. You can use your fingers, or a knotted cord, to count the Hail Mary’s.

This sturdy prayer continues to delight believers. Because the prayers are ones most of us know, or can easily learn, by heart, we are set free from worry about what to say and can move deeper into being, with God, and with the world God made. Somewhere, every hour of every day, a person is praying the rosary. These prayers are the sinew of the Body of Christ, linking us as one.

Source:  http://thecatholiccatalogue.com/34-how-to-pray-the-rosary/


Pope ends Marian month meeting children with cancer, praying rosary

A young woman holds a candle during a Marian prayer service led by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican May 31. The pope prayed the rosary with the faithful at the conclusion of the Marian month of May. (CNS/Paul Haring)
By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- "Children are the ones Jesus loves most," Pope Francis told a group of young cancer patients and their parents at the Vatican May 31.

The pope had invited the 22 children, who are being treated at the pediatric oncology ward of Rome's Gemelli Hospital, after they went on a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Lourdes in France and sent Pope Francis drawings of the shrine's famous grotto because he had never been there.

A young girl, Michelle Nugnes, spoke to the pope on behalf of her peers, telling him it was so nice to see him in person rather than on television, explaining the drawings and assuring him, "We promise to continue praying for you and we ask you to pray for all the sick children at Gemelli and throughout the world."

"Bless all our moms and dads so they always will have a beautiful smile like yours," she added.

Before blessing and greeting each of the children, Pope Francis told them a blessing is "God's embrace."

He asked the children if they knew what Jesus did when he saw a child crying. "Jesus stopped. Why? Because children are the ones Jesus loves most. That's how Jesus is."

"Jesus loves us very much. All of us," the pope said. "He is close to us and walks with us through life -- when we are sad and when we have problems."

The children brought small gifts to the pope. An 8-year-old boy, identified only as Giovanni, asked the pope if he had a sweet tooth. The pope responded, "Very much. I like sweets. Chocolate," although he noted that one could get a stomachache from eating too much.

Giovanni told him, "I'm glad you have a sweet tooth because I brought you sweets from Sardinia." The pope thanked him and suggested they share them with all the children.

The encounter ended with the singing of "Ave Maria" before Pope Francis went out to St. Peter's Square to join tens of thousands of people for the recitation of the rosary at the end of May, a month especially dedicated to Mary.

Traditionally the May 31 rosary at the Vatican has involved a procession of Vatican employees and residents, praying and walking to the replica of the Lourdes grotto in the Vatican gardens. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI would join the crowd at the grotto at the end of the procession.

This year the Catholic public was encouraged to come to St. Peter's Square for the recitation of the Marian prayer; Pope Francis had been scheduled to arrive only at the end to address participants, but instead was present from the beginning of the service.

Meditating on the Gospel story of Mary's visitation to her cousin Elizabeth, Pope Francis said "listening, decision, action" mark Mary's life, and also "indicate a path for us when asking the Lord for something."

When the angel tells Mary that her cousin is pregnant, Mary doesn't simply hear, she "listens," which means she pays attention, accepts what is being said and is open to what God is asking of her, the pope said. "It's not the distracted way we sometimes are before the Lord or others -- hearing the words, but not really listening."

Mary ponders the words of the angel, but only for a short time before she makes the decision to go visit Elizabeth, Pope Francis said. People can learn from Mary because "we often tend to put off making decisions, let others decide for us, preferring to be swept along by events or following the fashion of the moment; sometimes we know what we should do, but we don't have the courage or it seems too difficult because it would mean going against the current."

Even when people listen and know what they should do, he said, they don't act "in haste" as Mary did to help people who need understanding, charity or "the most precious thing we have: Jesus and his Gospel."

Source:  http://www.catholicnews.com/data/stories/cns/1302413.htm


Pope will pray the rosary in St. Peter's Square to mark the end of May


May 30, 2013. (Romereports.com) On Friday, May 31st, at 8pm, Rome time, Pope Francis will pray the Rosary in St. Peter's Square, along with thousands of pilgrims. He will then give a reflection on why the Virgin Mary is important not only to the Church, but to him.    

It's no secret that the Pope feels a strong devotion towards Our Lady. The day after he was elected, he went to the Basilica of St. Mary Major to pray before an image of the Virgin Mary. Then most recently, when he met with Catholic lay movements, he explained exactly why he likes to pray the rosary on a daily basis. 

“The Virgin Mary is our mother. She knows everything. So, it's important for us to pray to Our Lady, so that she, as a mother, can give us strength. It has to do with our weakness, at least in my experience. One thing that gives me strength, is praying the Rosary to the Virgin Mary every day.  I feel it. I pray to her and I feel strong.”

Precisely during the Rosary prayer on Friday, an image of Our Lady will be carried out in St. Peter's Square. The invitation is open for all to take part.
Source:  http://www.romereports.com/palio/pope-will-pray-the-rosary-in-st-peters-square-to-mark-the-end-of-may-english-10158.html#.UafO-Eoz9Ig
Global rosary relay to encourage prayer for priests
The Global Rosary Relay for Priests’ fourth annual event will take place this June 7, providing an opportunity for worldwide prayer to support priests in their ministry.

“It’s unifying the whole world. It really is a very beautiful way for the laity to offer this spiritual bouquet of thanksgiving for our priests,” Marion Mulhall, founder and CEO of the event organizer WorldPriest, told CNA May 20.

“Our Lady has hugely blessed us. It was her inspiration. It is her rosary,” Mulhall said. “It is her priests that we’re praying for on this rosary relay for priests.”

Participants in the relay will say a rosary at a scheduled time for one half hour to thank God for priests and to ask the Virgin Mary’s protection for priests. This means the same continuous rosary will be prayed around the clock.

The day of prayer will begin with the Joyful Mysteries at the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories in Melbourne at 11 a.m. local time June 7. It will then progress westward through Asia, the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa before reaching the Americas.

The relay will conclude at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in New Franken, Wis. with a rosary at 7 p.m. local time.

Other participating U.S. churches include the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C, the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass., Our Lady Star of The Sea Catholic Church in Staten Island, New York City, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, and the Monastery of Our Lady of the Desert in Blanco, N.M.

The relay has drawn support from Cardinal Raymond Burke and Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam. Mulhall said that in the last four years the event has become “the largest day of prayer in the world.”

Rosary locations and start times are available at the relay’s website www.worldpriestday.com/rosaryrelay.   

Source:  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/worldwide-rosary-relay-to-encourage-prayer-for-priests/


Real Men Pray the Rosary: 33 Day Rosary Challenge

“The Rosary is for old ladies and funerals.”

Yes, I was one of THOSE people. I thought I was way too cool and sophisticated to pray the Rosary. I was a man. Despite being blessed with a saintly Mom who lovingly tried to convince her eldest son that the path to true holiness and practiced Catholicism was through our Blessed Mother and faithful praying of the Rosary, such quaint and anachronistic practices were for others. Not for me.

Thankfully, my Mom never gave up hope that I would eventually see the light. Sure enough, the Holy Spirit slapped me around a few times in 2008 until finally I woke up and was born again as a revert Catholic. John 3:5.  My new fervor and conviction for our Blessed Mother and promoting the Rosary ignited my wife and I to form an apostolate known as “Real Men Pray The Rosary, Inc.” (“RMPTR”). Since its beginning, we’ve held on for dear life as the apostolate has been swept up in a global movement. In a relatively short period of time, our Facebook page has erupted to over 27,000 “likes” from throughout the Catholic world: the Philippines, Nigeria, Australia, U.K., Canada, India, and here at our home in the United States as well. This story is partially documented in our recently released book “Real Men Pray The Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer” published by the wonderful folks at Ave Maria Press.

RMPTR’s most recent initiative is the “RMPTR 33 Day Rosary Challenge.” In this initiative, we invite all Christians to:

Pray the Rosary every day for 33 days. Pray it daily. Not for 30 days but 33 days. 33 represents the number of years that Jesus dwelt among us in the fullness of his humanity. 33 constitutes a direct connection to the fullness of the Divine- made man, a connection to Jesus himself. One day of praying the Rosary for every year that Jesus set aside his glory as God, and lived, breathed, and walked among us. Pray the Rosary daily for 33 days. Focus on the content of the mysteries. Meditate upon the richness of the Gospel story and apply the lessons to your life. Pray for the Holy Spirit to open your heart to receive the fullness of His mystery-the fullness of faith.

Praying the Rosary daily and mediating upon the mysteries permits us to employ the full gospel story, the new covenant salvation story, within our own continuing faith journey. Those who pray the Rosary daily and who respond to the call to faithfully meditate upon the mysteries of the day find that within one week, they live the imminent joy of Advent and the birth of our Lord; cherish the illuminating reality that Jesus walked among us, talked to and taught us directly; intimately observe, with Mary by our side, the sorrowful cruelty meted upon him by our sinful humanity and marvel at his loving response; and yet, experience the glorious joy of promises kept as we stand at the tomb and begin to understand the reality of the covenant satisfied. Our circle of faith is completed by the visceral story prayed by us and lived by us in this daily prayer.

Such frequent relationship with Jesus and Mary for 25-30 minutes a day is bound to change us. As Pope John Paul II reminded us:  “Just as two friends, frequently in each other’s company, tend to develop similar friends, tend to develop similar habits, so too, by holding familiar converse with Jesus and the Blessed Virgin, by meditating on the mysteries of the Rosary, … we can become similar to them” and live that elusive, virtuous holy life.

You won’t be praying alone. The entire RMPTR global community will be praying with you. Beginning May 1, the entire RMPTR community, the Body of Christ, will pray along with you. Share your journey with us – on Facebook- or post a comment on your favorite Catholic blog. Share your thoughts on a mystery of the day. You can subscribe to RMPTR’s daily reflection and receive it by email. Ask the RMPTR community to join in your intentions. Share your journey. Share your laughter. Invite someone you love to join the journey. We know it will change your prayer life. We know praying the Rosary daily for at least 33 days will change your life. 

At the end of the 33 days, pray it forward. Share your experience with a loved one. Invite them to continue the 33 day Rosary challenge for themselves. Look closely at the 33 day challenge circular logo, notice the arrow – it continues. The RMPTR 33 day Rosary challenge invites you to make praying the Rosary a permanent and integral part of your spiritual journey. Pray it forward.

Accept the “Real Men Pray the Rosary 33 day Challenge.” We know our Blessed Mother will lead you to her son.

Source:  http://www.patheos.com/blogs/lisahendey/2013/05/real-men-pray-the-rosary-33-day-rosary-challenge/


'Say rosary in the family', pope tweets

'Prayer makes family life more solid'

'Say rosary in the family', pope tweets

Vatican City, May 3 - Families should say the rosary together this month, Pope Francis tweeted Friday. "It would be nice, in the month of May, to recite with all the family the Holy Rosary. Prayer makes family life more solid," the Argentine pontiff said on Twitter. The number of Francis' Twitter followers has broken the six million mark in various languages including Latin the Vatican said Monday. Francis's latest tweet was on Labour Day when he said his thoughts went out to "all those who are unemployed, often as a result of a self-centred mindset bent on profit at any cost". Most of the followers were already connected to the @pontifex tweet, launched by Pope Benedict in December 2012, but the new pope has added almost two million followers since his inauguration March 13. The Pope's tweets are written in nine languages, including the Latin feed, which has some 87,000 followers, according to the most recent figures released by the Holy See. Following the election to the papacy of Bueonos Aires archbishop Jorge' Mario Bergoglio , Spanish has rapidly closed in on English as the most read language for the Pope's tweets. Over the past two weeks the number of faithful who have signed up to the pope's Portuguese-language tweets has boomed largely due to the fact that Francis will be in Rio de Janeiro for World Youth Day in July.

Source:  http://www.gazzettadelsud.it/news/english/45010/-Say-rosary-in-the-family---pope-tweets.html


Rosary Mat – A New Way to Pray

First, I must give credit where credit is due. I did NOT come up with this idea. I “borrowed” it from a friend, Heather W. and THANK YOU, Heather for giving me permission to share this!
I don’t know about you, but when my children were very little whenever they got ahold of my rosary (and they did because my easily distracted self would leave it out) in their excitement they would swing it around like a sling shot and invariably the poor rosary would break and beads would go everywhere. Even the knotted rosaries would somehow manage to unravel. Heather’s idea makes for something new. It creates a board game like atmosphere for little ones to participate in one of my favorite devotions, the rosary, but doesn’t have the possibility of a broken chain or beads rolling all over presenting a choking hazard for those quick little babies that put everything in their mouths – before you can get it out of their vice grip! I present to you…the Rosary Mat and here is how you make one.

You will need:
A piece of white fabric, either flannel, fleece or felt about 16” x 20”
6 felt circles about the size of quarters (I chose Green)
53 felt circles about the size of nickels (I chose Light blue)
1 piece of felt cut in the shape of a cross about 2”
1 piece of felt cut in the shape of a heart about 1 ½”
Fabric glue or if you want you can get out that sewing machine…LOL


I remember my grandmother reciting a poem that was written by Mary Dixon Thayer who wrote more than one poem for Our Lady.

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
Tell me what to say!
Did you lift Him up, sometimes,
Gently on your knee?
Did you sing to Him the way
Mother does to me?
Did you hold His hand at night?
Did you ever try
Telling stories of the world?
O! And did He cry?
Do you really think He cares
If I tell Him things ——-
Little things that happen? And
Do the Angels’ wings
Make a noise? And can He hear
Me if I speak low?
Does He understand me now?
Tell me ——-for you know.

Lovely Lady dressed in blue——
Teach me how to pray!
God was just your little boy,
And you know the way.

It was popularized by Bishop Fulton Sheen in the 1950s. It is our job, as parents, to teach the children, to teach them how to pray – using whatever tools necessary.

Source:  http://www.catholicsistas.com/2013/04/13/rosary-mat-a-new-way-to-pray/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rosary-mat-a-new-way-to-pray


childrens-rosary-picture-adjA Children's Rosary group at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford recites the rosary while holding roses recently. A description of the use of flowers appears in Blythe Kaufman's Book Children's Rosary.

WEST HARTFORD – The Children’s Rosary organization has dedicated this Year of Faith to renewing family prayer.

The group, created by Dr. Blythe Kaufman, mother of three and a member of St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, has helped establish Children’s Rosary prayer groups across the country.

"Our children have an enormous capacity for spirituality and a deep relationship with our Lord and his mother," said Dr. Kaufman. "The Children’s Rosary is a means for parents to expose their children to prayer at an early age and develop faith steeped in the tradition of the Catholic Church."

Three Children’s Rosary groups have been established in parishes in the Archdiocese of Hartford. In addition to the original group founded at St. Thomas the Apostle in 2011, children gather to pray the rosary at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury and at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston. Other groups, as far west as Washington state and as far south as Florida, provide youngsters with an opportunity to pray with children their own age, in a unique way.

Children kneel on pillows brought from home, placed in a semicircle surrounding a podium and a statue of the Virgin Mary. With rosaries in hand, they take turns leading the group in reading or reciting prayers of the traditional rosary. Very young members can also take an active role.

Typically, participants range in age from 4 to 14.

"The children of Fatima and Bernadette of Lourdes were all within this age range," said Dr. Kaufman.

The age range is only a guideline; all ages are welcome, she said. Siblings as young as 2 years old or older children with challenges can, at the end of each rosary decade, place flowers at the foot of the statue.

The use of flowers is optional but can serve to deepen meaning and add beauty. Typically, the Children’s Rosary group at St. Thomas the Apostle uses white or pink roses in honor of Our Lady, said Dr. Kaufman.

Parents or other adults are bystanders and serve as guardian angels, she said; they do not lead or direct the prayers. It’s about teaching children, who are the future of the Church, to pray together and to lead, she added.

Dr. Kaufman said she believes that powerful blessings, protection and sanctification result from praying the rosary, especially for children.

She created a small pocket-sized booklet called Children’s Rosary designed to assist young children in praying the rosary. It also provides adults with instructions on how they can create a Children’s Rosary group in their own parish.

In the booklet, Dr. Kaufman references homilies by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Blessed John Paul II as well as descriptions from Scripture and from the Catechism of the Catholic Church that substantiate the connection between children, the rosary and Mary with blessings from God.

The book’s preface was written by Archbishop Henry J. Mansell. In it, he says, "[This] booklet provides a wonderful guide to a richer and deeper understanding of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is clear that this booklet doesn’t offer a new Rosary, but rather serves to assist the children who pray the Rosary to do so in a special way, bringing them to the safety and holiness of life under the intercessions and protection of the Blessed Mother."

Prayer groups for adults exist in many parishes but there is a scarcity of prayer groups for children, said Dr. Kaufman, an endodontist  who teaches at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She believes that God is especially responsive to the prayers of children.

"We know how strong and dear the prayers of children are and how heaven delights in them," said Dr. Kaufman, who was inspired to establish the group following a request for help.

The call for help came from Father Arthur Murphy, pastor emeritus of St. Thomas the Apostle, who was its pastor at the time. He appealed to the congregation when he saw the parish suffering from a financial crisis and was worried about its future existence, she said.

Shortly after Father Murphy’s request, children from the church gathered to pray for the parish. It was April 10, 2011, the Sunday before Palm Sunday, when children kneeled before the statue of Mary and prayed the rosary as a group.

"There was nothing special about that weekend except for the small group of children who prayed," said Dr. Kaufman.

The record collection total that weekend, surpassed only by Easter and Christmas that year, reinforced Dr. Kaufman’s belief in the power of the prayers of children.

"Through prayer of the rosary, Our Lady will guide young people and, at the same time, sanctify families and parishes," said Dr. Kaufman, who hopes that the Children’s Rosary, which humbly began in one parish, will, by the grace of God, continue to grow and spread across the globe.

Source:  http://www.catholictranscript.org/home/local-news/2790-rosary-renews-family-prayer-in-year-of-faith.html


Catholics observe Good Friday tradition of 'Praying the Steps'

CINCINNATI - A local tradition that goes back generations is observed once again through Friday morning.

Just after midnight Friday, Catholics across the region assembled at Holy Cross-Immaculata Church in Mount Adams to take part in the Good Friday tradition of “ Praying the Steps. ”

“You can do it anyway you want to,” "Immaculata on Mt. Adams" author Jim Steiner said. “Some people pray the rosary. Some people pray a prayer on each step."

According to the St. Anthony Messenger website, the parish offers these suggestions for praying the steps:

  • Pray the Rosary. Pray a Hail Mary on each step leading up to the church.
  • Pray another favorite prayer of your own.
  • Pray on each step, "Lord Jesus, thank you for your most holy sacrifice."
  • Reflect on the events of Jesus' betrayal, arrest, persecution and crucifixion.
  • Read the Gospel of Luke from the beginning of Chapter 22 through Chapter 23, reading a few sentences on each step.
  • Simply pray in your own words, talking and listening to God.

The activity is associated with the stations of the cross in the story of the crucifixion of Jesus.

The devotion takes place from midnight on Holy Thursday to midnight on Good Friday. As many as 8,000 to 10,000 Catholics, some from around the world, are expected to take part in the religious observance.

The tradition dates back to 1860, when the church was being built.

Source:  http://www.kypost.com/dpps/news/local_news/catholics-observe-good-friday-tradition-of-praying-the-steps_8361673
Daily Rosary for Pope Benedict in St Peter's Square
Daily Rosary for Pope Benedict in St Peter's Square | St Peter's Square, Rosary

Visitors to Saint Peter’s Square are invited to come pray the Rosary each day at 4pm for Pope Benedict XVI in the days leading up to his resignation.

Since the start of the Year of Faith, people young and old have been gathering in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica to pray the Rosary as part of an initiative called A Moment with Mary. Participants pray the Rosary as they stand around the original World Youth Day Cross, which is carried into the Square for the occasion. The Rosary is broadcast live each day, Monday through Friday, on CTV and on the internet, allowing people from around the world to pray with those in Saint Peter’s Square.

Following the announcement that Pope Benedict would resign from the papacy at the end of February, the organizers felt it fitting to dedicate the Rosary for his intentions. Carly Andrews, who is the coordinator for the initiative, spoke with Vatican Radio about the importance of using this time to pray for the Holy Father.

Andrews told Vatican Radio how she saw Pope Benedict’s ‘yes’ to the will of God as a “grand culmination of his life of obedience to the Lord which stand as a worldwide example of faithfulness to God.”

In running A Moment with Mary, Andrews hopes to “try and follow the example of the Holy Father to a faithfulness to God, and faithfulness to his will, and faithfulness to prayer.”

The initiative is driven by the online Catholic network Aleteia, in collaboration with CTV, Telepace, Youcat, the Pontifical Council for the laity, and the Centro San Lorenzo International Centre for Youth.

Source: Vatican Radio:  http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=22023


Scotland's largest rosary launches national prayer campaign

Scotland’s biggest and most colourful rosary will be blessed by Cardinal Keith O’Brien on Friday 8 February 2013, as Mission Matters Scotland launches its Year of Faith Mission Rosary campaign at Cardinal Newman High School, Bellshill. The colourful, giant, five-decade Rosary, around four feet in diameter, has beads the size of tennis balls and a crucifix two feet high. It was made by staff and pupils at the North Lanarkshire secondary school as a large-scale copy of over 100,000, normal- size Mission Rosaries being sent out by Mission Matters Scotland to parishes and Catholic schools, to reintroduce the rosary as a form of daily prayer across the country. The rosaries are accompanied with easy-to -follow instruction cards for both adults and school pupils and represent Scotland’s contribution to a world-wide campaign of prayer organised by Pontifical Mission Societies and centred on the Mission Rosary.

Father Tom Welsh, director of Coatbridge-based Mission Matters Scotland, which sends money collected in this country to Rome for distribution to missions across the world, said: “The Mission Rosary, which has different coloured decades, representing each of the five continents of the world, is an ideal way to raise the prayer life of Scotland and to remind people of the importance of the missions. In this Year of Faith, when the Catholic Church is reaching out through its new evangelisation, it’s a simple and ideal way of re-introducing the Rosary to Scotland at a time when the country and the world need prayer, and the benefits it brings, both at home and on the missions, as never before.”

The campaign has the backing of Archbishop Philip Tartaglia President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland. He said: “This new Rosary Campaign encourages families and schools to rediscover the great prayer of the Rosary, and opens minds and hearts to the work of missionaries overseas. The Bishops are delighted to support it as a real fruit of the Year of Faith.”

Cardinal Keith O’Brien said: “I am very pleased to have been invited to bless this giant rosary and copies of the small ones now being sent out to schools and parishes across Scotland. We are all called to prayer and this campaign fits in well with Mission Matters Scotland, which follows the great and proud tradition that we have as a nation of missionary work, when it invites us to pray a little every day, both for this country and for the missions.”

Cardinal Newman High School head teacher Isabelle Boyd said: “We are very pleased to help launch this Rosary campaign as we have a great Rosary tradition in the school with Rosary prayed by pupils and staff every Friday in our oratory at lunchtime. We see this as a great opportunity to boost the awareness of this accessible and easy-to-say form of prayer further among pupils, staff and parents in this Year of Faith.”

Source: SCMO:  http://www.indcatholicnews.com/news.php?viewStory=21904


Praying to change the culture: Praying the rosary

‘A powerful intercessory prayer to Mary’

Del France is a convert and Colleen France is a cradle Catholic. They met when both were teachers at Marin Catholic High School. Now, with their small children, they try to say a family rosary once a week.

The older boys, 5 and 3½, do pretty well, Colleen said. The youngest is 1½.

“My husband just sort of discovered the rosary, and by his lead, the boys are totally into it,” Colleen France said. “He made rosaries with the boys out of Fimo dough,” a kind of clay that bakes in the oven, and then the three of them strung the rosaries they use.

“It’s a powerful intercessory prayer to Mary,” Colleen said. “In this day and age you need to utilize all the beautiful prayers we have in our faith and hand them down to our children.”

In the U.S. bishops’ call to prayer and sacrifice to protect religious liberty, marriage and life during the Year of Faith which ends Nov. 24, the bishops ask Catholics to pray the rosary, particularly the daily family rosary.

School kids pray rosary together

St. Catherine of Siena School principal Sister Antonella Manca said she prayed the rosary with her family growing up, and encourages the rosary and also visits to the Blessed Sacrament among her students at the K-8 Burlingame Catholic school. More than 30 students belong to the school Legion of Mary and pray the rosary together after school on Thursdays. As children, “My brother and I were the youngest. We always complained, ‘It is so long,’” said Sacro Costato Missionary Sister Antonella. “But guess what? My brother became a priest and I became a nun, so you never know what will happen.”

The current bishops’ appeal is part of a long church tradition of asking Mary for help to preserve the family and in time of trouble, particularly when Christianity is under attack.

“It has always been the habit of Catholics in danger and in troublous times to fly for refuge to Mary,” Pope Leo XIII wrote in his 1883 encyclical “On Devotion to the Rosary.”

“This devotion, so great and so confident, to the august Queen of Heaven, has never shone forth with such brilliancy as when the militant Church of God has seemed to be endangered by the violence of heresy spread abroad, or by an intolerable moral corruption, or by the attacks of powerful enemies,” Pope Leo XIII wrote.

At both Lourdes and Fatima, apparitions judged valid by the Catholic Church, Mary urged praying the rosary, Pope John Paul II noted in his 2002 encyclical “On the Most Holy Rosary.”

Groups pray at nearly every parish

At virtually every parish in the Archdiocese of San Francisco, a group gathers to pray the rosary before or after daily Mass. St. Thomas More parishioners Victoria Medina, her husband and two children, 18 and 21, try to pray a family rosary when they can, she said. “When we travel, when we do things together, we pray the rosary,” she said.

The rosary, while it is a prayer for Mary’s intercession, is really a contemplative prayer centered on the life of Christ: “… It has all the depth of the Gospel message in its entirety,” Blessed John Paul wrote. The 20 mysteries of the rosary (joyful, sorrowful, luminous, glorious) cover the span of the Gospels.

The rosary is also a potent prayer for peace, and for the family, Blessed John Paul wrote: “The revival of the rosary in Christian families, within the context of a broader pastoral ministry to the family, will be an effective aid in countering the devastating effects of this crisis typical of our age.”

From January 18, 2013 issue of Catholic San Francisco:  http://www.catholic-sf.org/ns.php?newsid=23&id=60947


'Block Rosary' A Chance For Filipino Catholics To Enjoy Prayer, Food, Fellowship


With a wide smile, Dr. Portia Domingo explained that Filipino Catholics really enjoy two things: praying and eating. That’s what led Portia and her husband, Dr. Mike Domingo, to invite their Filipino Catholic friends into their home back in 1997 for a rosary followed by a meal of traditional Filipino dishes.

From that evening, sixteen years ago, a tradition was born. Today the Filipino Catholic community in the Diocese of Evansville is still gathering once a month in someone’s home for a rosary followed by a potluck feast and an evening of fellowship.

“We were always getting together and talking and eating, talking and eating,” explained Portia. “So I said, ‘Why don’t we also say a little prayer and say thank you for all the blessings we have?’”

 At the time, there were five families that got together frequently, so they decided to take turns hosting a rosary and meal at the start of each month.

“We started it, and it has just kept going,” Portia said.

Today this “block rosary” (as those who attend now refer to it) has expanded to include many additional people, including the children and grandchildren of the original families and a few non-Filipinos. It’s not uncommon for 40 families to come together in one home, including many who travel from other towns to join in the prayer and celebration. Sometimes the monthly gathering is held in Evansville, and at other times it takes place in another Tri-State community, such as Henderson, Ky., or Vincennes.

Yet each January the block rosary is always back where it began – at the northside Evansville home of the Domingos. On Sunday, Jan. 8, Bishop Charles C. Thompson attended the rosary, becoming the first bishop to come to one of the gatherings.

After participating in the rosary, Bishop Thompson addressed the group, expressing how important it is for all Catholics to “share and celebrate the uniqueness and the richness of all the cultural traditions and unique gifts within our Catholic identity and Catholic faith.”

“We don’t always recognize and appreciate in our Church the multiple cultures that are represented and the universality of the Church,” the Bishop said.

Once Bishop Thompson concluded his remarks, he led the group into the kitchen to begin a veritable feast of homemade Filipino entrees and desserts. For many, the monthly meal represents a rare chance to enjoy their native foods in a comfortable, communal setting that is rich with joy and fellowship.

PeeWee and Chosie Vasquez have ben attending the gatherings with their sons, Paolo and Mico, since they moved to the diocese from the Philippines more than four years ago. PeeWee says the block rosary represents a chance to enhance his faith and pray with his friends who live in the Tri-State. 

“We’re busy with work and other activities, so we do not see our friends and countrymen that often, so this also is a chance meet and get updated with each other,” PeeWee explained. “I enjoy seeing more people getting involved, not only my fellow Filipinos, but also the Americans who share the same faith with us.”

Source:  http://www.themessageonline.org/local_news/article/id/1132


Pledge to pray daily Rosary draws 80,000 signatures
Fr. John Phalen, CSC, presents a book with the names of 80,000 people who pledged to pray the Rosary daily to the Pope in December. Credit: Holy Cross Family Ministries.

- More than 80,000 people have pledged to pray the Rosary daily, with their names recorded in a book presented to Pope Benedict XVI.

Father John Phalen, C.S.C., president of the Massachusetts-based Holy Cross Family Ministries, presented a book recording their pledges to the Pope in December during the Ecclesia in America international congress at the Vatican.

Fr. Phalen said the presentation was “a special opportunity.”

“It was an honor to present His Holiness with the book and ask his apostolic blessing on our ministry,” he said Jan. 3 statement.

The book contains the names of those from around the world who have pledged to pray the Rosary daily.

“There are even pledges in languages we can't understand, like some of those from India and Bangladesh,” Fr. Phalen said.

Family Rosary, a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries, marked its 70th anniversary in 2012. It collected the pledges as part of its campaign to gave out free rosaries to those who agreed to pray the Rosary daily. Many participants pledged to say the Rosary with their families.

The ministry asked participants in the campaign to pray for peace in accord with the wishes of the Virgin Mary. They are encouraged to post a pledge card in their homes to remind them of their promise.

The rosary campaign was begun in 1991 by Family Rosary founder Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.

Fr. Peyton, known as the “Rosary Priest,” famously used the catchphrase “the family that prays together, stays together.” He drew inspiration from his father, who gathered his family to pray every evening.

Fr. Peyton founded Family Rosary in 1942 to help the family through prayer. He was one of the most influential American priests of the 20th century and pioneered Catholic evangelization in radio, movies, televisions and billboards. He died in 1992 and he is under consideration for sainthood.

Source:  http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/pledge-to-pray-daily-rosary-draws-80000-signatures/


Praying The Rosary Is As Good As Yoga For Your Heart's Health

I was raised Roman Catholic, and as a teenager spent many of my breaks from school with my Abuela and family in the Dominican Republic. One of the strongest memories I have from those years are the sounds that would emerge from my Abuela's room every afternoon which had a hypnotic, lullaby effect on me and I would usually drift off listening to it. It was the singsong, mantra-like chanting of a group of ladies praying the rosary. Turns out scientific studies have now shown us that what these ladies were doing was strengthening their heart health and becoming more compassionate in the process!

According to a study published in the British Medical Journal (2001;323:1446-1449), researcher Dr. Luciano Bernardi, associate professor of internal medicine at the University of Pavia in Italy and his team tested whether rhythmic chanting, in this case reciting the rosary or using Yoga mantras, could have a favorable effect on the heart's rhythms. What the team knew at the beginning of the study was that slow regular breathing was beneficial in preventing heart disease by synchronizing inherent cardiovascular rhythms.

Using 23 healthy adults whose heart rate and blood pressure were measured prior to the start of the study, the researchers measured their breathing rates while some participants prayed the rosary in the original Latin (Ave Maria), and others recited a given Yoga mantra. For comparison, the study participants' breathing rates were measured during free talking and during slow breathing exercises also. What they noted is that the participants rate of breathing slowed down from fourteen breaths a minute (spontaneously) to 8 breaths per minute when they engaged in regular conversation, but breathing slowed down even more to six breaths per minute while reciting the rosary or the yoga mantra. Breathing at a slow six breaths per minute "has generally favorable effects on cardiovascular and respiratory function,'' the researchers note. What's more, the researchers found reciting the rosary or the yoga mantra both similarly synchronized all the hearts rhythms.

It ends up that despite the cultural differences between the two spiritual practices, rosary chants and yoga mantras, Dr. Bernardi suggests that the two may have similar origins and both evolved as a simple way to slow respiration, improve concentration, and induce calm. The rosary while known to be related to the Catholic religion, was initially introduced by the Crusaders "who learnt a similar technique from the Arabs who in turn learned it from the Indian and Tibetan masters of yoga", Dr. Bernardi states.

The health effects of spirituality is gaining more of a mainstream following nowadays in the United States, and many researchers continue to present the benefits of spiritual practices on our minds and bodies. Meditating, singing in a choir, yoga, dancing groups, taking the sacraments, making a pilgrimage, saying daily prayers or spending time quietly in nature are all spiritual practices. What they all have in common is how these experiences combine our emotions with our intellect, integrating body, mind, and spirit, and providing us with physiological and psychological benefits.

Ends up my Abuela and her group of rosary praying ladies were way ahead of us smart researchers, developing compassion and taking care of their health by calming themselves and creating an enhanced feeling of well-being at the same time.

Source:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roxana-shaw/praying-the-rosary-is-as-_b_1894105.html


New Prayer Garden in the shape of a rosary

Above, church members Denise Drobek and two of her children, Jadyn and Joey, sit on a new granite bench talking with Father David Buersmeyer in the Prayer Garden during last Sunday's dedication cermony. Below top, Prayer Garden Committee leaders, from left, Janet Tevlin, Mary Ann Klakulak and Paula Klozik stand near the rock bubbler in the new SS. John and Paul Prayer Garden in Washington Township. Below bottom, rendering of the way the Prayer Garden was to look.

A brick pathway at SS. John and Paul Catholic Church in Washington Township that seems to meander in a garden is actually shaped like a rosary.

Located on 28 Mile Road, west of Campground Road, the community dedicated the new Prayer Garden after the 9:30 a.m. Mass last Sunday.   

A brick pathway is shaped to form a rosary, including beads, starting at the east entrance with the cross. Following the path, the beads are indicated by bricks shaped like diamonds to indicate each time the "Hail Mary" is to be recited.

A rock bubbler sooths people praying with the gentle sound of whater and centered in the garden is a miniature of "The Pieta," a well-known masterpiece by Michelangelo. The outdoor statue portrays Mary grieving as she holds the lifeless, scarred body of Jesus after he was taken off the cross.

Granite benches invite people to sit and relax while saying prayers and meditating. Lilac bushes, daffodils and perennials placed in strategic places along with dogwood for the winter months, make the garden a year-round retreat.

All of this, including the trees, flowers and a rose garden, will be taken care of by the garden committee, nicknamed "Gardening Angels."

Serving since January on the Prayer Garden committee are co-Chairs Mary Ann Klakulak and Janet Tevlin, with members Connie Hojnacki, Ron and Sharon Pewinski, Sharon Pospiesch, Tamara Weiss, Pat Gresko, Cathy Radtke and Paula Klozik, the church's business manager.

Klozik, who has worked at the church for 15 years, said the landscape company designed the garden after the committee researched other parish's gardens.

"We started searching for a contractor to do our prayer garden in front of the church," said Klozik. "It will be lit up at night so people can come to use it 24 hours a day."

Klozik said families can remember loved ones with brick memorials that will allow for names to be engraved on them. 

"We did the brick work and the landscaping, with the focal point being the rosary," said Mayle. "It was an honor to do this at SS. John and Paul."

Father David Buersmeyer began the dedication ceremony as parish members gathered outside in the chilly November air. He thanked all those who served on the Prayer Garden committee and the landscaping contractor in attendance. 

Following this, Father Buersmeyer had the very first family sit on one of the benches for a photo in the center of the garden.

"The rest of our family is home with colds," said Denise Drobek of Wahington Township, while her kids, Jadyn and Joey, shivered next to her. "We really love this Prayer Garden, it's just beautiful."

Ron and Sharon Pewinski from Washington Township have been members since 1980.  "We are glad to be on the garden committee," said Ron. "We brought up ideas for the landscaping and it has turned out beautiful, better than I pictured on the design."

In the last part of the intercessory prayers, Father Buersmeyer said, "We pray for the surrounding community, that people will see this garden as a place where they are welcome to come."

Then he blessed the garden with holy water and led the parishioners as they walked around the rosary path.

"We dedicate this Prayer Garden as a place of reflection and peace," he said.

SS. John and Paul Catholic Church is located at 7777 28 Mile Road, Washington Township and their parish office telephone number is (586) 781-9010 or people can find their website at: www.ssjohnandpaul.org.

Source:  http://www.romeoobserver.com/Story.asp?page=community&storyid=22886


Pasadena: Eagle Scout creates a place for prayer at St. Jane

Posted: Wednesday, November 7, 2012 2:00 am | Updated: 1:52 pm, Wed Jan 16, 2013.

One of the most rewarding things for an Eagle Scout to see is his Eagle Scout project being used by his community. For Troop 414’s newest Eagle Scout, Matthew Gibson, that gratification was nearly immediate.

His Eagle Scout project involved the planning and installation of a rosary walk in front of the Mary garden between the church and the rectory at St. Jane Frances de Chantal Roman Catholic Church.

“The day after we finished, the religious education classes came out and used the rosary walk as a place to pray,” Gibson said.

The idea for the project came from church member Joe Turchetta’s Living Rosary project that was done every year at St. Jane Frances School. “I wanted to make something permanent for people to pray the rosary,” Gibson said.

After getting permission from the parish council and approval from Boy Scouts of America, he asked for donations from the Knights of Columbus Council 10966, the Ladies of the Knights, and Friends of Youth. He also held fundraisers at The Daily Scoop and Pasadena’s Chick-fil-A. Some individuals donated money and Whiting Turner sent a truck to deliver his supplies.

The bluestone pavers are set in the ground in the shape of a rosary.

“I picked out stones for the beads and the cross and scheduled a date for the project. Scouts, adult leaders and members of the parish came to help. We measured the distances and marked the spots for the stones. Then we dug the holes and put crushed stone under the pavers,” Gibson said.

Then they planted grass seed around the edges of the stones to finish off the project.

He led a team of 22 volunteers to finish the project, which required 98 hours to complete at a cost of $575.

Source:  http://www.capitalgazette.com/maryland_gazette/columnists/pasadena/pasadena-eagle-scout-creates-a-place-for-prayer-at-st/article_11ad3615-1e43-55a7-ae0e-d134beea3a16.html


Ryan says prayer, rosary sustained him through campaign

November 5, 2012

By Alana Semuels

  • Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan campaigns with Green Bay Packers fans before Sunday's game against the Arizona Cardinals in Green Bay, Wis.

CLEVELAND -- Prayer has sustained Republican vice presidential candidate Rep. Paul D. Ryan through his long days of campaigning; he keeps a rosary in his pocket and says the serenity prayer every morning.

That’s what Ryan told a tele-town-hall organized by the Faith and Freedom Coalition Sunday night as he made a closing appeal to faith-based voters two days before the election.

Source:  http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/05/news/la-pn-ryan-prayer-rosary-20121104



Reflection on teaching moment during 40 Days for Life…
Posting Date: 11-06-2012

The following reflection was written by canon lawyer Father Engel Gammad following his participation in 40 Days for Life:

By Father Engel Gammad, JCD
I had the privilege recently to walk in procession with 50 other Catholics for 40 Days for Life during their fall campaign. We started at St. Leo the Great Church and walked the three-quarters of a mile to the Planned Parenthood abortion facility on The Alameda.

We sang hymns and prayed the Stations of the Cross. Most of us carried small signs, saying “Pray to End Abortion,” and some carried large banners with beautiful pro-life baby photos and positive slogans, such as “Life is Precious.”

When I committed to doing this activity, I didn’t know what to expect, and was apprehensive, wondering if it would be noisy or confrontational.

It was completely peaceful, prayerful and respectful. We respected the Planned Parenthood boundaries, volunteers and customers. When we were assembled there on the sidewalk, we stood facing the street, prayed the Rosary, sang more hymns, and prayed more. To passing motorists, we were answering the question: What do we stand for? “We stand for life.”

While praying the Rosary, a thought dawned on me that we remember to pray, not just for the babies, the moms and the dads, but for the abortion workers, too. We must pray for them that God may touch their consciences. There is always hope for conversion. We pray for their conversion.

I believe in my heart that priests must be active in the Pro-Life movement, and be out there with our people. It may not be enough to give the occasional Pro-Life homily. If our people can go to the streets like this in prayer, why can’t we be there with them? It is important that we be in solidarity with pro-active lay people who honestly believe in the urgent call to attend to this moral issue.

That Saturday was a beautiful experience, so much so that I went again for an hour of prayer with a devoted pro-lifer on another day.

While praying the Rosary on the sidewalk, I realized it could be a real teaching moment! One of these moms or dads might see the Rosary and think about his or her choices! Catholic or non-Catholic, it is an opportunity for each person to consider life as a very important value – the most important!

• Father Engel Gammad, JCD is Adjutant Judicial Vicar and a judge in the Tribunal of the Diocese of San Jose.

- The Valley Catholic

Source:  http://www.valleycatholiconline.com/viewnews.php?newsid=3513&id=14


Prayers, rosary got priest across triathlon finish line

  • Fr. Thomas Baker, pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Lancaster, Calif., rides his bike during the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, Oct. 13. Baker conquered a windy course in Kona, crossing the finish line with a time of 13:33:36. (CNS/Courtesy Thomas Baker)

After California priest Fr. Thomas Baker finished a grueling triathlon in Hawaii, he acknowledged that parts of the 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile marathon were tough.

That's when, he said later, he "used the rosary, my mantras and the faces of all those praying for me to help me move forward."

The 53-year-old pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Lancaster conquered a windy course in Kona, Hawaii, during the Oct. 13 Ironman World Championship and crossed the finish line with a time of 13:33:36.

The priest, who wrote in the parish bulletin about his experience, said the course was "trying because of the heat, humidity and wind, all of which I expected but which made the time slower than usual."

But, he added, "I wasn't racing but enjoying the journey. Thank you for all your love, support and especially your prayers. ... What a blessing!"

In an interview with The Tidings, newspaper of the Los Angeles Archdiocese, before the Hawaii event, he said he found that training for triathlons was a good stress release from the demands of being a pastor. Before the Hawaii Ironman event, the priest had participated in 12 Ironman competitions around the country.

"To me, there's so much connection between the body and the spirit -- so many similarities about discipline and fortitude that I use in homilies and reflections," the priest said.

"In recent sermons, I talked a lot about training and wanting to give up when you're doing a long training day but just pushing through, and that's discipline, that's fortitude and you can use the analogy in the spiritual life, and it's very helpful," he told The Tidings.

"If you can do it in your physical life, then when things get difficult in your social life, your emotional life, your spiritual life, you will have the fortitude to be able to withstand it. That's really what I've learned by this journey the most."

Source:  http://ncronline.org/news/people/prayers-rosary-got-priest-across-triathlon-finish-line


The Technical Side of Choosing a Rosary

Rosaries from The Catholic Company

 Give me a rosary, any rosary will do!

Is this how you feel about choosing a rosary? Or are you a bit more particular about the kind of rosary you choose? I’m sure you’ve noticed that finding the right rosary will increase the likelihood of you actually using it, however silly that may sound.  Getting the right look and feel that attracts you is a great way to ensure that your rosary becomes a call to prayer instead of getting lost in a drawer.

1) A long rosary or a short rosary?

The length of a rosary may matter to you. Short rosaries, such as wood rosaries that are corded instead of linked, usually have the beads close together with no space between, while longer rosaries have the beads separated by more space, usually more links. The shorter rosaries may be a little more difficult to count the prayers (that is, your fingers may skip a bead accidentally because the beads are so close together). The longer rosaries don’t have this issue.  You can pray without having to look down to make sure you don’t skip a bead.  However, the longer ones with links between the beads tends to tangle on itself more easily.  If you do prefer a longer rosary, you may want to keep it in a rosary pouch or box to keep it from getting tangled.

2) Smooth rosary beads or faceted beads?

Smooth rosary beads run through the fingers easily and feel nice, while faceted jewelry-like beads are more beautiful. The multifaceted cut reflects the light beautifully in various sparkly shades of color. Especially when each bead resembles a precious stone, such as birthstone rosaries. These jewelry bead rosaries are gorgeous.  However, these kinds of beads don’t glide through the fingers easily like the smoother ones will.  So do you want a rosary that your hands like, or that your eyes like?  That’s up to you!

4) Basic or fancy rosary?

Some rosaries are very plain and basic, and these are always safe bets for giving to new Catholics (the ultra-elaborate rosaries may freak them out), for children who may lose them, or for giving out in multiples (to bible study groups, etc). Plain rosaries usually have round wooden beads strung on a thin cord rope, and are usually very inexpensive.  Plastic rosaries also fall into this category and are good for all of these cases.  However, will the inexpensive plain rosaries encourage you to pray the rosary often? Is a more elaborate rosary likely to do the trick? If you admit that having a beautiful rosary that you absolutely love will encourage you to use it more, then you have your answer!

5) Regular or special devotion rosary?

Regular rosaries are the way to go unless you have a particular saint or a particular devotion that is special to you.  Special devotion rosaries usually have a centerpiece associated with that devotion, and usually the beads fall in line with the theme too.  For example, the Divine Mercy rosary has a centerpiece of the Divine Mercy image of Jesus, and the beads have red and white swirls after the red and white rays that shine from Jesus’ heart.  Other examples of special devotion rosaries are the Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary and the St. Benedict rosary.  If you have a special devotion then you may want to get a rosary associated with it to help you remember these intentions each time you pray the rosary.

6) Child or adult rosary? Man or woman?

When you’re choosing a rosary as a gift, be sure to choose one that takes into account who you’re giving it to. If you’re giving a rosary to a man, don’t choose a fancy one with jewelry-like beads. Choose a men's rosary, usually with slightly larger dark brown or black beads. The larger beads are better for a man’s bigger hands to manage, and the darker colors are more masculine.  If you’re giving a rosary gift to a child, choose a children's rosary that has smaller beads for a child’s hands.  For a baby, baby rosaries are usually very large and colorful for the inevitable hand to mouth slobber fest.  If you’re choosing one for your mother or an aunt or a best friend, choose a beautiful, classic rosary with an ornate crucifix and centerpiece and elaborate beads. These kinds of feminine rosaries are simply stunning and become treasured heirlooms.  Many gift rosaries can be engraved with a personalized name to make it a special keepsake.

As a rosary connoisseur (I have way too many)  I’ve noticed that I prefer some rosaries to others, and some actually make me want to pray the rosary more than others.  Silly, I know, but I do love beautiful things! So be sure to choose a rosary that you love in order to give yourself the best chance of becoming a daily rosary prayer.

Source:  http://www.catholiccompany.com/blog/the-technical-side-of-choosing-a-rosary