Friday, April 17, 2015

Multiplication of Our Gifts

The Gospel today was John's account of the multiplication of the loaves and the fishes.  We are told that a boy is brought to Jesus with five barley loaves and two fish.  With over 5,000 gathered Andrew asks, "what good are these for so many?" (John 6:9) Yet we see that even the most humble of gifts when given to Our Lord can be multiplied.

Recently one of our Children's Rosary group leaders shared some pictures of a little display she had created for a ministry fair at her Church in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania USA.  She shared that several families stopped by.  One of the families is pictured above with a set of twins.  These children had come to the Children's Rosary in the past.  Another little girl pictured below also stopped to say hello she also had attended the Children's Rosary.  Some rosaries were also given out to those passing by.  Patty was quick to thank the many people who have helped her group.  One of the parishioners had made Rosaries for the group and shared that when she hears the children praying she imagines herself as a little child, too.  Another parishioner named Richard had provided Rosary pamphlets.  Indeed many have come together to help.  Although this Children's Rosary group is small Patty has continued to reach out to new families and extend personal invitations.

In looking at this display, which was done with such love and care, there is a realization that all our gifts when given to Our Lord can be multiplied.  That which seems small when done with such love brings a bounty of fruits.  Who can measure the affect of such a display on those visiting this ministry fair.  These invitations are an investment in our future and that of our Church Universal.  These little ones are very dear to Our Lord. Our efforts to provide children a way to come together in prayer with other little ones can be multiplied by Our Lord.  We may never know the affect that such early memories of prayer will have on these sweet children.  When we are gone will there be new moms who choose to bring their own children together in prayer as they themselves had done when they were young. Indeed as we saw today in the Gospel Our Lord was able to accomplish so much through the generosity of little child. May we never lose hope and continue to give Our Lord a great many little gifts.  Let us trust that everything we give to Our Lord is used in the most beautiful way.  

Thank you all for your efforts and sacrifices.  

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Thanksgiving

"The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit" (John 3:8)

The words of the Gospel from both today and yesterday included above seem to assure us that there is little use in spending time trying to predict the direction the Holy Spirit will carry something.  One only has to be ready for the Spirit to open the door and then be ready to move with it. As we celebrated our fourth anniversary of the Children's Rosary last Friday there is a hope that indeed Our Lord will direct us and carry us in the direction where we are needed.  Yesterday we completed a Novena of Masses for the Fulfillment of Our Lady's plans for the Children's Rosary.  Today we began a 9 day Novena of Masses in Thanksgiving.   

As we enter this new year there is no way of knowing where the Spirit will carry the Children's Rosary or each one of us.  Yet we take our Rosaries in hand and pray that the Lord will guide each step and send his Mother to always keep a firm hand on the other end of our rosaries that we may always be moving closer to Him.

Reflections from Divine Mercy Sunday

Children's Rosary at St. Thomas the Apostle in
West Hartford Connecticut USA
Divine Mercy Sunday was full of incredible blessings.  We began the day with Mass and a quiet Rosary with my children in the chapel unifying with a Children's Rosary group that was meeting in another town in Connecticut.  As it would turn out, the leader of the group we were unifying prayers with had fallen very sick and was suffering from a stomach flu and could not make it to her Church.  She would later write that she was disappointed that because of her illness her group could not meet.  Yet, Our Lord had by Divine Providence arranged that children would be praying at the exact time of her meeting so children's prayers were indeed still rising to heaven.  

This was the first of many blessings that day.  Another wonderful gift we had on Divine Mercy Sunday was the presence of the Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The prior night she had arrived through the hands of children.  Yes indeed another Children's Rosary group had made a special trip to bring Our Lady so we might have her at both our Children's Rosary in the morning and in the afternoon.  The afternoon Rosary was for a special Divine Mercy event.  Our Lady came with something else.  We were presented with a surprise: a second class relic of St. John Paul II.  As we held the piece of clothing which St. John Paul II had worn during his life, we were overcome with the beauty of such a gift on the eve of Divine Mercy Sunday, a day Pope John Paul II had instituted within the Church.  Indeed there was a feeling both St. John Paul II and Our Lady were smiling down on the children and pointing to the importance of the Feast to follow the next day.

As a small group of children arrived to begin our morning Children's Rosary on Divine Mercy Sunday they were overcome by the beauty of Our Lady.  They all marveled at all the detail of her dress and the softness of her face.  As the children prayed the Rosary in front of the Divine Mercy image, at the end of each decade they went and placed a rose at Our Lady's feet.  Many of these children would return in the afternoon for a larger Divine Mercy Event where again the children would hold a Children's Rosary.  During the afternoon event the children were able to be graced to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer.  More children came and we were able to close the Rosary by singing our theme song Rosary Children accompanied by Jeff Batter who was involved in the recording of the song for our CD.  To hear the children singing was so moving.  Looking out one could see smiling eyes and joy.  Indeed grace was flowing and hearts were full of love.  There are no pictures of the afternoon Rosary but in many ways I enjoy the knowledge that no one was distracted during that time in prayer.  We were all enjoying each moment.  
Children participating in Procession at Divine Mercy Event
As the day came to a close around 4PM we emerged to a glorious day with sun and warmth.  As many Children's Rosary groups met on Divine Mercy Sunday this is only a humble reflection of one of many experiences of our groups that day.  

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Divine Mercy Sunday

Tomorrow is Divine Mercy Sunday.  The Children's Rosary has been invited to participate in an annual Divine Mercy event at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford, Connecticut USA.

This is something that the children have participated in the past several years and it has been a tremendous blessing.  The event will begin at 2PM ET with a procession of the Divine Mercy Image led by the Knights of Columbus and the Children's Rosary.  One of the priests present will expose the Blessed Sacrament followed by a Children's Rosary.  The children will conclude the Rosary by singing our theme song Rosary Children.  Jeff Batter who helped with the official recording of this song for our CD will be present and accompanying the children.  The children will be leading the Rosary between 2 and 2:30 PM for those who would like to unify prayers with them.  The children always pray for those unifying with them in prayer.


Confessions will be available between 2-4PM.  Cheryl and Jeff Batter will also sing the Divine Mercy Chaplet which is incredibly moving.  There will be an opportunity to venerate a first class relic of St. Faustina.

We also have a wonderful blessing: the Official Missionary Image of Our Lady of Guadalupe will also be present.  This is an exact replica of Our Lady's Tilma given to St. Juan Diego.  The Missionary image has been blessed by the Rector of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico.  

One last beautiful blessing.  The Children's Rosary group leader from St. Bernard's Parish in Mount Lebanon, Pennsylvania requested a Mass for the Children's Rosary family to be celebrated on Divine Mercy Sunday.  This is in addition to the three Masses that will be said tomorrow for the fulfillment of Our Lady's plans for the Children's Rosary as part of our Anniversary Novena of Masses.
Divine Mercy Sunday 2014

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Children and the Diary of St. Faustina

Friday, April 10, 2015

Children's Rosary Turns Four

Today is the fourth anniversary of the first meeting of the Children's Rosary.  The children in this picture look so much younger than they do today.  Four years seems like a lifetime to a little one.  Yet in many ways the four years feel like they went by with the blink of an eye.  So many parents speak of how the tender years of their children seem to pass so quickly.  Seeing this for myself has made all those comments seem much more tangible now.  

In the realization of how fast time goes by one begins to cherish all the times in those early years when they were so open and interested in all the new things they were able to explore.  Indeed those early memories are so formative for how a child will look at the world.  If those tender years are formed in prayer with other children before their heavenly Mother and Father what direction will that set them on for a lifetime?

The Children's Rosary means to humbly offer children an invitation to come together in prayer,  to grow in virtue and holiness under the watchful eye of Our Blessed Mother. 

In a special way I would like to thank all the members of the Children's Rosary and all who have helped the Children's Rosary.  

Tonight as we look forward to the year ahead, we pray that we will be guided by the Holy Spirit and that Our Lady and Our Lord's plans for the Children's Rosary will continue to unfold all according to the Will of God all for the Glory of God. Amen. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
What is the Rosary
Children's Rosary Book

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Children's Rosary Group Visits Nursing Home

This past Saturday the Children's Rosary from St. Thomas Becket Church in Cheshire, Connecticut met at Elim Nursing home.  The children had made Easter cards at their meeting last month and they brought them to share with the residents.  As the individuals gathered the children also had gifts they wanted to share.  They had handmade rosaries from two members of our Children's Rosary from Singapore.  The Rosaries were made with care and love by a 7 year boy and his mother. One of the women at Elim commented that she used to make Rosaries but none as intricate as the ones this little boy had made.  Indeed these Rosaries looked like jewels.  The residents could not believe they were meant for them to keep. 
The children then knelt down to lead a Children's Rosary with the residents praying along as well. Two of the children brought instruments and little Emily just 6 years old played the violin to Ave Ave Ave Maria between decades.  The children also placed roses at the end of each decade before Our Lady.  They concluded the Rosary singing our theme song: Rosary Children using our Children's Rosary CD.  As the roses were gathered at the end of the Rosary each of the residents was given a rose by a child.  


The elderly residents kept commenting in amazement that the children should take their time to visit them and to pray with them. One gentlemen in a wheelchair mentioned that he used to pray the Rosary in a group years ago but it had been so long since he prayed together with others.  A nun was also present for the Children's Rosary and asked the children if they would visit another nursing home next month where retired nuns of the the Sacred Heart live.  The children were so excited to be invited and plan to visit Manor House in Hamden, Connecticut in May.  The children also would like to come back to Elim Nursing Home and pray with their new friends they have made.  


As the group leader was sharing about the day he kept repeating how little time such a trip took yet how special it had been for all present.  Only three children were there yet so much joy was felt by all.  The sweet women and men living at Elim continued to thank the children and continued to remark about the little boy in Singapore who had worked so hard on the Rosaries.  Yet the children and parents felt humbled by such gratitude for they were moved deeply by these gentle souls who through their presence gave great encouragement to the children.  Having the support in prayer of these wonderful residents in Elim was a beautiful gift to the children.  It is so important for the children to see that these prayers are important and cherished because indeed Our Heavenly Father is pleased when the children both young and old come to Him in prayer.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
Children's Rosary Book
A Grandmother's Experience with the Children's Rosary
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Ideas for May

A "May Crowning" is a wonderful way to begin a Children's Rosary during the month of May.  Place a statue of Mary where you traditionally meet and begin the Rosary by having the children process down the aisle and crown Our Lady before beginning a the Rosary. Click HERE to read a step by step instruction of how to plan your May crowning.

Last year we also began a little tradition of groups giving out Rosaries one day in their parish during the month of May or October.  Many groups participated and shared that the children so much enjoyed sharing that which has become very special to them: The Rosary.  The children also found that many in their parishes seemed very open to taking a Rosary and finding out how to use it. 

Holy Cross Family Ministries graciously makes Rosaries available to order through their site.  The Rosaries are free and one need only pay for the shipping.  

Other Posts you may enjoy:
Sharing Rosaries in May
May Crowning
A Long Winter