Friday, December 19, 2014

Packages for Kenya

This week the children sent boxes to our 6 Children's Rosary groups in Kenya.  Each box was tenderly packed with Rosaries, handmade cards and many other goodies.

Each box contained a read aloud children's Bible for each group.  Additionally our Children's Rosary CDs and prayer books were also included with sheet music for our theme song "Rosary Children".  As we have a first class relic of St. Anne the grandmother of Jesus and St. Therese the Little Flower visiting our home each item was touched to the relic and prayers said for all those who receive them.

As the children wanted everything perfect, the assembly of these boxes took several weeks.  Other groups from around the world also joined in making cards in their Children's Rosary groups which they sent to Kenya.  Indeed as the letters and packages were mailed one could imagine the journey each would take.  In much the same way the wise men set out for their long journey.

One of the destinations of the boxes is our Children's Rosary at Our Lady of Grace Home in Meru, Kenya.  Over 190 children live in this orphanage. They hold a Children's Rosary each Monday. 
As two of my own children spent a good bit of their childhood living in an orphanage before we adopted them, they were eager to share their favorite books with the children when we realized there was a bit more room in the box.  Kostin our 10 year old son wanted them to have his favorite book on saints.  When I asked if he wanted to part with it he said emphatically, yes.  All the books were also touched to the relics before packing them away. It is a beautiful thought to imagine the children gathering around to see a package that has come from so far away.  Additionally, with other Children's Rosary groups sending Christmas cards it is our hope that the children will feel embraced by love by their friends from around the world who join them in prayer. 

Children's Rosary at
Our Lady of Grace Home
Other posts you may enjoy:
Help keep the Children's Rosary spreading
How to Start a Children's Rosary

What Are They Waiting For?

At the beginning of Advent the children placed a simple sign they made in the window.  It read: Patiently Waiting.  We invited others to do the same.  Over the past three weeks it has been interesting to see what has happened.  

Recently our babysitter told us that her boyfriend, who often picks her up in the evening, wanted to know what we were waiting for.  He had seen the sign and was curious about it.  Another friend gave me a ride home from Church last week. She too wanted to know what patiently waiting meant.  Each little inquiry brings a little joy to the heart.  An excitement to know that on December 25th a new sign will be in the window one that reads: Christ is Born.  It is beautiful to imagine people walking and driving by.  Those who had seen the sign for weeks and wondered...what is this family waiting for?  

What is particularly special about the patiently waiting sign is that it is a gentle way of saying this home is in prayer. We are keeping watch with Our Blessed Mother. The Children's Rosary in many ways is in the school of Our Blessed Mother.  We want to grow in love and holiness. We wish to have her mold us in sanctity as she formed her own Son.  Through prayer and time spent with her praying the Rosary and contemplating the life of Jesus we learn these gentle ways.  This little sign(Patiently Waiting) is in keeping with Our Lady's gentleness, it is a way of witnessing through our life that which is the most important to us.

The manger stands empty in front of our Church.
The children run up and look at the empty crib.  On Christmas morning
they can't wait to be the first to check and see if baby Jesus is present. 
It is certainly not too late to put up a sign in your window.  Until the moment when Our Lord is born we are being called to draw close and ready ourselves in prayer.  To place such a sign in ones window sends a ripple out.  It is not a ripple of doom or gloom it is a ripple that brings joy to the heart.  

Help the Children's Rosary Keep Spreading

Dear Friends,

We are excited to share that over the next few weeks we have an exciting opportunity to raise funds to help the Children's Rosary keep spreading.  Any donations made until January 6th 2015, the Feast of Epiphany, will be matched dollar for dollar by a friend of the Children's Rosary (up to $4,000). Donations can be made electronically by paypal or credit card through the donate button.  

Donations can also be mailed to:
Children's Rosary
PO Box 271743
West Hartford, CT 06127 USA
Checks should be made out to Children's Rosary Inc. 
(all checks dated January 6th 2015 or sooner will be doubled)

Please know that the Children's Rosary prays for all its members and anyone who helps the Children's Rosary.  Our hope is to help carry all of us along the journey to sanctity. With Children's Rosary prayer groups meeting all around the world, all our members and supporters are being covered in layers of prayer each day.  It is a wonderful thought to contemplate.  

The Children's Rosary is truly a grassroots prayer group movement.  We try to do a lot with very little.  The children help with almost everything. If materials are sent out they are packaged by the children and carried to the post office by children.  Often a red wagon is seen being pulled when there isn't too much snow. Indeed the children are at the center of everything.  As some of our young members grow they are becoming more and more excited about sharing this prayer group movement with others. They have helped run information booths in parishes, Christmas Bazaars and larger meetings.  But  most importantly they pray.  They provide support for each other in their faith journey.  Few peer support systems exist for children in their prayer life.  For many children, they might never know there are other children who pray.  They might feel alone.  For others prayer is something distant from them..something they know little about yet given an invitation they would be happy to join.  As Fr. Apsotoli, one of our advisory board members once said,  if we do not plant the seeds today there will be no harvest later.  LET US MAKE GOOD USE OF THIS TIME.  There is truly no time to lose. Please help us spread the Children's Rosary to another parish and another.  Let us create a resurgence of prayer amongst our children.  

We humbly thank you and keep you and all your prayer intentions in our prayers.
It is a beautiful thing to see a child so in love
with her heavenly Mother.

Other posts you may enjoy:

Thursday, December 18, 2014

May We Be a Joy for God?

The birth of Our Lord is truly our Christmas Joy.  For even the Rosary highlights Christ's birth as the third joyful mystery.  This morning on the walk to Mass a little thought entered my mind, Our Lord is our joy but wouldn't it be wonderful if we could be a joy for Him.  There must be so many things that pain His heart.  Things we ourselves have done to offend Him during our life.  Yet there was a hope that we the Children's Rosary might be a joy for Him.  As He looks down might he see little children kneeling before a manger, praying and waiting with His Mother for His birth.  Children praying a prayer, the Holy Rosary, given to them by His own Mother.  This includes the Our Father prayer He himself taught to the apostles.  Indeed it is a wonderful thought to ponder.  Could we be a joy for Our Lord.  Oh yes, this is a prayer I have for all of us.  May we be a joy for you God.  
The children place roses before the manger at the end of each decade
of the Rosary. Our Lord is not there yet but they wait patiently
in prayer.
Over the next week there will be many children kneeling in prayer, waiting for a tiny baby to be born to a humble women named Mary and her husband Joseph.  A crib stands empty but those children that meet on Christmas and after will find a surprise.  The crib will be full and there will be much celebrating for such a gift will be remembered for all time.

Thursday December 18th
Children's Rosary at St. Augustine Church in Iba Estate, Lagos Nigeria 1PM ET

Children's Rosary at Resurrection Parish in Rye NY 5PM ETThe Children's Rosary at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Brentwood, California will meet at 6:30 PM ET in front of the Blessed Sacrament.
The Children's Rosary at St. Martin Church in Kingsville, Texas will meet at 6:30 PM
Friday December 19
Children's Rosary at St. Mary's School in Orange TX 7:05 AM CT

Children's Rosary at St. Paul's Parish in Odell, IL 8:35 AM CTChildren's Rosary at St. Mary's School in Pontiac, IL at 9AM CT 
Children's Rosary at St. Augustine Church in Iba Estate Lagos, Nigeria 1PM ET

Saturday December 20th
Children's Rosary of St. Michael the Archangel Parish and held in the Kibera slum in Langatta Nairobi Kenya 10 local time

Children's Rosary at St. Mary's Church in Corvallis Oregon 12 PM PT
Children's Rosary at St. Augustine Church in Iba Estate Lagos, Nigeria 1PM ET
Children's Rosary at the Daughters of Charity Convent in Bridgeport, CT 2:30 PM ET

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Advent Event

On December 6th Holy Cross Family Ministries and the Children's Rosary joined together to hold a special event: Advent Journey with Mary and with Your Family. Members from our three Children's Rosary groups in Massachusetts were welcomed to the Fr. Peyton Center in Easton, MA.  Holy Cross Family Ministries beautifully hosted all the children and families.  It was a full afternoon with many activities:
Family Advent wreath prayer and lighting of the Advent wreath
Movie on the life of Servant of God Patrick Peyton
Why do we ask saints to help us in life?
Reflection on what Mary teaches us about the birth of her son, Jesus

Members of Holy Cross Family ministries helped teach the children and parents how to make Rosaries.
The children also joined together to create handmade cards for our Children's Rosary groups in Kenya.
The children concluded the afternoon by gathering together in the chapel for a Children's Rosary. 
It was a special day of making friends from different Children's Rosary groups, joining together in prayer and sharing experiences.  The children also were able to learn about Servant of God Fr. Patrick Peyton who had a deep love of the Rosary and made famous the saying: the family that prays together stays together. 

Many thanks to Mary Amaral our Children's Rosary group leader from Sacred Heart Church in Middleboro MA who helped plan this event and all those at Holy Cross Family Ministries.

A special thank you as well to all who traveled distances to attend the Advent Event!

For those who have not visited the Fr. Patrick Peyton Center there is much to explore:
Fr. Patrick Peyton, Servant of God Grave site:  located just a few minutes drive from the Fr. Patrick Peyton Center
Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto:  Located 300 feet on the left beyond the cemetery.
Outdoor Rosary Walk: Located next to the Fr. Peyton Center.  
Gift Shop:  There is a small gift shop located in the center.
Chapel:  There is a beautiful little Chapel in the Center. Hand carved wall pictures of each mystery of the rosary surrounds the inner walls of the chapel.
Museum:  There is a small enclosed room depicting Fr. Patrick Peyton's office with many of his belongings.

Other Posts you may enjoy:
How to start a Children's Rosary

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Honoring Mary's Immaculate Conception

Our Children's Rosary group at Immaculate Conception Church in British Columbia, Canada met on the eve of the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception last week.  The children had a special evening planned to honor Our Lady.  They dressed in white and processed into their church named after Our Blessed Mother's Immaculate Conception. Each child held a white rose and carnation which were placed at the foot of a Statue of Our Lady.  All around the statue Our Lady was beautifully decorated with flowers. The children then gathered to lead a Children's Rosary.  At the conclusion of the Rosary the choir sang Salve Regina in Latin.  
Process of members of the
Children's Rosary
It is truly a beautiful thing to see children surrounding Our Lady and so tenderly showing their love for her.  With gentle prayers and song these little ones must bring a smile to Our Mother and her Son.  For as St. Maximilian Kolbe was fond of saying, "Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did."

We are extremely grateful to the group leader of this Children's Rosary group. Inez spent her summer helping to spread the Children's Rosary in Kenya during a summer trip there with her husband, daughter and niece.  She now reports, "My mission for 2015, is to spread the movement in other parishes here in Vancouver. I’m organizing an advertising group of children who will join me in presenting the idea at all Sunday Masses in other parishes. We will offer to help them organize and be present at their first rosary, then they can continue from then onward."

The children all dressed in white with their sweet smiles... such a picture brings
joy and hope to the heart.  
Other posts you may enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary group
How can one draw himself away from love of this world?
Pure joy comes from the Lord.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Bazaar

On December 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas the Children's Rosary was able to have a booth at the annual St. Thomas the Apostle School Christmas Bazaar.  St. Thomas the Apostle School has children attending from age 3 through 5th grade which is usually around age 11.

Our booth was perfectly positioned in the hallway near the front door.  We were happily surprised to see a poster, made by the students of the school, above our table with a picture of the manger and little drawings of nativities by the children arranged around it. 

Many other tables lined this hallway which led children to a large gym with more tables and also snacks.  While we had our Children's Rosary CDs and books available for purchase as perfect stocking stuffers we also gave out free Rosaries.  One of our main purposes was to share information about the Children's Rosary with more families and invite them to our next meeting.   This turned out to be wonderfully fruitful.  Alina and Kostin invited families to also sign up for our free raffle of a Children's Rosary CD.  A little girl who was running a booth with her mom and sister won the CD at the end of Bazaar.  She was a fifth grader and had made the sweetest hair bows that coordinated with the children's school uniforms.  These two sisters attend St. Thomas school but are parishioners at St. Peter Claver Church in our town of West Hartford.  As we have a Children's Rosary at that parish too we are hopeful that maybe Grace and Claire will consider joining that group.  In many ways we never know what seeds we are planting.  As many children ran by often looking for toys or treats they sometimes would stop just for a moment.  Little tiny seeds being sprinkled out.  Sometimes it is years later when such a seed is rediscovered.  Yet in faith we keep trying and praying.

This past Sunday we held our monthly Children's Rosary at St. Thomas.  We had a strong turnout and two new little girls.  Alina and Kostin were so happy to see the group growing. Sometimes Children's Rosary groups are very tiny and we have learned never to judge a groups success by numbers.  Yet we are faithful to it and also keep inviting children. 

Other posts you may enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary