Friday, February 24, 2017

A Trip to South Sudan


We are happy to share some good news. There is a lovely family that has been part of the Children's Rosary in West Hartford, Connecticut USA.  Several of their children have attended Children's Rosary meetings. Their father, Dut Tong is from South Sudan. In March he will be returning to his village of Akoch Atong. He expressed an interest in introducing the Children's Rosary to the children of his village.

There are many children there so we prepared several large boxes of materials for him to bring. They include 675 Rosaries, 75 Children's Rosary books, 2 Children's Rosary CDs, and 50 Children's Rosary bookmarks. Dut has asked for our prayers for his trip. I humbly ask that we pray for him that he may have a safe and fruitful trip. Please pray that his efforts to begin a Children's Rosary in his village will be realized. Thank you all. The pictures included in this post are from Dut's village of Akoch Atong in South Sudan.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
"Many Things Can Wait but Children Cannot, for Them We Cannot Answer Tomorrow"
When the Impossible Become Possible

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Our Plans for Lent...We are Starting Small

Lent is only a week away and we wanted to share our plans with you. Over the past year I have read to the children the life of St. John Vianney and also the life of St. Therese of Lisieux. Both gave many sacrifices to Our Lord.  St. John Vianney gave heroic fasting and mortification. St. Therese gave daily sacrifices also dear to Our Lord but they were of a different nature. They were tiny sacrifices but ones that also led to the heights of sanctity. While the life of St. John Vianney resonated deeply in my soul it seemed Our Lord was showing my children and I that there are many ways to please Him.  Such was what we learned in reading about St. Therese and the little sacrifices she would give Our Lord with love each day.  She spoke of little sacrifice beads she would carry in her dress.  When she found something particularly hard such as being kind to someone she did not like, she moved a bead with her finger and did that which was difficult but out of love for God.  In reading her story, I loved the idea of these sacrifice beads. I knew they would be different then Rosary beads as they would have to stay where you put them (see picture below). There is a time in everyone's life for different things to help them on their journey. It seemed my heart was earning for something to help me with these daily struggles. 

Something beautiful happened after we finished the book of St. Therese's life.  A package arrived with some sacrifice beads!  We had not asked anyone to send us these beads they just arrived in a box along with some Rosaries.  It was clear they were handmade and had a little card explained how to use the St. Therese beads. 


To receive these beads was as if a dear friend had read your heart and gotten you the gift you had been hoping for but had told no one. We were excited to put them to use.

A few days after the sacrifice beads arrived at our home a friend stopped by our house to drop off some handmade Rosaries. Our friend had recently suffered a terrible loss with the sudden death of her daughter. As we were talking I mentioned the unexpected arrival of the Sacrifice beads and gave her a string. She took the beads and felt they might help her.  Later I would find that she began making some for friends. People at her work seeing her beads asked if she could help make a string for them. As she runs the little Rosary making group at our parish which my daughter attends, my daughter was able to make a few of these sacrifice beads. This week we went to the post office and the lovely women who took our package at the counter mentioned she had one of the handmade sacrifice beads from our common friend.  This it seemed was only further confirmation that the time was right for these little beads.  Not only were our hearts open to them but it seemed other hearts were looking for something to help them, too.

Requests were coming in for more beads.  So we are now in the process of trying to make them. Well this is a rather long story to bring us to the place where we can share these beads and our plans to use them.  

Why are the beads helpful?  Well for me I find the beads are concrete.  When something difficult comes and I have a split second to decide how I will act my mind goes to the opportunity to do something for God.  A chance to move a bead for Him.  

To look at the beads at the end of the day and see none moved is sad and there is the opportunity to reflect at what could have been done differently...opportunities lost. But then there is the next day and one is more ready to take each chance to make an act of love.  In reading with my daughter tonight I found something that made a lot of sense. This is a portion from the book of Mother Mary Loyola (The Soldier for Christ):

"We cannot, then, afford to get into bad habits, the way to which is doing bad things once, twice, three times. It is much easier, I think to get bad habits then good. It may be. Yet we have this thought to encourage us - that by every good act we do, whether it is prompt rising in the morning, or forgiveness, or overcoming human respect, or checking impatience, we are helping to form a good habit. The effort will be less each time, and what was hard in the beginning will come to be not easy only, but pleasant."  The passage went on the share how very important it is to create these good habits young. "So Holy Scripture tells us if we train ourselves well whilst we are young, we shall keep in the right way when we get older, just as a well-trained horse goes,through habit along the right road without need of spur or bridle."

So this Lent we want to begin small.  We want to take our day and search in it moments to choose God. To choose to do that which is often the most difficult...being kind to those we live with and see each day.  For myself it is always easier to be kind to a stranger.  The thought of being kind to the person that drives me crazy, well this is much harder.  But having begun using the beads I can see the beginnings of new good habits.  They are new so Lent is a perfect time to make them more routine.  The kids are also excited about the beads.  For each person I have seen Our Lord will ask something a little different.  My daughter's first thought was to pick up some trash on the ground on our walk home each day from Church.  I told her if she picks up the trash and says in her heart I am doing this out of love for you God,  it is a beautiful sacrifice.  Tonight she and I sat together talking about Lent and a few places she could try to target.  There was a beautiful set of questions we came across in our reading together. Maybe they will help in searching for ways to move a bead.

We hope in the coming week or two to post a description of how to make your own sacrifice beads.  We also are a bit new at making these sacrifice beads but are happy to share what we will make. Donations for postage are always helpful to keep us able to help more folks. If you would like a string you can email a request to blythe@childrensrosary.org

There are a few other things we will be doing this Lent including adding more saints to our list through 9 day novenas (see Saints invited to Join the Children's Rosary). But our major effort will be with the small things each day. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Sunday, February 19, 2017

First Meeting of the Children's Rosary at St. Francis Shelter

Today a new Children's Rosary prayer group formed at St. Francis Shelter in Bien Hoa, Vietnam. This Shelter is home to 80 severely disabled children. A small number of the children are ambulatory and these children came together to hold the first meeting of the Children's Rosary today.  The meeting began with Consecrating the group to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  Much care was taken to set up a prayer area where the children could gather. 

The children chose to have a large picture of Divine Mercy before them.  The area was further decorated with prayer cards of saints hung before the image of Divine Mercy. Before the children was the baby Jesus. A gift we had sent to the children in Bien Hoa orphanage. They in turn gave this statue to the children at St. Francis Shelter. An incredibly generous gift from their hearts to other children in many ways more needy then they.

The children at St. Francis Shelter were very excited to receive the gift of the baby Jesus statue.  They also had an opportunity to give a gift of their own. Roses were present and each child was able to place a rose before the baby Jesus.  The children led a Rosary and also sang Marian hymns.  It was a very special first meeting.  The children look forward to their next meeting of the Children's Rosary.  We welcome these dear little ones to the Children's Rosary and extend our love and prayers to them.  



We received word that there was cleaning going on in the rooms of many of the children confined to their beds.  They were not able to be visited today for that reason.  In the future when the children hold their meetings every effort will be made to visit the children and involve them as much as possible.

Thank you all for those who were able to unify prayers with the children.  This means a great deal to them. 

It is a very special day to see the beauty of the children coming before Our Lord to offer their love and prayers.  We thank you God for such a gift. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
St. Francis Shelter
Honey for the Heart


Saturday, February 18, 2017

New Children's Rosary at St. Francis Shelter

We are excited to share that St. Francis Shelter in Bien Hoa Vietnam will now have a Children's Rosary prayer group. This Shelter is home to 80 children most of whom have severe disabilities.  Over a month ago a Children's Rosary was held at the Shelter.  There was interest to form a Children's Rosary prayer group at the Shelter where the children could pray on a regular basis. The first meeting will be Sunday February 19th at 9:30 AM local time.  This will be 9:30 PM ET on Saturday here in the Northeast part of the United States. I hope you will join the children in prayer. The children always pray for those unifying prayers with them. You will find a list of upcoming meetings in your local time zone, including this meeting in Vietnam, on our website: www.childrensrosary.org
While the children are meeting in prayer they can be seen as a blue flashing light on our View from Heaven map.  If you click "join in prayer" you can add a gold flashing light to the map.

The children will begin the meeting in a few hours by Consecrating the group to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In this way the group is under the protection and guidance of Christ and His Mother. We hope to have pictures from the first meeting to share with you soon. The picture above of Our Lady of Fatima was taken at the end of the Children's Rosary that was held last month at St. Francis Shelter.  She had been carried to many bedsides of the children and now was set down for some final prayers before she left the Shelter. 

Thank you all and may Our Lord bless you. 

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
St. Francis Shelter

Saint Bernadette Champion of the Rosary



Today is the Feast of St. Bernadette.  The picture above my daughter drew of St Bernadette with the Rosary surrounding her. Indeed the Rosary was something that she carried with her always.  

Today we received a note from Tran (age 16) who lives in Vietnam.  He has a first class relic of St. Bernadette and offered to pray for all the members of the Children's Rosary before the relic.  With the Feast of St. Bernadette today and the Feast of Jacinta and Fancisco of Fatima on Monday February 20th, it is beautiful to contemplate how Our Lady chooses to speak to the world through children.  Their role is crucial it would seem in bringing hearts back to God.  With rosaries in hand they will lead.  We continue to see this unfolding throughout the world with the Children's Rosary.  Regions where prayer has weakened or fallen away the children are bringing it back.  Through their tender voices and innocent hearts they are re-kindling it.

The children wanted to share someone else in our home that is a Champion of the Rosary. His name is Baby and he is our 14 year old cat.  While he is seen below taking a particular interest in a statue of St. Bernadette and Our Lady of Lourdes he also makes a routine of joining the children for their prayers.  It may be that the prayer room where we say our prayers is also where his bed is located but still we feel his presence during prayers is special.
Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Theme Song for the Children's Rosary

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Top 10 Favorite Posts from 2016

This past year was full of blessings for the Children's Rosary.  As many may just be discovering the Children's Rosary we would like to share some of the journey this past year. We have seen new Children's Rosary groups forming in different parts of the United States and also other countries such as Belgium, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

We also had our official release of our new Children's Rosary website: www.childrensrosary.org also available in Spanish (www.rosariodeninos.org) and French (www.rosairedesenfants.org).  The site is full of newly developed resources such as instructional videos on How to Start a Children's Rosary and also How to Run Your First Meeting. One of the most exciting features of the new site is that View From Heaven map that allows one to see prayer groups meeting as blue flashing lights on the map and allows visitors to join in prayer and become a gold flashing light on the map. Prayer group meetings are also listed on the home page in one's local time zone so many can join the children in prayer from their home.  

This past December we released the French version of the Children's Rosary book. Many people helped with this translation project and we are very grateful to each one of them.  

The Children's Rosary also participated in several events which have become a yearly tradition. The Children's Rosary was invited this past year to participate in the Global Rosary Relay for Priests on  the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Many children unified prayers with Shrines across the globe praying for our priests.  

The Children's Rosary was also invited for the second year to join the Catholic Grandparents Association at the National Shrine of Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, MA for Grandparents Day.  The children led all present in a Children's Rosary at their outdoor Shrine.  


Children's Rosary groups in Pakistan organized several events during this past year in which children from many Children's Rosary groups in the region were able to meet. In June the children had a day were they came together to celebrate Mary Mother of Mercy. Other events included meeting at a Holy Door to pass through in honor of the Year of Mercy and also leading a Palm Sunday Procession.

One of the most precious gifts this year were all the groups who celebrated their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th and 5th year anniversaries.  With many new groups forming, it is easy to focus on the "new" groups but one must never forget the faithfulness in prayer that so many children and group leaders carry in their hearts.  The world may question why such sacrifices are needed.  When obstacles present themselves and hard times come there are a thousand reasons to give up.  Yet despite all this, groups continue to meet.  This faithfulness creates the grace that allows this prayer group movement to continue to spread... to reach deeper and further.  It is for this reason that postings continue.  For it is in sharing the blessings that are coming that we see the fruits of so much sacrifice.  These graces we are not owed, yet Our Lord in His goodness showers them down upon us.  We must not hide our light but share it and so the posts continue.

The list below of posts are my favorites. In some cases they represent events, or blessings and others struggles we have passed through.  I humbly thank you all for joining us on this journey. Thank you for your prayers, Masses offered, sacrifices made with the goal of bringing our little ones to prayer and in doing so help to strengthen not only the faith of our children but also our families and parishes. 

Here are the top 10 posts of 2016:

Important Announcement!
Sacrificing for Our Lord
A Journey to Bring the Baby Jesus to the Children
A Christmas Wish
The Children Reach Out to a Leper Community
Come on a Journey With Us
A Window to the World Through Prayer
We Conclude Our Fast at the Foot of the Cross
French Version of the Children's Rosary Book Arrives
When the Impossible Become Possible
Remembering Our Lady

It is so hard to limit the posts as there have been so many blessings.  These are honorable mentions:
Marian Procession in Pakistan
Under the Care of Our Bless Mother
"It is More Blessed to Give Than To Receive"
"12 Rosaries Left Over"
Surprises For the Children
"Many Things Can Wait but Children Cannot, for Them We Cannot Answer Tomorrow"
Confession is the Soul's Bath
Have You Ever Seen a Nativity in Pakistan? 

Monday, February 13, 2017

Lots of Snow!

The past 5 days the Northeast of the United States has been getting LOTS OF SNOW!  This has been a delight for our kids who have spent the time making snow forts and of course a snowman.  This one has a Daniel Boone hat and a love of the Rosary.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Beauty