Monday, December 2, 2013

Prayers of the Children Spreading Coast to Coast

Children's Rosary at St. Patrick Parish
In a small mission parish in the Sierra foothills children can be found in prayer.  Yes the prayer so loved by Our Lady and her Son the Holy Rosary. This little parish is small in size but bountiful in our most precious gifts: those of our children.  Several weeks ago the formation director from St. Patrick Parish in Angels Camp, California contacted me with an interest in forming a Children's Rosary in her parishes faith formation program.
The scenario was this: she had 80 children meeting Wednesday evenings at 4PM for one hour and another 20 children in the neighboring town of Murphys meeting on Monday evenings at 4PM.  She had heard of the Children's Rosary through a friend who knew a Children's Rosary group leader from St. Mary's Church in Corvallis, Oregon USA.  She had watched our EWTN show and felt a call to begin a Children's Rosary.  

Together we spoke about her classes which include children ages 5 to 13.  With such a large group of children there was a hope we could bring the intimate feel of a prayer group yet involve all the children in her program.  Our plan was this.  As her faith formation class meets weekly, she would hold her Children's Rosary for the first 20 minutes of class with all the grades assembled together in the Church.  Two classes totally approximately 20 children would be the leaders .  A Younger class would be paired with an older class as this would provide mentorship in both directions, the older children helping with the prayers and the younger children sharing their innocent openness to prayer and Our Lady.  The two classes leading would kneel before the altar and a small statue of Our Lady.  In turns the children would go to the podium and lead a decade.  At the end of each decade a flower would be placed at the foot of Our Lady while an adult was saying Mary we humbly place this rose at your feet and ask for the grace of faith if it were the first glorious mystery(the graces asked for correspond to the fruits of the mysteries).  Pairs or triplets could lead each decade so all 20 children could be involved with either leading a decade or placing a flower.  The remaining children in the grades not leading would be participating in the pews kneeling in prayer of the Rosary as well.  The parents of the children leading that week could be invited to join and pray the Rosary.  As there are 4 weeks per month each group would lead once a month and all the children could be included.  The Children's Rosary groups would therefore still have that small feel yet function within a larger group.  The pairing of classes would persist year after year until a class graduates in this way relationships could be established just as in an adult prayer group.  

On Wednesday November 20th Angel's Camp held their first Children's Rosary.  The children leading are pictured above just before starting the Rosary.  The roses and Our Lady carefully held by two sweet angels.

A picture was also taken of the many children kneeling in prayer from the pews.  So many prayers going up to Our Lady to present to her Son.  It is a beautiful image to contemplate.  Each prayer drifting heavenward. 

The Holy Rosary is a wonderful way to ground a faith formation program.  Bl. John Paul II in his Apostolic letter Rosarium Virginis Mariae describes the Rosary as "Christ-Centered" as it followes the beautiful events of the life of Our Lord.  In prayerful contemplation of these mysteries subsequent discussions of Christmas and the Passion begin to fall into place.  Our Lady is also present in prayer to assist in the faith formation of these little ones as she did with her own Son.  Our Blessed Mother's assistance in raising children either at home or in a school or catechism program is such a beautiful grace. As a mother of three who struggles daily with patience and love I take such solace knowing that through the Prayers of the Rosary Our Lady makes up for so many deficiencies and provides that love that at times we feel unable to give.  

Today we have two Children's Rosary groups meeting.  The Children's Rosary at St. Patrick's Parish in Murphys, CA will meet at 4PM Pacific time. The Children's Rosary at St. John the Evangelist in Mahopac, NY will meet at 4:30 PM EST. This group in NY has chosen to meet weekly in front of the Blessed Sacrament.  Please consider joining the children in prayer.  The Children always pray for those unifying prayers with them.

You may also like the following posts:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Our Children are Open to Prayer They Only Need an Invitation

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