Monday, December 31, 2012

Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions for January 2013

Pope Benedict XVI 
photograph by Alessandro Blanch/ Reuters

General:That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in Him.
Missionary:That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holy Father Calls Christian Families to be Schools of Prayer

Feast of the Holy Family
Just a year ago, before the Feast of the Holy Family Our Holy Father spoke of the importance of prayer in our families.  

Our Holy Father  at the Crib of Jesus
Reuters picture
Benedict XVI December 28th 2011 “Our continuing catechesis on prayer leads us, during this Christmas season, to reflect on the place of prayer in the life of the Holy Family of Nazareth. In the home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, we learn to contemplate the mystery of God’s presence and to grow as faithful disciples of Christ. The Gospels present Mary as the supreme model of prayerful meditation on the mysteries of Christ’s life; in praying the Rosary, in fact, we unite ourselves to her contemplation of those mysteries in faith and hope. Saint Joseph fulfilled his vocation as the father of the Holy Family by teaching Jesus the importance of quiet fidelity to work, prayer and observance of the precepts of the Law. Jesus’ unique relationship with his heavenly Father was reflected in the prayer life of the Holy Family and stands at the heart of all Christian prayer. May the example of the Holy Family inspire all Christian families to be schools of prayer, where parents and children alike come to know that closeness to God which we joyfully celebrate in these days of Christmas.”

The Catechism echoes Our Holy Father’s directives regarding prayer in the family.

“Through the grace of the sacrament of marriage, parents receive the responsibility and privilege of evangelizing their children”. (Catechism 2225)  When should this evangelization begin?  The catechism is clear that it should start at an early age: “Parents should initiate their children at an early age into the mysteries of the faith of which they are the ‘first heralds’ for their children. They should associate them from their tenderest years with the life of the Church”.(Catechism 2225)

The Children’s Rosary has dedicated this year to Renewal of Family Prayer.  To this end we have offered 31 Masses for the intention of Renewal of Family prayer.  Over 660 novenas to different saints have been said praying for renewal of family prayer.  Close to 400 Children’s Bibles have been given out to families to assist them in renewing family prayer in their homes.  Countless rosaries have been said in by children at their parent's knee that renewal of family prayer will spread across the globe.  On this Feast of the Holy Family may Our Lord bless each one of our families with a spirit of prayer. Amen. 
Getty Image- St. Peter's Square on Christmas Eve 

Litany of the Holy Name

Litany of the Holy Name

V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy 
V. Christ, have mercy 
R. Christ, have mercy
V. Lord, have mercy
R. Lord, have mercy

God our Father in heaven- Have mercy on us (repeat at the end of each phrase.)
God the Son, Redeemer of the world
God the Holy Spirit
Holy Trinity, one God

Jesus, Son of the living God
Jesus, splendor of the Father
Jesus, brightness of everlasting light
Jesus, king of glory
Jesus, down of justice
Jesus, Son of the Virgin Mary
Jesus, worthy of our love
Jesus, worthy of our wonder
Jesus, mighty God
Jesus, father of the world to come
Jesus, prince of peace
Jesus, all-powerful
Jesus, pattern of patience
Jesus, model of obedience
Jesus, gentle and humble of heart

Jesus, lover of chastity
Jesus, lover of us all
Jesus, God of peace
Jesus, author of life
Jesus, model of goodness
Jesus, seeker of souls
Jesus, our God
Jesus, our refuge
Jesus, father of the poor
Jesus, treasure of the faithful

Jesus, Good Shepherd
Jesus, the true light
Jesus, eternal wisdom
Jesus, infinite goodness
Jesus,  our way and our life
Jesus, joy of angels
Jesus, king of patriarchs
Jesus, teacher of apostles
Jesus, master of evangelists
Jesus, courage of martyrs
Jesus, light of confessors
Jesus, purity of virgins
Jesus, crown of all saints

Lord, be merciful- Jesus, save your people (repeat at the end of each phrase)
From all evil
From every sin
From the snares of the devil
From your anger
From the spirit of infidelity
From everlasting death
From neglect of your Holy Spirit

By the mystery of your incarnation
By your birth
By your childhood
By your hidden life
By your public ministry
By your agony and crucifixion
By your abandonment
By your grief and sorrow
By your death and burial
By your rising to new life
By your return in glory to the Father
By your gift of the holy eucharist
By your joy and glory

Christ, hear us Christ hear us
Lord Jesus, hear our prayer Lord Jesus, hear our prayer
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us 
Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world have mercy on us 

Let us pray.
may we who honor the holy name of Jesus
enjoy his friendship in this life
and be filled with eternal joy in the kingdom
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever.
R. Amen.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

St. John Neumann

St. Neumann
Feast Day: January 5th

O Saint John Neumann, your ardent desire of bringing all souls to Christ impelled you to leave home and country; teach us to live worthily in the spirit of our Baptism which makes us all children of the one Heavenly Father and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, the first-born of the family of God.

Obtain for us that complete dedication in the service of the needy, the weak, the afflicted and the abandoned which so characterized your life. Help us to walk perseveringly in the difficult and, at times, painful paths of duty, strengthened by the Body and Blood of our Redeemer and under the watchful protection of Mary our Mother.

May death still find us on the sure road to our Father's House with the light of living Faith in our hearts. Amen.

In a special way we are praying to St. John Neumann as we approach his Feast January 5th.  A new Children's Rosary group will meet for the first time January 5th in Naples Florida at the Parish of St. Agnes.  Two other newly formed Children's Rosary groups will also meet on his Feast: the Children's Rosary at St. Brigid Church in West Hartford CT and the Children's Rosary at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury CT.  Additionally the publisher of the new Children's Rosary book is named after St. John Neumann the first saint canonized from the United States. The publisher is called Neumann Press.  So in many ways we are praying to St. John Neumann for his help and also in thanksgiving for the wonderful ways he has already interceded for our group.

New Children's Rosary in Thomaston CT USA

The Children's Rosary is excited to humbly present Our Lady with a gift on the Feast of the Solemnity of Mary, January 1st 2013.  The gift is a new Children's Rosary group to be consecrated to her Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of her Son.  What better way to honor the motherhood of Mary then to bring our children to her and ask her to guide and protect them through prayer of the Holy Rosary. 

The new Children's Rosary is in Thomaston CT at the Parish of St. Thomas.  This new group will have their first meeting after the 11AM Mass in the St. Thomas Church Hall.  All are welcome to attend.

Light refreshments will be provided after the rosary by the Legions of Mary.

For those with questions please contact Cynthia at

Monday, December 24, 2012

A Christmas Present For All of You

A special rosary was said today for all the members of the Children's Rosary and their families.  The joyful mysteries were said.  It is our hope and prayer that Our Lord Jesus will pour out blessings upon you all this Holy Night!

God Bless you all.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Novena to the Mother of God

Novena to the Mother of God
(say for nine consecutive days)
I greet you, ever-blessed Virgin, Mother of God and miracle of almighty power!
I greet you, sanctuary of the Most Holy Trinity and Queen of the universe.
Mother of mercy and refuge of sinners, attracted by your beauty and sweetness, as well as by your tender compassion, I confidently turn to you, unworthy as I am, and beg you to obtain for me of your dear Son the special intention I request in this novena, if it be the will of God

(mention your request).

Above all, I beg you to be my Mother and Patroness, to receive me into the number of your devoted children, and to guide me from your high throne of glory.

Secret of a Perfect Christmas Present

This year the children and I decided we would give prayers as Christmas presents.  We began offering our rosaries up for those dear to us.  Although family and members of the Children's Rosary are in my prayers daily there was a thought that saying one rosary for just one person or family seemed like a special way to show our love this Christmas.  The kids began with their grandmother and a dear friend who always seems to have everything and to whom it is difficult to find just the right present.  Next my son said a rosary for his teacher.  He made little cards for those he prayed for and inside it said, "I said a rosary for you"

Yesterday he brought a card home from his teacher inside it said 

"Thank you so much for saying a rosary for me.  Now I know I'm taken care of by God.  This is a very special gift."

What a wonderful card to receive back after giving a present.  And this with no money spent and without having to leave the house.  

Today as I sat quietly in front of the fire saying rosaries for dear ones a wonderful joy and excitement filled my heart. As I was holding these individual friends in my heart I was thinking of the beautiful fruits which are given with the prayer of each mystery.  As I was saying the joyful mysteries I was thinking of the gift of humility and love of neighbor that was being given to this family in my prayers and the joy in finding Jesus which is the fruit of the fifth joyful mystery.  I almost couldn't contain myself with happiness and the urge to share this wonderful relatively unused method of giving gifts at Christmas.  While many are hurrying around and making their ways through crowded stores to find just the right gift that says I love you and you are dear to me I sat warm and comfortable by our fire with a heart bursting with joy.  Yes God is so good.  He gives us more than we ask for when we spend time with Him.  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you dear baby Jesus.

God Bless you all this Christmas!

Post on how to pray the rosary and a list of the fruits of each mystery of the rosary.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Bells to Ring Tomorrow in Memory of the Victims in CT

Governor Dan Malloy of CT USA has signed a proclamation declaring Friday December 21st 2012 a "Day of Morning" in the State of Connecticut.  He is requesting that residents statewide observe a moment of silence at 9:30 AM.  He is also asking that any houses of worship or government buildings with the capacity, to ring bells 26 times at 9:30AM in honor of each life that was taken at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Governor Malloy has also written a letter to every governor in the United States asking each state to consider joining the State of CT during this time of reflection and mourning.

Today while walking to Church the sound of bells could be heard from one of the West Hartford CT Town buildings in the distance.  It was an unfamiliar sound as there usually aren't bells ringing at 7:45 AM and not from the town buildings.  As the 13th chime was heard I knew for sure that they were getting the bells ready for tomorrow.  It is a powerful thing to hear the sound of bells especially when you know what each ring symbolizes.

If you are reading this far from CT USA consider joining us in this moment of silence tomorrow.

Thank you all and God Bless.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Remembering the Victims of the Shooting in CT

Fr. Kilbride said this Saturday morning at daily Mass that Mozart felt the silences were more important then the sounds.  

There are times when the most beautiful and comforting thing you can say is to be silent and just be with that person.

We can offer no answers or truly consoling words about last Friday's events but we can remember Our Blessed Mother, whose heart was pierced seven times during her life here on earth.  The sixth sword to pierce her heart was having her crucified Son placed in her arms.  Her final wound to the heart was burying her Son.  This is what the families of the victims must do this week.  There is nothing to be said only to stand in silence with our hearts unified to theirs in prayer.  We remember all those who lost their lives that day in CT.  Little Olivia age 6 was just learning the rosary and was to be an angel in the Christmas pageant this past weekend.  
Olivia age 6  (Tim Nosezo/ AP)

We continue to hold all these grieving individuals in our heart and ask Our Blessed Mother to hold them as she held her Son and comfort them in this moment of heartache.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Newtown Tragedy Rosary Prayer Service

A Rosary Prayer Service will be held today after the 5PM Mass at St. Thomas Apostle Church in West Hartford CT USA in memory of those impacted by the Newtown Tragedy.  This will be an opportunity to unify our hearts and prayers to our dear neighbors who are suffering.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas / Infant of Prague Novena

Christmas Novena
Prayer to the Miraculous Infant of Prague

In anticipation of Christmas December 25th consider saying this 9 day Novena from December 16th-December 24th.  The following is the same prayer being said during the Novena at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy.

O Divine Infant Jesus, Who said: "Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you." Through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted.

(Make your request.)

O Divine Infant Jesus, Who said: "Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Grant me the simplicity and wonder, the tenderness and gentleness of a child. Fill me with innocence, hope and love. Grant me the grace that I need.

(Make your request.)

O Divine Infant Jesus, help me know how close You are to me and how powerful is Your embrace. Help me to trust that You hold the whole world in Your hand. I place my every need and care in Your hands. I ask that you fulfill my request according to Your holy will.

(Make your request.)

Miraculous Infant of Prague, have mercy on us.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers for the Victims In Newtown CT

With deep sadness I write this post that many have been killed in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown CT USA today.  My brother-in law who works for Reuters wire service is currently reporting on site.  Early reports suggest, as many as 27 people have been killed many just kindergartners.  As we live within an hour of this location it feels like this is in our backyard.  We too have a little kindergartner who is home sick from school. It is hard to imagine the calls that are being made right now to families.  I am asking all who read this post to say a prayer for these families.

We the Children's Rosary would like to give a gift to the families of those injured or killed today in the shooting.  We would like to offer rosaries for them.  We will begin with a family rosary tonight.  All are invited to join from their home in offering rosaries and prayers for those suffering right now and for peace which is so needed in our world today.  

Please join us by lighting candles on your front step in remembrance of these victims and as a sign that we hold them all in our hearts and prayers.

Our Candle is already burning....

Thank you and God Bless!

How to Start a Children's Rosary

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Month of December is Dedicated to the Immaculate Conception

Picture of Our Lady taken at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, CT USA
on December 8th 2012 during a Children's Rosary 

Important Dates in December:
December 3rd Francis Xavier, Memorial
December 6th Nicholas Opt. Mem.
December 7th Ambrose, Memorial
December 8th Immaculate Conception, Solemnity
December 11th Damasus I, Opt. Mem.
December 12th Our Lady of Guadalupe (USA) Feast
December 13th Lucy, Memorial
December 14th John of the Cross, Memorial
December 21st Peter Canisius, Opt. Mem.
December 24th Christmas Eve
December 25th Christmas, Solemnity
December 26th Stephen, Feast
December 27th John, Feast
December 28th Holy Innocents, Feast
December 29th Thomas Becket, Opt. Mem.
December 30th Holy Family, Feast
December 31st Sylvester I, Opt. Mem.

The Holy Father's Intentions for the Month of December 2012:

General: That migrants throughout the world may be welcomed with generosity and authentic love especially by Christian communities.

Missionary: That Christ may reveal himself to all humanity with the light that shines forth from Bethlehem and is reflected in the face of his Church.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Gift to Our Lady of Guadalupe from the Children's Rosary

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe
In 1531 Our Lady appeared to a poor Indian, Juan Diego,  at Tepeyac Mexico and left her miraculous image on his tilma.  Our Lady is depicted in the local dress of the Aztecs and her black sash indicates she is with child.

Mary asked that a a Church be built at the site of her apparition.  

Bl.  John Paul II visited the Basilica built on the location of the apparition four times during his papacy: 1979, 1990, 1999 and 2002.  During his visit in 1999 he entrusted the cause of life to her loving protection and placed under her motherly care the innocent lives of children, especially those who are in danger of not being born.

Today the Children's Rosary offered a Mass for the Unborn in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.  We pray in a special way for the protection of all Our Lady's children.  

It is our hope and prayer that next year we may bring to Our Lady a great many Masses for this intention.  Just as Juan Diego dropped the Tilma in front of the Bishop and roses spilled out as a sign of Our Lady's visit.  We hope to humbly carry a bouquet of Masses before Our Lady and lay them out before her so that she may take them to her Son.

If anyone would like to request Masses for December 12th 2013 for the Unborn it is never too early to make arrangements at your Parish.  Please let us know and we will keep a list of all the Masses requested by members of the Children's Rosary.  Thank you all and God Bless!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Reflections from December 9th Children's Rosary at St. Thomas Apostle Church

The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas Apostle Church in West Hartford, CT USA met this past Sunday. As we meet monthly this was the only time the children will be meeting during advent.  The date was also special as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary was the preceding day and so many wanted to continue to give Our Lady gifts in her honor.

Conner standing has just placed a rose at Our Lady feet at the end of the first joyful mystery
We had a lovely turnout this month and many adults came.  We encourage adults to come as they are the guardian angels of our group.  They by example help to witness to the children the importance of prayer and in a special way prayer of the Rosary with Our Blessed Mother.

Many wrote intentions to place before the children to pray over
The children are always excited to see a big group.  We had a new member of the group Christian who joined us with his father.  It was so wonderful to see how excited Christian was to join in with the others.  Although Christian came with little knowledge of the rosary he was excited to learn.

Christian smiling in the middle
We are so grateful to John Sipper who joined us again and provided translation into sign language.  We would also like to congratulate John on his new position translating events and Masses through the Archbishop's office in Hartford CT.

John visible left translating 
Our Dear retired pastor, Fr. Murphy also joined the children and led the last decade with them.  He closed the rosary by bestowing a beautiful priestly blessing on all of the members of the Children's Rosary both present and those across the globe.

To join the Children's Rosary one only has to tell Our Lord in your heart of your desire to join us and you will be included in all the prayers, novenas, and rosaries said daily.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Day for Our Lady

The Children's Rosary celebrated the Immaculate Conception with Our Lady this year by bringing her two new groups.  Each was presented to her and Consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and her Immaculate Heart.  Roses were placed at her feet by the children of both parishes: St. Brigid Parish in West Hartford, CT and the Immaculate Conception Parish in Waterbury, CT USA.  
Roses placed at Our Lady's feet by the children
Children leading the rosary

As both groups met before the evening Mass, when parishioners slowly made their way into Church they were greeted by the soft sound of children's voices praying the rosary.  How Our Lady must have smiled to see her innocent children leading two parishes in prayer of the Holy Rosary. 

Cupcake Rosary
A small reception was held after the Children's Rosary at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception where the children enjoyed a cupcake rosary and cupcakes spelling out Our Lady's Name. 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Two New Children's Rosary Groups to Meet on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

painted by Murillo
Consider unifying yourself in prayer of the Holy Rosary with these two new Children's Rosary Groups who will meet for the first time today.

At 3:15 PM EST children will meet for the rosary at St. Brigid Church in West Hartford, CT USA

At 3:30 PM EST children will meet for the rosary at the Bascilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, CT USA.

We have asked that each group pray for all members of the Children's Rosary and their intentions.

We humbly present these two new Children's Rosary groups to Our Lady and pray that she will shower blessings down upon them.

Blessed Mother Mary of the Children's Rosary

Blessed Mother Mary of the Children's Rosary
One year ago today on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary one of the children from the Children's Rosary presented Mary with a gift.   She brought a picture she had drawn of Our Lady and layed it in front of the altar before the prayer of the Rosary.

The picture was initially drawn earlier in the year.  Alina age eleven was trying to draw some pictures to be considered for an art enrichment program at school.  I remember the night she came down with the drawing. She said before picking up the pencil she prayed to Mary to help her with the drawing.  When I saw the image it touched my heart.  It was a picture of the Blessed Mother but in so many ways she looked like a child.   It seemed a perfect way for a child to envision Our Lady innocent like a child and yet loving like a mother.  The picture was submitted along with several others for consideration for the enrichment program and inclusion in an art show.  However, they were not selected to be included in the art show and they did not qualify her for entry into the art enrichment program.  Yet there was a feeling that this image was special.

On December 8th 2011, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, we gave this picture to Our Blessed Mother. We hoped it would bring her joy.  One year later the Children's Rosary book was complete and was sent to the publisher for publication.  The book contains this picture of Our Lady on the inside back cover. 

When the drawing was presented to Our Lady as a gift on her Feast the idea of the Children's Rosary book had not even been conceived.  Yet one short year later, a Children's Rosary book with this drawing inside of Our Blessed Mother was completed.  The book contents, image and name of the image were all approved by the Archbishop of Hartford for publication.

We are grateful to Our Lady for accepting this picture and continuing to bless the Children's Rosary and all its members.  

JPII Prayer on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

Prayer of John Paul II on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary 
Painting by Murillo 1665
This prayer was spoken by Pope John Paul ten years ago today at the Piazza di Spagna, 8 December 2002
"Hail Mary, full of grace!"
Immaculate Virgin, here I am at your feet once again,
full of devotion and gratitude.
I return to this historic Piazza di Spagna
on the solemn day of your feast
to pray for the beloved city of Rome,
for the Church, for the whole world.
In you, "humble and highest of creatures",
divine grace had the full victory over evil.
You are for us, pilgrims on the paths of the world,
the bright model of evangelical fidelity
and the ever-living pledge of sure hope.
Virgin Mother, "Salvation of the Roman People!"
Watch over, I pray you, the beloved Diocese of Rome: 
over pastors and faithful, parishes and religious communities.
Watch over families especially: 
may love sealed by the Sacrament ever reign between spouses,
may children walk on the paths of goodness and true freedom,
may the elderly feel surrounded by attention and affection.
Inspire, Mary, in so many young hearts,
generous replies to the "call for the mission",
a subject on which the diocese has
been reflecting over the years.
Thanks to an intense pastoral programme for vocations,
may Rome be enriched by new young forces,
dedicated with enthusiasm to proclaming the Gospel
in the city and in the world.
Blessed Virgin, Queen of Apostles!
Assist those who through study
and prayer are preparing to labour
on the many frontiers of the new evangelization.
Today I entrust to you, in a special way,
the community of the Pontifical Urban College,
whose historic headquarters are located in front of this pillar.
May this wonderful institution founded 375 years ago
by Pope Urban VIII for the formation of missionaries,
be able to continue effectively its ecclesial service.
May those it gathers, seminarians and priests,
men and women religious and laity,
be ready to put their energies at the disposition
of Christ in service of the Gospel to the far corners of the globe.
"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us!"
Pray, O Mother, for all of us.
Pray for humanity who suffers poverty and injustice,
violence and hatred, terror and war.
Help us to contemplate with the rosary
the mysteries of Him who "is our peace",
so that we will all feel involved
in a persevering dedication of service to peace.
Look with special attention
upon the land in which you gave birth to Jesus,
a land that you loved together with Him,
and that is still so sorely tried today.
Pray for us, Mother of hope!
"Give us days of peace, watch over our way.
Let us see your Son as we rejoice in heaven". Amen!

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Children's Rosary Celebrated the Day of the Little Candles

After many days of making lanterns, finally this day arrived to put them out  in front of our house right at sunset. Since this is the first time the Children's Rosary celebrated this special Colombian tradition in honor of  Our Lady's Immaculate Conception we could barely wait for the sun to go down. The kids were excited organizing lanterns, putting the candles in and then there was the lighting.  The most beautiful part was seeing the Virgin in front of the door lit by a circle of candles. Our youngest son Asher just 5 years old, sat quietly with her.

As if Mother Nature knew that “traditionally” during the Day of the Little Candles it always rains in Colombia, today it also rained in West Hartford, CT USA.  This was no reason to stop this beautiful tradition.  Despite some rather steady rain the candles remained lit. Sitting inside praying a rosary it was an interesting view to watch the candles flickering through the colored windows of the lanterns in the shape of Our Lady. Watching the rain fall I wondered why it should seem to always rain on this eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  It then occurred that with rain there is always a washing clean a refresh of all that is dirty and dry.  Could it be that our Lady comes to lead us in purity and bring us cool water to quench our thirst for the things from above.  

May Our Blessed Mother shower us with blessing this night and tomorrow and draw us to a renewed holiness and purity of heart. Amen. Thank you all for sharing this eve of the Immaculate Conception with us.

Celebración del día de las velitas en Estados Unidos

Después de nuestro trabajo arduo en la fabricación de los farolitos, llegó finalmente el día de ponerlos afuera de nuestra casa justo al atardecer. Siendo ésta la primera vez que Children’s rosary celebra esta festividad tan especial en nombre de la Inmaculada Concepción, los niños estaban emocionados organizando los faroles, poniendo las velas adentro y encendiéndolas, la parte más hermosa fue ver a la virgen al frente de la puerta iluminada por todas las velitas. Como si la madre naturaleza supiera que por tradición el día de las velitas en Colombia siempre llueve, hoy también fue un día lluvioso en West Hartford, CT, pero eso no fue motivo para parar nuestra hermosa tradición, las velitas iluminaron no sólo el frente de nuestro hogar sino los corazones mi host family y de todos los amigos y vecinos que se acercaban curiosos al ver los faroles.

Muchas gracias a todos por su apoyo, seguimiento y oraciones en este día tan especial. Que Dios y la Virgen los bendigan

A Gift for our Lady on her Feast of the Immaculate Conception

Thank you so much for all your prayers and involvement in our efforts to make this Feast of the Immaculate Conception a particularly special one for Our Lady.  Today is the last day of the Immaculate Conception novena to Our Lady that many of you have joined in praying.  Today at 146 Four Mile Rd. West Hartford CY USA we  be celebrated the Day of the Little Candles, a Colombian tradition to honor Our Lady's Feast.  Lanterns are put out the eve before the feast throughout Colombia.  Processions through the street are held holding statues of Our Lady.  As we have a wonderful aupair living with us from Colombia we joined in this lovely tradition by putting hand made lanterns with images of Our Lady in front of our house.  Many stopped and viewed the lanterns others saw them only passing by as they drove down our street.  

This weekend there are three Children's Rosary groups meeting,  two for the first time.  The Children's Rosary at St. Brigid Church in West Hartford will meet at 3:15 PM EST on Saturday the 8th.  The Children's Rosary at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury CT will meet at 3:30PM EST Saturday the 8th.  The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas in West Hartford will meet at 9:45 AM EST on Sunday the 9th in the chapel. I hope many of you may consider attending a children's rosary this weekend and if you cannot be there in person join them in prayer.  I am asking that all three Children's Rosary groups pray for all the members of the Children's Rosary and their intentions.  Another gift to Our Lady is the completion of the new Children's Rosary book which has just been completed and was sent to the publisher today. 

So many of you have worked so hard and offered up many prayers to make all of these gifts to Our Lady possible.  Thank you.  

We are so grateful to Our Lord who has poured so many blessings upon all our efforts and made these beautiful gifts possible.  May I humbly ask that during the next week collectively as members of the Children's Rosary we bombard heaven with prayers, rosaries, and Masses of thanksgiving.  There is a feeling that comes that there are more blessings being bestowed upon each one of us than we are even aware.  Might we not lose this moment to thank Our Lord for His abundant generosity.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A True Christmas Story

Today is the Feast of St. Nicholas  

St. Nicholas was a Bishop of Myra during the fourth Century.  He was born to wealthy parents.  After their death he used his wealth to help others.  There is a story that he heard of three sisters whose father could not afford a dowry and hence was considering selling the girls into servitude.  St. Nicholas snuck into the home of the girls and left a bag of gold.  He did this three times, one bag for each daughter.  He was discovered upon leaving the last bag.  The girls father thanked Nicholas and news spread of these good deeds.

(AP Photo/Jennifer Foster)
St. Nicholas is believed to have died on December 6th and has become the inspiration for the custom of Santa Claus.  Reflecting on the life of this wonderful saint I am reminded of a wonderful story I recently read.  

It was a cold night in New York City in November of this year when a young police office, just 25 years old was walking through Time Square when he heard some laughter.  There were some young people around a homeless man.  The man was sitting on the ground with no shoes and sores on this feet.  As the night was so cold that the police officer couldn't even keep his feet warm with 2 pairs of socks and shoes his heart went out to this poor man.  

The officer went straight over to a shoe store across the street and bought a pair of all weather boots costing around $100.00.  He estimated the size to around 12.  He brought them over to the man.  He knelt down before this soul and said "I have these size 12 boots for you, they are all-weather let's put them on and take care of you".  A tourist passing by witnessed this act of kindness and heard the words of the police officer.  She snapped a shot of officer kneeling before the man getting ready to put the new socks and shoes on him.  The police officer was not aware that anyone was listening to what was transpiring.  The tourist, Jennifer Foster, visiting from Arizona posted the photo with a brief story on Facebook and quickly 140,000 people shared the story and television stations and newspapers began running the story. The police officer was not aware of the photo and had returned to his home in Long Island New York where he lives with his parents.  

There is something wonderful about this story.  Is it because it reminds us of the Biblical story of Lazarus covered by sores and sitting by the gate of the rich man, but this time someone is there to tend to him?  Is it because the person to help this homeless man was someone in a position of authority and yet felt moved to kneel before a man cast aside and the subject of jokes.  For all these reasons and more this young police officer captured the hearts of individuals all around the world.  In his quiet, humble way he was a sign of Christ among us. He made news and for a short time took the space of headlines usually reserved for the tragedies around us.  For a moment our hearts felt joy and hope the true emotions of this season of Advent.