Friday, May 31, 2013

Monthly Mass to be Offered for Seminarians Tomorrow

As part of our new prayer initiative to pray for seminarians there will be a Mass offered tomorrow for all seminarians that they may grow in holiness and lead us in love.  

Since April all Children's Rosary groups have been praying for the seminarians attending St. John's Seminary in Boston.  We are planning to expand this prayer initiative to include more seminaries.  The most recent addition is Holy Apostle Seminary in CT.  Members of the Children's Rosary are also being given the opportunity to choose a seminarian to pray for in their home.  So far we have more children then seminarians participating and hope to continue to grow this initiative.  Recently some of the seminarians we have been praying for in Boston were ordained.  I've inlcuded some pictures that were taken during some of the ordinations.  

Photos by George Martell, Pilot Media Group.

You may also like the following posts:
New Prayer Inititiative: Praying for Our Seminarians
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Pope Francis' Prayer Intentions for the Month of June

Pope Francis' first Pastoral Visit to a Parish in Rome
Source: Vatican News

General intention: “That a culture of dialogue, listening, and mutual respect may prevail among peoples.”
Missionary intention: “That where secularization is strongest, Christian communities may effectively promote a new evangelization.”

Three Children's Rosary Groups to Meet this Weekend

The Children's Rosary at St. Agnes Church in Naples, Florida will meet on Saturday June 1st at 9:30 AM ET in the Chapel.

The Children's Rosary at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception will meet on Saturday beginning at 3:30 PM ET in the main Church.  There will be a small reception of treats after the Rosary in their reception area.

On Sunday the Children's Rosary group at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, CT will meet at 11 AM ET with a small reception of food provided by the Legions of Mary.

Consider joining the children in prayer either at the Church or from your home.  The children always pray for all the members of the Children's Rosary and all those who unify their prayers with theirs.

Thank you all and God Bless!

Pope Francis to Lead Rosary on the Feast of the Visitation

Pope Francis Laying Flowers at the foot of the Statue of
Our Lady of Lujan on  May 8th
credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA
Pope Francis will close the month of May, which is dedicated to Our Lady, by leading a Rosary.  The Vicariate of Vatical City announced that at 8PM on May 31st in St. Peter's Square the Pope will lead a recitation of the Rosary.  There will also be a procession with Our Lady's Statue. Let us all consider joining him in prayer on this beautiful Feast of the Visitation.

Saint Claude de la Colombière

In preparing for the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus and in my readings about St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a French Visitation nun, I stumbled upon a saint to whom I knew very little.  He was a Jesuit priest to whom Jesus directed St. Margaret Mary for help and direction.   

His name is Saint Claude de la Colombière.  Twenty one years ago today he was canonized by Bl. Pope John Paul II on the Feast of the Visitation.  As today is the Feast of the Visitation and St. Margaret Mary Alacoque was from the order dedicated to the Visitation  there seemed a wonderful connection between these two saints and todays Feast Day.  In reading more about St Claude I found a treasure of beautiful writing by this saint in the book The Spiritual Direction of Saint Claude de la Colombière1.  

Saint Claude’s writings regarding: 

In prayer always follow the attraction of your heart, whether God draws you to consider Our Lord’s Passion or the joys of heaven; you cannot do wrong in that....Continue to pray as you feel drawn, but do not worry about it, for worry comes from self-love. You must abandon yourself to the leading of God with no other intention than that of pleasing him, and when you know that you have this intention deep in your heart, you must not waste time in reflecting about yourself and about the degree of virtue you have attained; occupy yourself with him whom you love and bother very little about yourself.

Do not be either astonished or discouraged at the difficulties you find in prayer. Only be constant and submissive and God will be pleased with you.

How can we help our neighbor? By prayer and good works. Preaching is useless without grace, and grace is only obtained by prayer. If conversions are few, it is because few pray. Prayer for souls is so pleasing to God, it is as though we asked a mother to forgive her son.

Presence of God
I have promised with God’s grace not to begin any action without remembering that he is witness of it—that he performs it together with me and gives me the means to do it; never to conclude any without the same thought, offering it to him as belonging to him, and in the course of the action whenever the same thought shall occur, to stop for a moment and renew the desire of pleasing him.

God is touched by our sorrows and does not allow them to last for ever. He takes pleasure in trying our love for a time because he sees that trials purify us and render us worthy to receive his greater graces; but he considers our weakness, and one would even think that he suffered with us, so anxious is he to relieve us.

Hope and Confidence in God
My God, I am so intimately convinced that thou dost watch over all those who hope in thee, and that we can want for nothing while we expect all from thee, that I am resolved to live without anxiety in the future, casting all my care on thee.

1 Selections from The Spiritual Direction of Saint Claude de la Colombière, translated and arranged by Mother M. Philip, I.B.V.M., Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1998

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

A week from this Friday is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  In preparation for this Feast consider saying a novena in Honor of Jesus' Sacred Heart.

Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus
I. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, ask and you will receive, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you." Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of......(here name your request)
Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father....
Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
II. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in my name, he will give it to you." Behold, in your name, I ask the Father for the grace of.......(here name your request) Our Father...Hail Mary....Glory Be To the Father....Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.
III. O my Jesus, you have said: "Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but my words will not pass away." Encouraged by your infallible words I now ask for the grace of.....(here name your request) Our Father....Hail Mary....Glory Be to the Father...Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, for whom it is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted, have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of you, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, your tender Mother and ours.
Say the Hail, Holy Queen* and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.
 -- St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

*Hail, holy Queen, Mother of mercy, hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve: to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus, O merciful, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary! Amen.

This Novena was prayed daily by Padre Pio for those who asked for his prayers.

We would likewise like to pray this novena for those who have asked for the prayers of the Children's Rosary.  Two intentions we would also like to include this year in our novena is for renewal of family prayer and for seminarians that they may grow in holiness and lead us all in love.

Thank you all for participating in this beautfiul novena in honor of Our Lord Jesus' Sacred Heart.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Children's Rosary to Meet on Trinity Sunday


The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, CT USA will meet tomorrow at 11AM ET. Consider joining them in prayer from your home.  The children always pray for the intentions of all members of the Children's Rosary and those unifying their prayers with them. 

There will be a small reception at St. Thomas Church following the Children's Rosary provided by the Legions of Mary.

Thank you all and have a Blessed Trinity Sunday!

You may also like the following posts:
Novena to the Holy Trinity
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Friday, May 24, 2013

St. Padre Pio and Our Blessed Mother

Tomorrow we celebrate the birthday of St. Padre Pio.  He was born on May 25th 1887 in the little farming town called Pietrelcina, Italy. 

As we come to the close of the month of May, which is dedicated to Mary, I thought it would be wonderful to reflect on the words St. Padre Pio used when speaking of Our Lady.

"Hold on tightly to the Rosary. Be very grateful to the Madonna because it was she who gave us Jesus".

"The Madonna is the shortcut to get to God".

"Love Our Lady and make her loved; always recite the Rosary and recite it as often as possible".

"Give yourself up into the arms of your Heavenly Mother. She will take good care of your soul".

"The Mother of Sorrows is my confidante, my teacher, my counselor, and my powerful advocate".

"How many time I have entrusted to this Mother (the Virgin Mary) the painful anxieties of my heart. And how many times she has consoled me…..With what great attention she accompanied me to the altar this morning. It seemed to me that she had nothing else to think about but me, filling my heart with holy sentiments. I felt a mysterious fire in my heart, which I could not understand. I felt the need to put ice on in in order to extinguish the fire that was consuming me".

"May the Most Holy Virgin, who was the first to practice the gospel perfectly and in all its severity, even before it was proclaimed, spur us on to follow closely in her footsteps".

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Consider Donating Rosary Beads to the Children's Rosary

A member of the Children's Rosary praying with rosaries
handmade by a religious eduction class and donated to the Children's Rosary
The Children's Rosary is a prayer group movement for children.  Children's Rosary groups are sprinkled across the United States and are spreading into other countries.  As new Children's Rosary groups form we make every effort to help them if they are in need of rosaries or supplies.  The Lord has blessed us with new groups forming.  Most recently we sent 25 rosaries to a new group which is forming in Kenya.  Some of the rosaries which were sent were made by children, others by a member of the Knights of Columbus and a few others were ones our Children's Rosary group in West Hartford, CT were using.  Last week after praying the Rosary following daily Mass one of the women who prays with us mentioned that she receives free rosaries in the mail frequently and did not know what to do with them.  I told her that the Children's Rosary could really use them. Often when children come to the Children's Rosary prayer meetings they don't have rosaries of their own.  After using the rosaries we provide during the meetings they ask if they can take them home.  It gives us great joy to see children and adults asking to bring a rosary home to use in prayer alone or as a family.

  • Maybe you have extra Rosary beads in a drawer or are like our friend who receives rosaries in the mail free.  
  • Maybe you have a youth group or religious education group looking for an activity to help others and would like to make rosaries.
  • Maybe you have a relative who passed away and in going through their belongings you find rosaries or other religious items.  

Please prayerfully consider sending these extra rosaries to the Children's Rosary at:

Children's Rosary 
PO Box 271743
West Hartford CT 06127 USA

Additional contact information:

In thanksgiving to all those who through their efforts help the Children's Rosary we would like to give you a special gift.  Each month a Mass will be offered for all those who help the Children's Rosary in any way and for all members of the Children's Rosary.

*Please note if you are in need of rosary beads please contact us and we will make every effort to help you.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Favorite Prayer of Pope John Paul II

In the Apostolic letter, Rosarium Virginis Mariae, Pope John Paul II describes his early love of the Rosary and how it has remained his favorite prayer. 
"I myself have often encouraged the frequent recitation of the Rosary. From my youthful years this prayer has held an important place in my spiritual life. I was powerfully reminded of this during my recent visit to Poland, and in particular at the Shrine of Kalwaria. The Rosary has accompanied me in moments of joy and in moments of difficulty. To it I have entrusted any number of concerns; in it I have always found comfort. Twenty-four years ago, on 29 October 1978, scarcely two weeks after my election to the See of Peter, I frankly admitted: “The Rosary is my favourite prayer. A marvellous prayer!"

You may also like the following posts:
Favorite Quotes of Bl. John Paul II
How to Pray the Rosary
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fr. John Blackall: Remembering a Dear Friend of the Children's Rosary

 A Priest Committed to Serving the Poor.

This morning I had the honor to attend the Funeral of Fr. John Blackall.  Fr. Blackall was ordained in 1951 and was sent to St. Thomas Church in Waterbury CT.  He quickly noticed that there was a growing Hispanic community in Waterbury and in his parish and committed himself to learning Spanish.  In 1957 he was sent to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Waterbury, a Church home to one of our Children's Rosary groups today.  Fr. Blackall celebrated the first Spanish Mass in Waterbury on September 29th 1957.  Shortly after this he was transferred to St. Cecilia's  Parish where he resided for over 40 years. His nephew today shared that Fr. Blackall came from a prominent family yet he chose to empty himself and live simply and spend his life serving the poor of his community.  Fr. Blackall came from a family blessed by many priests.   During his youth his father who was an important lawyer and politician would leave his office each day at noon to visit the Church and pray the Stations of the Cross.  This love of the Stations of the Cross was beautifully passed on to Fr. Blackall.

During the years I knew him in his retirement in West Hartford, he frequently attended daily Mass at St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hartford where I would see him.  Either before or after Mass he would be seen quietly saying the Stations of the Cross.  Fr. Blackall also had a strong devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary. He was so kind to the Children's Rosary and even read over the Children's Rosary book before it was published providing wonderful feedback.   

On the day of his passing, his nephew shared with us that the family gathered at his home.  After he had passed they together brought him out of the house.  It was a dry day with a few clouds and diffuse light.  All of a sudden Fr. Blackall's little grandniece who is 4 pointed to the sky and said rainbow.  All looked up and were amazed to see a rainbow spread over them.  Now Stephen, Fr. Blackall's nephew, shared that during his years in Catholic high school he was taught you need two things for a rainbow: rain and bright sun.  If both are present look to the opposite side of the sky as the sun and you often will see a rainbow.  However, on this day there was no rain and the sun was somewhat blocked by clouds yet there was a rainbow over Fr. Blackall's house.  It was then that Stephen realized there is another circumstance when a rainbow can be seen...when the Lord calls home a faithful servant and shows him the Kingdom.

Thank you Fr. Blackall for being a shepherd who so beautifully lead us in love.  May you continue to be a wonderful source of blessings and guidance for the Children's Rosary as you did while living here with us. Amen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Special Moment with Our Lady

Yesterday was my son's First Communion.  After the Mass my husband suggested that Kostin take a picture with his mom.  So Kostin and I posed together followed by a family picture.  On the way back to the car Kostin stopped and asked if he could be in a picture with Mary.  As we were just getting to our car the first reaction was to tell him it was too late and it was time to go home.  However, there was something that made me pause and say, yes lets just wait a minute so Kostin can visit Mary.  Kostin then ran off to the outside garden planted by children of the parish for Our Blessed Mother.  When my husband and I turned the corner Kostin was kneeling in prayer.  He then stood up and gave Mary the the rose that had been given to him during his First Communion and then kissed her head.

It was such a beautiful moment to see that Kostin didn't forget his dear Mother Mary.  Daily he prays with her in his rosaries.  Over years she, as the most perfect of mothers, has been preparing him for the day when he would meet her Son present in the Holy Eucharist.  To see Kostin kissing Our Blessed Mother's head in such a tender way was such a beautiful reminder of how much our children need their heavenly Mother and how much they love her when they spend time with her in prayer. 

Other posts you may like:
Preparing for Your First Communion
How to Pray the Rosary
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Mass Requested for Members of the Children's Rosary on Pentecost

A Mass is being offered on Pentecost for the following intention:
May the Holy Spirit descend and guide the Children's Rosary and all its members in all things.

Two Children's Rosary Groups to Meet on Pentecost


There are two Children's Rosary groups meeting tomorrow.

The Children's Rosary at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Hopkinton, MA USA will meet in the lower Church at 11:15 AM ET.

The Children's Rosary group at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, CT USA will have their weekly Rosary at 11:00 AM ET. There will be a small reception following the Rosary provided by the Legions of Mary.

Please consider joining the children in prayer from your home.  They always pray for those joining them in person and unifying their prayers from their homes.

God Bless you all!

You may also enjoy the following posts:
How to Start a Children's Rosary
Litany to the Holy Spirit
Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Novena to the Holy Spirit

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New Children's Rosary at Our Lady of Fatima Parish

There is a new Children's Rosary forming at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Hartford, CT USA.  The parish was established in the 1950's by many families who had immigrated from Portugal.  As this week we celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, we feel especially blessed to have a new Children's Rosary forming in a Parish named after Our Lady.

Our Lady of Fatima Church
This new group has chosen to hold their first meeting on June 8th which is the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. They will meet at 4PM ET in the Church.   They will begin their first meeting by consecrating the group to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  In this way, the group will be under the protection and guidance of Christ and his Mother. If anyone has any questions about this new group or would like to submit a petition to be placed before the children during the Rosary please contact Clara at:

Monday, May 13, 2013

May Crowning

The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in West Hartford, CT USA had a May Crowning of Mary yesterday.  

The children gathered in the back of our chapel and processed down the aisle singing Immaculate Mary.  Some of the children had made Mother's Day card's for Mary as it was also Mother's Day in the United States and they placed then at her feet.  The smallest child of our group little Caleb finished the procession and crowned Mary with a wreath of roses. 

The children then knelt in front of Our Lady for the Rosary.  The children took turns at the microphone to lead the rosary.  Yesterday was particularly special as Connor lead a decade for the first time with Kostin.  When Connor first joined the Children's Rosary he usually sat with his mother and prayed from his seat.  With the help of his mom he would place a rose at the foot of Mary at the end of a decade of the Rosary.  Connors disabilities made it difficult for him to join the children kneeling on the ground.  Yet Our Lady would show us that nothing is impossible with prayer. Over months of coming to the Children's Rosary, Connor showed all of us he could do even more and during the last two months he has joined the children on his knees before the Statue of Our Lady.  Several times I saw him pointing to the microphone and when I asked him after the Rosary was over if he would like to lead in the future he said, "Yes".
Connor in purple bringing a rose to place before Our Lady

Yesterday would be that day when Connor would lead us all for the first time.  He came forward with Kostin and the two beautifully lead the group in the third Glorious Mystery of the Rosary which is the Descent of the Holy Spirit.  All were inspired to see the courage and faith of a child who faces so many extra challenges. 

The children concluded the Rosary by bringing roses to their mothers and participating in a short raffle of small devotional necklaces which my daughter coordinated.  The two winners were Mary Rose and Connor.  

On this Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I continue to be inspired by the prayers of our children and to see their wonderful love of prayer and Our Lady.

Other posts you may be interested in:
How to Plan a May Crowning
How to Start a Children's Rosary
How to Pray the Rosary

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Three Children's Rosary Groups to Meet Tomorrow

St. Francis of Assisi Church
The Children's Rosary at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in South Windsor, CT USA will have their first meeting tomorrow.  They will be meeting at 8:45 AM ET in the Church. It is a wonderful gift to Our Lady during her month of May.  The group will begin by consecrating this new Children's Rosary to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary.  

The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas the Apostle in West Hartford, CT will be meeting at 9:45 AM ET in the lower chapel.  We will be beginning with a crowning of Mary.

The Children's Rosary at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, CT will have their weekly rosary at 11AM ET.  There will be a small reception following the rosary provided by the Legions of Mary.

Please consider joining the children in prayer of the Rosary either at the Church or from your home.  The children always pray for the intentions of those joining them in person and those unifying their prayers from their homes.  

It is also Mother's Day tomorrow in the United States and having three Children's Rosary groups meeting to pray with their heavenly mother is also another blessing. We will also be praying in a special way for our Blessed Mother and all mothers.

Thank you all and God Bless!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Pope Francis and the Rosary

The Holy Father Pope Francis prayed his first public Rosary on May 6th in the Basilica of St. Mary Major.  This is the second time he has visited the Basilica in Honor of Our Blessed Virgin Mary.  The first time was on the second day of his papacy.

The Holy Father sat before an icon of Our Lady while he prayed the Rosary.

Pope Francis has spoken in the past about his devotion to the Rosary.  He recounted in a tribute to Pope John Paul II written while he was Cardinal of Buenos Aires that that it was Pope John Paul II that inspired him to pray 15 decades of the rosary daily.

Other posts which you may enjoy:
Pope Francis urges families to pray the Rosary
Pope Francis Invokes the Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary
How to Start a Children's Rosary

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Children's Rosary: Novena to the Holy Spirit

Novena to the Holy Spirit
Dearest Holy Spirit, confiding in Your deep, personal love for me, I am making this novena for the following request, if it be Your Holy Will to grant it:(mention your request*). 
Teach me, Divine Spirit, to know and seek my last end; grant me the holy fear of God; grant me true contrition and patience. Do not let me fall into sin. Give me an increase of faith, hope and charity, and bring forth in my soul all the virtues proper to my state in life.
Make me a faithful disciple of Jesus and an obedient child of the Church. Give me efficacious grace sufficient to keep the Commandments and to receive the Sacraments worthily. 
Give me the four Cardinal Virtues, Your Seven Gifts, Your Twelve Fruits.
Raise me to perfection in the state of life to which You have called me and lead me through a happy death to everlasting life.
I ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen. 
(novena obtained from EWTN website)
*May the Holy Spirit blow through our hearts, families, parish and the Children's Rosary as in the first Pentecost bringing us a renewed Spirit of prayer and love of God and neighbor. 

The Friday after Ascension Thursday is the day Mary and the Apostles began the very first novena to the Holy Spirit.  May we too begin a novena calling down the Spirit to blow through our hearts, families, and parishes as in the first Pentecost bringing a renewed Spirit of prayer and love of God and neighbor.
The Children's Rosary annually prays a novena to the Holy Spirit during the nine days preceding Pentecost.  It is my hope and prayer that both our children and parents may join in the prayers.  In the Acts of the Apostles we are told that Jesus promises "you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. And when He had said this, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight." (Acts 1:8-9)  
Ascension Thursday marks the departure of Jesus but we are assured that the Advocate is coming and this news is one of hope. This year our parish of St. Thomas has chosen various ways to celebrate Pentecost.  One of those is to invite the parish to pray this novena in their homes.  Last year members of the Children's Rosary from the parish prayed this novena and this year the whole parish is joining this prayer effort.  This in itself is a beautiful testament to the power of the Holy Spirit and the graces which are bestowed upon those who seek the assistance of the Spirit. The novena prayer above is to be said daily for nine days beginning tomorrow May 10th.