The Children's Rosary® is a prayer group movement that was begun out of love for Our Lady and Her Son. Jesus tells us "Truly, I say to you unless you turn and become like children you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matthew 18:3). The Children's Rosary is an effort to begin in parishes rosary prayer groups composed of children and led by children. Through prayer of the Rosary Our Lady will guide our young people while at the same time sanctify families and Parishes.
May I share with you a happy story that I hope you will enjoy.
During the spring a lovely older women called me who happened to see the article about the Children's Rosary in the Catholic Transcript and wanted to help bring it to her parish. Her Church interestingly is called St. Thomas the Apostle just like the Church where the first Children's Rosary began. Her parish is located in Oxford, CT a relatively rural town. She was a sweet older women who had a strong devotion to Our Lady and the Rosary and also a love of children. She had been a teacher for many years. Her voice quivered as she spoke and suggested that she might even have great grandchildren. She was extremely positive and I immediately sent her out several books to help her get started. However when she called me several weeks later she was a bit discouraged. Things hadn't progressed. She kept asking for prayers for her to find a voice and to know who to ask as this was very difficult for her. This is when I added her name to the intention list which I send out to all the group leaders to place before the children. Some of you may recognize her name Nancy Lee Modorno. A few weeks later I called her to let her know the children had been praying for her and she seemed even more discouraged and sad. She did say she was so grateful for the prayers as she lives alone and knew of no other person in the world praying for her.
Statue of St. Thomas in Oxford
Many months went by and I remember saying to my husband that if anything happens with that Parish it will truly be through prayer and the Hand of God. Just before leaving for the CMN conference almost two weeks ago there seemed to be a string of discouraging news. Several group leaders mentioned that their summer meetings had been small or that only the host family was there. Another group was suffering problems in their parish. I remember the day there was a moment when I began to doubt. It actually surprised me how easily the doubt snuck in. It lasted not that long but I was aware of it. Then the email came....it was a posting left on the blog. It began:
Hello, Ms. Kaufman: Nancy Modorno of St. Thomas the Apostle in Oxford talked me yesterday about your book and movement. I am the new director of faith formation here. Have you found a printer yet for your books? Our December session focuses on Mary and Christ's birth and I'd love to incorporate this somehow if the resources are available. Also, how much are the booklets? Thanks you! Angela Arpino
Nancy Lee had found her voice. By my own admission I had said that only through prayer and the Hand of God would this happen. Our Lady knew that in an instant I would know what this meant. It was the sign from Our Lord to say do not give up..have faith.. all will be okay... He is in control. I think this was meant to give hope to not just myself but all of you. Recently I heard a quote from Mother Theresa. A reporter asked her while she was alive if she thought she was successful. She replied God did not call me to be successful but He called me to be faithful. As I think of the groups who go every month and no other children show up I am reminded of Our Blessed Mother who stood by her Son on the Cross. When we try to bring souls especially children to Our Lord and Our Lady but no one comes we must not lose hope instead unify that feeling to those feeling of Our Lord on the Cross when he was calling souls and so few came to be with Him. In July no children other than my own came to the Rosary we held at our parish. I felt the discouragement and know what that feels like. I am writing to say it is okay to feel this but know that many graces and blessing are being poured down on you even if you are standing alone before our Lord trying to bring Him souls.
When I spoke to Nancy Lee today she had a different spirit.. it was hopeful. She felt the power of the prayers and she felt that Angela was a prayer answered. This new faith formation director had just been brought in and was very receptive to the Children's Rosary. What Nancy Lee did say was that starting tomorrow she was going to start saying a special Rosary every day at the Church and hoped to say it in the special grotto to Our Lady of Fatima that exists on the Church property built by mothers many decades ago. She thought by her presence she might helped to bring an increased awareness of the rosary back to the Church and might even meet some more people who might help get the group going with the help of the new faith formation director. Nancy Lee told me that the day she finally decided to go to the rectory to ask again about the Children's Rosary she felt a renewed spirit of courage and hope. She had 19 extra heads of lettuce she grew in her garden and washed them all carefully and decided to bring them to the rectory. Upon presenting the gifts she found the new director there. It was through hard work, perseverance, and the power of prayer that she found her voice and a receptive ear. Nancy Lee gave me permission to share this story with you.
Thank you all for all your prayers as this story is the fruit of your prayers and those of the children. Some of you have not encountered problems with children not coming to the meetings. We thank the Lord for each child that comes and joins us in prayer. For those of you who struggle with attendance please do not lose hope. The Children's Rosary means to cover you in prayers and your family. May we bring a great many souls to Our Lord especially those of children. For as it was said in the Gospel this week "so it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish" (Matthew 18:14) We are here to help Our Lady and Our Lord so that no one especially our children are lost. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed in heaven.