Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tears of Joy

Yesterday I received a call from Sr. MaryAnn Perpetua.  She was calling full of excitement to share more details about her trip to Nigeria.  Her voice is like a warm hug embracing you from the first moments you hear her voice.  This was my first time speaking to her since she had returned from Nigeria.  Sr. MaryAnn is currently studying in Missouri USA and had reached out to the Children's Rosary the day of the Children's Rosary EWTN airing in May hoping to bring information about the Children's Rosary to the Eastern part of Nigeria where she grew up.  The children and I had sent her a box of Children's Rosary books and Rosaries.  Another kind women who had reached out to help the Children's Rosary sent Sr. MaryAnn 250 more Rosaries.  These two packages added to the materials she had already collected reached more than 750 Rosaries in Sr. MaryAnn's suitcase!  A blessed suitcase indeed.  Sr. MaryAnn had sent along pictures from Nigeria of 500 children gathering for their first meeting but to hear Sr. MaryAnn's story of how all this came to pass was so beautiful.  May I humbly share it here.

The children crowned Our Blessed Mother
decorating her with ornate gowns and headdress
Sr. MaryAnn returned to her home parish in Ogbodu-Aba village in the Nsukka Diocese of Nigeria.  The Church is named after St. Anthony of Padua. She told her Pastor about the Children's Rosary prayer group movement and her hope to begin a group in their parish.  Her Pastor embraced the idea.  Word quickly spread to the more remote outposts that a Children's Rosary was forming.  Each child would receive a Rosary.  Excitement grew and families and children began the journey to attend the meeting.  Many children that would normally be working in the fields made the trip to come to the Church.  

May 30th arrived and it was a spectacular sight to behold....more children than Sr. MaryAnn had ever seen in the Church were there. The Church was brimming over. The children had come in their best clothes.  They were grouped by the region they had come from...eight regions total.  As the first meeting was in May Sr. MaryAnn thought it would be wonderful if they held a May Crowing before their Children's Rosary. The children from each region had a turn of crowning Our Lady with the special materials they had brought.  The children in anticipation had been gathering materials during the prior week. One group decorated Our Lady with a theme of Divine Mercy, another group decorated her with their local vibrant clothes, another group in a more tranditional attire.  Sr. MaryAnn took a picture of each group's crowning as each group had to remove their decorations for the next group of children to tenderly crown their Heavenly Mother.  Sr. MaryAnn with a heart so full of love told the children she hoped to make a calendar of their different crownings and bring it back to them next year.  A project she is praying very hard to make a reality.  After the crownings, the Pastor blessed the new Children's Rosary group.  He also celebrated Mass in Honor of Our Blessed Mother and for all the members of the Children's Rosary.  Not only did the Pastor Consecrate the group to Jesus through Mary he also Consecrated his parish to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that day.

The Children held their first Children's Rosary meeting praying the Rosary together.  To celebrate the day Sr. MaryAnn had invited some local musicians that sing praise and worship music in the missions. The children danced and sang.  One women had made a cake in honor of Our Blessed Mother.  Sr. MaryAnn could not contain her joy.  She said seeing the children brought her to tears.  The care and love they brought touched her deeply.  

At the end of the blessed day the children and families would be returning to their homes, some in distant outposts.  Sr. MaryAnn met with the Pastor and identified eight regions or zones.  Smaller Children's Rosary groups were created for each zone with a unique group leader.  On holidays and special Feasts the 8 groups would travel to meet as one very large group but weekly they would each meet as a smaller Children's Rosary prayer group.  

There is very little to say to such a story other than thank you Lord.  Thank you for such beauty and tears of joys.  

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

No comments:

Post a Comment