Monday, July 15, 2019

A Kenyan Priest's Experience with the Children's Rosary

While we were in Kenya, we were able to sit down and talk to Fr. Wachira about his experiences with the Children's Rosary. He had introduced the prayer group movement in his parish in Rombo,Kenya. After seeing the results, when he was assigned to a new parish in Sultan Hamud, he likewise started the Children's Rosary. He began in the main parish and then began introducing it in the outstations. He is also now working toward implementation of the Children's Rosary in the schools in his parish. 

The main goal of the Children's Rosary is to support the prayer lives of children. This is done through the children leading the Rosary in prayer groups. These groups exist in schools, parishes and orphanages.Through supporting the children's prayer lives, this encourages them along the path of holiness. When children grow in holiness, many other changes begin to be seen in the families, parishes and the community.

While we were in Kenya we had an opportunity to talk to Fr. Wachira about his experiences with the Children's Rosary first in Rombo and then in Sultan Hamud, Kenya.  Fr. Wachira explained that, "when we started no one thought that the Children's Rosary was going to spread like a bush fire." It began very small with just 20 children and then spread later to include thousands of children in the parish. Fr. Wachira shared, "It ended up to be very powerful and a strong prayer and project in our parish". He explained that, "we started with very few animators, after that everybody wanted to become one of us because of what the Rosary had done around Rombo parish. We started with like 20 kids but later when I was being transferred from Rombo we had like 2,000 children from different parts of our parish. Everyone wanted to become part of us. We were praying the Rosary and we saw how Our Mother Mary is so powerful and cannot let you down when you pray through her."

Fr. Wachira shared some of the fruits he has seen with the Children's Rosary:
"When we started we had so many broken families". After beginning the Children's Rosary there was a change.  "We saw some of those parents ... coming back to the Church and changing from the former way of life and becoming good Christians. And this was so encouraging and especially when the kid comes and tells you, my father is now in the Church, my father has come back now into the Church and it was so encouraging. We saw parents who were fighting coming back again because of the prayer of the Rosary. I saw parents who had separated coming back to the Church and coming together and vowing to become one in that family". The Children's Rosary brought so many back to the Church that Fr. Wachira recounted, "we saw Churches mushrooming." Given the increased numbers of those wanting to attend Church three outstations were started. 

Fr. Wachira recounted, "When we had some problems in a certain Parish where a person could not see face to face with each other. The Rosary became uniting factor. Children prayed for their leaders, they prayed for their Church and Church members who were there and they came back united and ready to work together. It was amazing."

Fr. Wachira also found that the Children's Rosary brought peace to the region. "When there is no peace it brings a lot of disunity in the Church", Fr. Wachira explained. "When there is peace everybody wants to come back again." 

One of the challenges for Pastors in Kenya is that they have many outstations of the main parish. In Fr. Wachira's parish there were 24 outstations and only 2 priests so it was impossible to visit each one every week. Yet Fr. Wachira shared how the prayer groups were helping. "The Church was moving it was moving even when I am not there.  The Church was moving because prayer was there and it was making every person move in faith."

Fr. Wachira found it very simple to implement the Children's Rosary. He explained, "kids only need small things and then you make them happy.... Giving them a rosary that was enough. Showing them the way that was enough." He found children were even teachers in their own homes, encouraging their parents to pray. He found this changed the parish and families. "Instead of the parents leading now, it was the kids that were leading the parents." 

We are grateful to Fr. Wachira for sharing his experiences with the Children's Rosary. 

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