The Rosary-a tool for evangelization

The Rosary and other religious symbols worn as jewelry  or tattoos are getting a lot of attention these days. In a recent blog post in the Washington Post, the author opined that this  is part of a growing movement of separating the spiritual from the religious. Religious jewelry “caters to people who are expressing their personal spirituality rather than an affiliation with organized religion.”

Putting my jewelry to work

I am someone who owns a rosary bracelet, that though it can easily be mistaken for a silver beaded bracelet, is for me, my traveling rosary, always within easy reach if the opportunity to steal a few minutes of prayer presents itself.

For a recent talk that I was giving, I re-read Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter, The Most Holy Rosary. I had forgotten how beautiful it is. I recommend you celebrate today’s feast of the rosary by reading it!  The Pope speaks about how in the rosary we learn Christ through Mary. We don’t just learn about Christ, we learn Christ.  “The Rosary is also a path of proclamation and increasing knowledge, in which the mystery of Christ is presented again and again at different levels of the Christian experience. Its form is that of a prayerful and contemplative presentation, capable of forming Christians according to the heart of Christ. When the recitation of the Rosary combines all the elements needed for an effective meditation, especially in its communal celebration in parishes and shrines, it can present a significant catechetical opportunity …. In this way too Our Lady of the Rosary continues her work of proclaiming Christ.

This Saturday, October 10 at 2:30 p.m., the archdiocese hosts its annual pilgrimage to the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. We make a pilgrimage to “Mary’s House” to ask her intercession on our behalf for a particular intention that is on the heart and in the mind of the church at this time.

Mother of the Church and Mother of Families

As part of our commitment to the New Evangelization, we will ask Mary, Mother of the Church to pray with us that our work will bear fruit in our parishes. As Mother of Families, we ask her to join with us in our pray for the people we love most who are inactive in the practice of their faith or alienated from the church. We will ask Mary, to intercede with her son, Jesus, to give us courage to speak about our faith and to be bold in inviting family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to take a second look at the church– to come home– and join their church family.

The right first step

Do you have someone in mind whom you would love to invite to join you at church or with whom you would like to have a serious conversation about their faith or their participation in the life of the church? Are you wondering how to begin a conversation? Do you need a little more courage to be bold? Why not make the commitment to join us for the rosary and for Mass? Make this your first step –to pray on behalf of the person– and to entrust the person to Mary’s care.

A tool for the Evangelizer

 Pope John Paul II writes “The history of the Rosary shows how this prayer was used in particular by the Dominicans at a difficult time for the Church due to the spread of heresy. Today we are facing new challenges. Why should we not once more have recourse to the Rosary, with the same faith as those who have gone before us? The Rosary retains all its power and continues to be a valuable pastoral resource for every good evangelizer.”

11 Replies to “The Rosary-a tool for evangelization”

  1. I confess that when I pray the rosary, I cannot hold another thought at the same time as I say the prayers. When I say the Hail Mary, I do picture Mary taking my hand to Jesus. Each mystery and story, of course, leads me to want more trust, faith, humility, strength, love.

    I sometimes pray the rosary with the children and we make a specific intention beforehand. They are more goal-oriented than I am.

    By the way, I have just gotten a beautiful rosary for my daughter — is it alright for her to wear it as a necklace like she would her cross? It is large enough to fit around her head. I have always thought that a rosary ought to be kept in the pocket, and taken out for prayer, but I don’t see the harm in wearing the rosary.

  2. My mother, a catechist for more than 40 years, had a great rule, if wearing the rosary helps you stay close to Jesus than it is just fine to wear the rosary. I think wearing religious symbols both opens to door to conversation and therefore evangelization and if you are wearing a crucifix or a cross or a saint’s medal, people will expect your actions to reflect that!

  3. Yes, Happy Feast of the Holy Rosary! I remember being scolded as a child for wearing it like a necklace, which is what it looks like. But I agree with you Susan, whatever helps to keep us close to the Lord and Mother Mary. Regarding the evangelization aspects of the rosary, I have often liked the expression that the rosary is “The Gospel on a String.” It helps us focus on the most basic teachings (mysteries) of the faith and thus we are better equipped to announce the most basic truths of our faith.

    1. Msgr. Thanks for joining the conversation, I very much like the “Gospel on a String” image!

  4. I use the rosary to teach the Confirmation youth the truths of the Faith. Every week at the end of class we go to the Adoration chapel and pray 1 mystery that is preceded with a catechetical explanation. We say that in the classroom we study the life of Jesus but with the rosary we pray the life of Jesus.

    1. God bless you Dante. This is a perfect example of the kind of catechetical training that seemed to be missing when I was being Confirmed back in the late 70’s. I’m sure it must be quite a struggle to keep the kids engaged these days, keep up the good fight!!! One day, I’m sure, they’ll look back and recall you with much fondness.

      1. Dante, thanks for sharing a great idea. The new ADW Religious Education curriculum is designed to make sure once students learn these practices they return to them in more mature ways as they grow in the faith. This exercise is just that kind of example.

  5. I am planning a hiking journey traveling rosary currently- attempting to map out parishes of my desired path- sharing participating in confession and rosary at each parish. evangelism of my own self definitely –hopefully my willingness to show the errors of my life path why mistakes and poor choices send us on travels we never intended to take roads we don’t know how to get ourself out of thus almost leading us into the story of the Ten Commandments (another issue maybe another pilgramage down the road if God so grants me such success) regardless of how small they may seem they just keep growing bigger and bigger like an avalanche it is we don’t make a change not only do that that’s our self but they affect many others thiscan start out not maybe from our mistake but maybe your childhood problems broken home or stranger divorce so many things
    an excerpts from the book praying the rosary for inner healing father dwight longnecker states: I have seen families converted, broken marriages restored, and deep wounds from the past healed. I have known inner peace restored, bitterness of heart replaced with sweetness and hope, a cold faith rekindled, and the burden of guilt totally lifted.” being compelled by God to take this walk of faith for myself and others crazy as it may seem I know our world is not as it once was definitely not as it was when Christ made his journeys so many years ago

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