Spending a few minutes in uninterrupted conversation with the Blessed Mother and her son is always time well spent.
That’s what third, fourth and fifth graders at St. Charles Borromeo do on the third Friday of each month when they put academics aside for 20 minutes, gather around their campus’ shrine to Our Lady of Fatima and kneel for a rosary led by their schoolmates.
“Whenever little children pray together, our prayers go straight to God. You have like a pipeline because God loves little children,” said fourth grader Allie Powell, after the Dec. 13 rosary that drew more than 50 children to the non-compulsory prayer gathering. “Saying the rosary together feels more powerful than just saying it by yourself,” Allie said.
School parents Jaclyn Ory and Danielle Romaguera were inspired to found a rosary group at St. Charles Borromeo after Ory heard Blythe Marie Kaufman, founder of the lay-led Children’s Rosary Worldwide Mission, being interviewed on EWTN radio. After receiving the permission of Father Thomas McCann, pastor, and Mary Schmidt, school principal, the parents facilitated the first children’s rosary in October. Equipped with illustrated rosary guides from Kaufman’s office, students meditate on the Sorrowful Mysteries, the traditional set connected with Friday.
“If children have that communication with God, if they learn to pray from an early age, I feel that they’re protected when they’re away from us (parents),” said Ory of what inspired her to create the monthly opportunity.
A similar rosary group was set up in St. Charles Borromeo’s elementary CCD program. At those gatherings, more than 100 young people meditate on the Joyful Mysteries every other month on a Monday evening, Romaguera said.
“We noticed that once we started saying the rosary with the CCD kids, a lot of them had questions,” she said. “It really sparked that conversation that sometimes we adults need to have with our children.”
While students of both the school and CCD are taught the rosary in their religion classes, the discipline of holding a regular rosary has borne much fruit. Ory and Romaguera have seen the children’s prayer proficiency grow in just three months, and nearly every hand goes up when they ask for rosary leaders. At the conclusion of each decade, the rosary leaders place a rose at the foot of the Fatima statue.
“I like how we all get to go outside and pray together,” said fourth grader Ryley Boyne, noting that the rosary helps her to connect with Christ’s suffering, especially when he stumbles on his way to Calvary and is assisted by Simon of Cyrene. Throughout the rosary, Ryley said she pictures the Blessed Mother, “the one (who) knelt by Jesus when he was put on the cross.”
Fifth grader Luke Lemmon called the gatherings “a learning experience” that reminds him to be nicer to others.
“Jesus having to carry the cross, getting whipped and then dying – I feel bad for Mary because she had to watch her son go through all that,” Luke said.
For information on how to begin a children’s rosary group, visit www.childrensrosary.blogspot.com.