WASHINGTON — Tom Lyman, director of Family Rosary, hopes that especially during Lent — which calls Catholics to commit more time to the Lord in prayer — families will pray the Rosary together and take part in the ministry’s “At the Foot of the Cross” Lenten campaign.
Family Rosary is part of Holy Cross Family Ministries, which continues the mission of Holy Cross Father Patrick Peyton, known for the adage, “The family that prays together stays together.” Because he urged families to pray the Rosary together, he was aptly dubbed “The Rosary Priest.”
The Holy Cross organization also includes Family Theater Productions, Catholic Mom, the Museum of Family Prayer, Father Peyton Family Institutes and the Peyton Institute for Domestic Church Life.
“The Rosary is really an ideal family prayer and a way to fortify the domestic Church,” which is the family, Lyman said.
He suggested family members gather together at a routine time when they can reflect on the mysteries of the Rosary, which is divided into five decades. Each decade represents a mystery or event in the life of Jesus. There are four sets of “mysteries” — joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious — in which Christ’s work of redemption, from His incarnation to the coronation of Mary as queen of heaven and earth, are contemplated.
Through these mysteries, “we are walking through the important moments in the life of Jesus and Mary. By doing this we are attending the ‘school of Mary’ as (St.) John Paul II said,” Lyman added.
Details of the “At the Foot of the Cross” Lenten campaign can be found at www.familyrosary.org. The site has a link to prayers for families and other prayers and a link to sign up to receive a daily family prayer. Other links connect visitors to a “How to Pray the Rosary” guide and additional resources. Parents can sign up for a weekly e-blast and find free ebooks, videos, prayer cards, a Lenten calendar and other materials.
Father Peyton felt prayer “was very important for the family to remain grounded in its relationship with God,” Lyman said.
The priest knew from his experience “of his big family praying the Rosary together” that this “formed each member of the family and formed their hearts to love God and love one another, and reflecting on those mysteries day after day gave them a language and a way also to see God’s action in their own lives,” Lyman added.
Father Peyton, who is a candidate for sainthood, wanted people to see “the good things and the bad things” that happen “in a context of life lived for God,” Lyman said. “Once we lose our connection in our relationship with God as His children … we suffer and while suffering is a part of life, God wants to give us a way through it and through to the Easter Sunday that awaits.”
Through the Rosary, Lyman added, we are “accompanied by Our Lady. … Just as she walked with her Son along the Way of the Cross and stood with Him at the foot of the cross, she stands with us in our sufferings and strengthens us to suffer well, and we know Christ’s sufferings bear fruit in His Resurrection.”
Dominicans invite Catholics to join 9-month Rosary novena and pilgrimage
WASHINGTON — The Dominicans are inviting Catholics nationwide to participate in a nine-month novena that will culminate with a day-long Rosary pilgrimage this fall in the nation’s capital.
“The purpose of the Dominican Rosary Pilgrimage and nine-month novena prayer is to gather Catholics in the U.S. together to draw close to Jesus through Mary in the Holy Rosary, so that we may be set on fire with a burning love for God and zeal for the salvation of souls,” Dominican Father John Paul Kern said.
“This is something I think people are really hungry for and which we need today,” added Father Kern, a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph and the director of the Rosary Shrine of St. Jude and Dominican Friars Foundation.
To participate in the novena, Catholics are asked to recite a prayer nine times over the course of nine months — on the 30th of each month, from Jan. 30 to Sept. 30. People can say the prayer more frequently if they wish, and pray the Rosary too.
While the novena began on January 30, the faithful can join at any time.
At the end of the nine months, a pilgrimage will take place to the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington on Sept. 30, the vigil of Rosary Sunday. The free event includes talks, adoration, confession, Mass, and, of course, praying the Rosary. It will be livestreamed at rosarypilgrimage.org.
While the pilgrimage physically takes place on Sept. 30, it begins now, spiritually, with the novena, Father Kern said. “Just as Jesus was conceived and Mary pondered Him in her heart for nine months before He was born, we turn to Jesus and ponder Him in prayer together with Mary during the nine-month novena,” he said, “to prepare for a beautiful manifestation of the mystical body of Christ, the Church, gathered together with Our Lady in the Rosary and united in the Eucharistic Body of Christ at the event in D.C.”