On Monday, October 7, our school celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary with a special and unique prayer service event. This blessed feast day was established by Saint Pius V in 1573 and serves as a reminder that the intent behind praying the Rosary is to help us meditate upon the great mysteries of our salvation. This event was led by our 8th and 1st grade prayer partners which began by clarifying the purpose of these mysteries and the principles behind the prayers we recite. We also used this memorable event as an opportunity to explain that the main focus of the mysteries is on the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The Our Father prayers remind us that God the Father is the initiator of salvation. The Hail Mary prayers remind us to join with Mary in contemplating these mysteries. These devotions also make us aware that Mary was and is intimately joined with her Son in all the mysteries of his earthly and heavenly existence. The Glory Be prayers remind us that the purpose of all life is the glory of the Trinity. The simple and constant repetition of the words in these prayers help to create an atmosphere in which to contemplate the mysteries of our Lord. At St. Agnes, our students grow in the understanding that Jesus and Mary are with us in the joys and sorrows of our life and are strengthened by their belief that God will bring us to share in their forever glory.
What makes this annual prayer service so unique and special is that we do more than simply recite the prayers aloud or even limit ourselves to holding a hand-sized Rosary. As we tend to do at St. Agnes, we like to be a little “extra” in the way that we share the gift of our faith with the young people of our school. For the past three years, we have borrowed a life-sized wooden Rosary that when spread open, extends nearly the size of our entire basketball court. Watching our students proudly hold this handcrafted work of art as they offered prayers to our Lord, continues to bring a joyous smile to my face.
Also included with this special event was the introduction of this month’s theme of “Merciful Leadership” as part of our focus during the Year to Lead. During our prayer service, our 8th and 1st grade prayer partners reminded their school mates that each time we pray a decade of the rosary at our Friday morning Mass, we conclude by asking Jesus to help all those who are most in need of His mercy. To mercy into action, each student has created a greeting card for a resident of Mary’s House - a pregnancy support home for expectant mothers. As we have kept the mothers of Mary’s House especially close to our hearts this month, we have offered the following payer for the gift and dignity of all life:
Lord of all creation, help us to be the caretakers of all those entrusted to us. Guide us toward the defense of life as we serve to be a living sign of mercy and love. AMEN.
I would like to thank Heather Shea and Virginia Peters for their leadership of this prayer service, as well as October’s card project for Merciful leadership. In addition, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to longtime friends, Rose and Dave Nostram, for continuing to allow me to use their life-sized Rosary that was made in honor of their daughter Debbie.