The family rosary



I joined a Saturday morning prayer group a while ago.

The members are senior citizens like me, and we are able to meet thanks to the wonders of Zoom technology.

I really look forward to seeing their faces and hearing their voices every week.

We say the rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy together. We share our prayer requests and a little bit about our daily lives.

The prayers have enriched my life immensely. Saying the rosary just feels comfortable, probably because that’s how I was raised.

When I was a young girl living in Indianapolis, my neighborhood was filled with large Catholic families.

My three Catholic girlfriends and I met as first-graders, and we became pretty close because we lived within walking distance of each other.

As kids, we were in and out of one another’s homes all the time; we came to understand the comings and goings of each of the families.

I can tell you that, most evenings, the neighborhood Catholic families gathered in their living rooms after dinner and prayed the rosary together. Usually, the parents and the older children were on their knees.

If you were invited for dinner at a Catholic family’s home, you knew you were staying for the family rosary.

Back in the late 1950s, there was no air conditioning in most homes; the windows were wide open in the summers.

I remember kneeling with my parents, and listening to the sounds of neighborhood children playing outside. I could tell that they were having a lot of fun; and as soon as we finished saying the “Hail Holy Queen” prayer, I raced out the door to join them.

I certainly didn’t treasure those family times or the prayers back then, but now I do.

When I became a young adult, I left the rosary behind. But as trials and tribulations wore me down, the rosary found me.

I didn’t view it as an obligation or a duty, but as more of a comfort. There was something so steady about the rhythm of the prayers.

I shared my childhood memories with a friend recently, and she laughed and said, “When I was a kid, I thought the rosary lasted about three hours! And we were all on our knees!”

Now, the two of us are able to recall the sweetness of those family gatherings.

Proverbs 22 reminds us to train young children in the way they should go; and when they are old, they will not depart from it. Good advice.