By KATIE BORKOWSKI
BOONE – The second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m., youth from Sacred Heart School and Parish gather to lead and pray the rosary, as part of a nationwide prayer movement for children.
The first Children’s Rosary at Sacred Heart was held June 12 with 25 children in attendance. That rosary was led by six upcoming eighth graders.
According to Deb Franzenburg, director of development and marketing for Sacred Heart School and Parish, in addition to collaborating with the national Children’s Rosary organization, a donor presented a scholarship opportunity for Sacred Heart School families.
“The donor found great value in children praying the rosary and asked that we start a Children’s Rosary,” she said. “While there is a scholarship opportunity for Sacred Heart School students, we really want to encourage all parish children and their families to attend this event, as it has the opportunity for all of us to increase our spiritual life.”
All students are encouraged to participate; however, for youth to be rosary leaders, they should be under the age of 18, explained Franzenburg.
“We want to let everyone know that to be a leader you must be a child, but anyone of any age is welcome to attend,” she said.
Children recite the rosary in Sacred Heart Church. The leaders kneel on the first step of the altar in front of a statue of Mary. Franzenburg noted in July, the plan is to invite all children present to kneel around the altar during the rosary.
“I think having this as a scheduled time to pray will remind all of us of what our focus should be,” she said. “This is a great opportunity to let our children lead us to lives of prayer.”
Franzenburg hopes to eventually have all the Catholic churches/schools in the Diocese of Sioux City to be registered members of the Children’s Rosary.
According to the Children’s Rosary website, “The target age of the children for these prayer groups is between 4 and 14 years old. The children of Fatima and Bernadette of Lourdes were all within this age range. However, there is flexibility at each end of the range and children should never be turned away if they have a desire to be part of a prayer group.”
“Adults are always welcome and encouraged to come to the Children’s Rosary,” noted the website. “Through prayer of the rosary, Our Lady will guide our young people while at the same time sanctify families and parishes.”
The first meeting of the Children’s Rosary was on April 10, 2011. The Children’s Rosary has been dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary. The children finish each Children’s Rosary with an Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be for the Pope.
For more information about the Children’s Rosary visit childrensrosary.org.
Closer to God
Tessa Gute, a fifth grader at Sacred Heart School, decided to participate because her older sister was leading the rosary. She thinks praying the rosary is important because praying leads you closer to God.
Though she has several rosaries, Tessa Gute described one of them has her name beaded in it, which was made by her Grandma Gute for first Communion.
Sara Gute, a third grader, recited the Children’s Rosary with her older sisters. Her mom helped her look up the 15 promises from Mary.
“I learned that Mary said, ‘The true children of my rosary shall enjoy great glory in heaven,’” she said.
Marley Moorman, also a third grader at Sacred Heart School, prays the rosary “so God knows you care.”
His personal rosary is from his Great-grandma Doris, who brought it from Jerusalem and “it smells like roses.”
Sacred Heart second grader Caleb Bartlett’s dad took him to the Children’s Rosary as a surprise. He said the rosary “spreads the kindness of God and so that everybody can get together and pray.”
Julia Brooks, who will be in eighth grade at Sacred Heart, was asked to help lead the first Children’s Rosary. She said the rosary helps “expand our faith.”
Her personal rosary was given to her by her grandparents for her first Communion after they visited Rome. The rosary was blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.