Ave Maria! Praying with Mary.

Wow, the month of May sure went by fast! And so did the celebration of Mary as our Mother. But we don’t have let our thoughts and prayers be dictated by a calendar. As we move to the month of June and beyond, we still have a wonderful mother who will intercede for us as we pray. We still have a model of faithfulness beyond compare who is willing to be with us and hear our prayers. We can still take time to remember the life of Christ and the life of his mother, Mary whenever we pray the Rosary – whether alone or in community.

I remember sitting in a class several years ago, thinking to myself: I know I need to step back from some of my commitments at church so I can concentrate on my deacon formation classes, but I still want to be connected to my parish in a way that moves me. The thought of praying the Rosary immediately came to mind.

I am not a daily Rosary prayer, and, honestly, I can find the repetition sometimes distracting, but I have learned that praying the Rosary is not about me and my feelings. It can be about community – about bringing people together for a common cause and growing in our faith as we “walk” with each other. That’s where the thought of a regular Rosary prayer night came to mind.

I sent out an e-mail to some friends of mine, inviting them to begin praying the Rosary with me on Wednesday nights. The commitment was simple enough: come when you can; come when you need to. The other part of the commitment was that we would gather and pray the Rosay outside in the parish courtyard, regardless of the weather conditions. And so the “tradition” began.

I have been at Church on Wednesday nights when I have been the only person gathering to pray. I have been there also when we have had upwards of 40 people in attendance. There have been weeks when commitments kept me from attending. But the chain has never been broken.We gather and pray for our parish community, for the ACTS retreats in St. Louis and around the world, and for the many and varied concerns of our friends, families and neighbors.

We have gone inside on a few rare occassions when the weather was sub-freezing, but you’ll usually find us in the courtyard of St. Joseph Church in Manchester, Missouri about 8:45 PM every Wednesday night. Everyone is invite to attend – whenever you want to, or whenever you need to. Or, if you would like us to pray for you, send me an email at prayers@deacondan.com.

In closing, allow me to share the words to a song I wrote in honor of Mary, Mother of the Rosary. May the peace of Christ and the love of Mary abound in your hearts!


Ave, ave Maria. Holy Mary, Mother of God
Ave, ave Maria. Pray for us, Mary; pray for us now.

There’s a woman I know, comes to me when I pray
She stands by my side, helps me find the way
A vision of ultimate grace, in faithfulness none can compare
She is hope for a sinner like me, she’s my partner in prayer

Ave …

I get lost in my prayers
Earthly longings keep steering me far from my goal
But I don’t despair
Mother Mary comes to me and helps take control
She takes all my fragmented prayers
And bundles them gently in love
Wraps them up and presents them to God
At the foot of his throne

Ave …

By your “yes” you transformed the whole word
Evil’s crushed, new life’s begun
Mystical Rose, may your fragrance flow over me
Lead me to your Son

Ave, ave Maria. Holy Mary, Mother of God
Ave, ave Maria. Pray for us, Mary; pray for us now
Pray for us, Mary; pray for us now!

Copyright (c) Daniel R. Donnelly. All Rights Reserved.

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