Wednesday, September 27, 2006

The Most Holy Rosary

The most popular devotion in the history of the Church has been the most holy rosary. On any given morning before Mass, one will find in our churches people clutching their rosaries, invoking the intercession of the Mother of God. The rosary is deeply embedded in the Catholic mentality. At the turn of the century, Pope Leo XIII established October as the month of the Rosary. He wanted the faithful to be reminded annually to persevere in the pious practice of the Rosary. This method of prayer, Pope Leo said, is so arranged as to recall all the mysteries of our salvation and to move the faithful to a great spirit of piety.
The popes of our era have earnestly exhorted the recitation of the rosary. They have taught authoritatively that the Rosary always leads us to the Lord, through Mary. Pope Pius XII called the Rosary a, "compendium of the Gospels," and urged the faithful to turn in confidence to the Virgin Mother of God. John XXIII said that the rosary is a wonderful meditation and that in saying it we: "Weave a garland of Ave Maria's, Pater Noster's, and Gloria Patri's."
Paul VI called the Rosary a Gospel Prayer, and as such, it is an unceasing praise of Jesus Christ. Pope John Paul I, in his charming way, said that the recitation of the Hail Mary's of the rosary: "sweetens the soul like a song". All know of the devotion that Pope John Paul II had for the Rosary. When I studies in Rome, I was one of a small group of priests one day that con-celebrated Mass with Pope John Paul in his private chapel. After Mass, he pressed into the hand of each priest a rosary. When he came to me he said: "Father, pray this rosary every day!" And I do!
At Saint Gianna’s, we extend the same invitation to all our members. Pray the rosary every day! I assure you that Our Lady will preserve in you always the truths of Catholic faith. She will listen to your prayers and intentions. She will protect your families and keep a watchful eye on your children. Countless blessings will flow on families that daily get on their knees, as a family, and recite the Rosary. At Fatima, Our Blessed Lady asked us to say the Rosary every day. Let us respond to that request of the Mother of God and our Blessed Mother.
Fr. Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Monday, September 11, 2006


What wonderful saints we commemorate during these summer liturgies! Their feast days provide the Church with a wealth of Catholic piety and devotion. August 27 was the feast of the great Saint Augustine. In the Church’s revised calendar, the feast of his mother, Saint Monica, is celebrated on the previous day.
Monica is a model of perseverance in prayer. Her husband Patricius was a pagan, a drunkard and abusive. Monica bore him three children. Two became Catholics but Augustine, her oldest son, refused to convert. Although a brilliant scholar, he was an avowed pagan. He was going to live his life to it’s fullest. Monica pleaded with him to be baptized but he would not.
Although Monica’s "Son of Tears" as she called him taught in the leading universities, she knew that his lifestyle was leading him to eternal ruin. The more she prayed, the more evil he became. He moved in with a woman who bore him a child. When he fell "out of love" with her, he moved in with another. Monica was heartbroken. Yet, she did not listen to the advice of those who told her not to say anything to him. Rather, she constantly warned her son that he was going to lose his soul for all eternity.
Monica prayed night and day! Yet, it all seemed to no avail. This went on for twenty-five years! But, God was listening; He was testing Monica’s faith. Quietly, His graces were taking effect. Whenever her son felt remorse for his sins, he would say to God: "Not just now! A little while longer!" He had become as St. Paul said, “a slave to sin!”
One day he was walking on the beach and a boy approached him with a New Testament. His eyes fell on the words of St. Paul: "Not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual excesses and lust, not in quarreling and jealousy. Rather, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provisions for the desires of the flesh"(Rom 13:13-14). The great sinner could no longer resist the prompting of grace. After twenty-five years of tears, Monica's prayers were answered. Yes! Our Good God answers our prayers! Not only did Monica's son convert, but her husband also was baptized. Augustine, her "Son of Tears," became a Priest and then a Bishop. After his death, he was canonized a saint and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church. His writings on marriage and chastity are classics.
We learn from St. Monica’s story that God hears our prayers. She teaches us fidelity in marriage, perseverance in prayer and a mother’s boundless love. We learn also that God never refuses the prayer of a mother who is persistent in prayer.
If there had not been a St. Monica, there would never have been a St. Augustine. Monica's "Son of Tears" is her joy for all eternity. The wonders of Catholic Faith never cease.

Father Richard J. Rego, S.T.L.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


During the liturgical year, the Church often celebrates related feasts on successive days. For example, we celebrate successively the feasts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus & the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Saint Monica and her son, Saint Augustine. This year we celebrate The Exaltation of the Cross on Thursday, September 14 and Our Lady of Sorrows on Friday, the 15th.

Our Lord willed that His sufferings on Calvary and those of His Mother would become as one. The Opening Prayer for the Mass of Our Lady of Sorrows reads: “O God, at whose Passion, according to the prophecy of Simeon, a sword pierced the most sweet soul of the glorious Virgin and Mother Mary: mercifully grant, that we who with devotion honor her sorrows, may obtain the happy fruit of thy Passion.”

The Alleluia Verse of the Mass proclaims: “Holy Mary, the Queen of heaven and Mistress of the world, stood by the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ full with sorrow.”

As we reflect on the feasts of the Exaltation of the Cross and Our Lady of Sorrows, let us ask Our Blessed Mother to grant us the grace to accept our crosses and carry them joyfully. Our Divine Savior said that unless we take up our crosses daily and follow Him, we cannot be His disciples. Standing at the foot of the Cross, Our Mother of Sorrows gives us the example of uniting our sufferings with the sufferings of Christ for the sake of His Body, which is the Church.”

In times of sorrow and distress, let us reflect on The Seven Sorrows of Mary. Devotion to her Seven Sorrows will be a source of strength and inspiration. Her Seven Sorrows are: