Summary of today’s show: The family that prays together, stays together and local families can put that maxim into practice on Saturday at the Family Rosary Retreat. Sr. Terry Rickard, Beth Mahoney, and John Monahan of Holy Cross Family Ministries share with Scot Landry the plans for the day at Cardinal Spellman High School in Brockton to bring families together in prayer and inspire and encourage them to make a commitment to family prayer in the future. Sr. Terry also reveals plans for a new parish small-group program on the Blessed Mother due out this fall in time for the Year of Faith as a collaboration between HCFM and Renew International.
Listen to the show:
Today’s host(s): Scot Landry
Today’s guest(s): Beth Mahoney, Sister Terry Rickard, and John Monahan
Links from today’s show:
- Holy Cross Family Ministries
- Family Rosary Retreat 2012
- Video of the 2011 Family Rosary Retreat
- Program #0042 for Friday, May 6, 2011: Fr. John Phalen, CSC, of Holy Cross Family Ministries
- Family Theater
- Renew International
Today’s topics: Family Rosary Retreat
1st segment: Scot welcomed everyone to the show. Fr. Matt is away today. Today, we’re talking about the importance of the rosary and the upcoming family rosary retreat in Brockton at Cardinal Spellman High School on Saturday from 8am to 5pm. Beth Mahoney is mission director for Holy Cross Family Ministries. She said this will be the third annual retreat. The format is to keep the families together. They’ll gather in worship, watch a film on Fr. Peyton, split into English and Spanish tracks with speakers, Q&A, then a panel discussion. They’ll pray the rosary together followed by Mss with Bishop Dooher. Scot said previously they had a kids track and adults track. Beth said they wanted to remain faithful to Fr. Peyton’s admonition that families that pray together, stay together. Few programs keep the whole family together.
Cardinal Spellman welcomed them into their school this year and the theme is “Closest Neighbors, Trustworthy Friends, Brother & Sisters: Living the Beatitudes Together in Christ”. Scot said the theme for ARISE in the Archdiocese of Boston is Arise, Together in Christ, which means we are making the journey together. Sr. Terry said when we say together in Christ, it’s such an important response to individualism in our culture. The personal relationship with Christ takes place in the heart of the Church. The Christian life is first and foremost lived within the family. Sr. Terry will speak on Mary as Mother of God and the first disciple. She sees the Word and obeyed it. We recall our natural family and our spiritual family through baptism.
Sr. Terry said in the Gospel of Luke we see Mary become a primary character in the Gospel. She is the first to hear the word of the Angel and then says, “Let it be done to me according to your Word.” As her discipleship unfolds, she hears the Word and then goes to her cousin Elizabeth to share the Word. She is the first evangelizer.
Scot said it must be challenging to craft the keynote address to appeal to the whole family. Sr. Terry said the use of story is the most powerful way to cur across age groups. She hopes to enflesh this word by using both personal and other stories.
John said the retreat goes to the core of the HCFM mission, reaching out to families. This is what attracted John. He recalled how important it was for Fr. Peyton, who founded the HCFM. John recounted how Fr. Peyton founded his ministry in upstate New York and it has spread around the world to reach millions. Scot said he can’t think of any other local family retreat like this, to spend some time together in a prayerful environment.
Beth said the family regret encourages them to see the presence of God in everything they do, in every way they live the beatitudes for others and for the family. She said over the past three years she has noticed many new faces each year. She hears from families who say they realize for the first time that they are not alone in the difficulties of family prayer. The families also learn about the many resources available to help them pray, whether books or videos or websites.
Sr. Terry said many families are pulled in a lot of directions. They hope to share many action steps to share faith together. She said in the programs done by her Renew International, like ARISE and Why Catholic, they are directed mainly to adults, but they try to include many resources for the adults to take back to their families. She said events like this help families join with other families and reenergizes them to live their faith more fully in their day to day life and hopefully make a commitment to make these practices a habit.
Beth said if families can only come for part of the day, the setup allows for people to jump in where they can. The donation is $10 per person, up to a max of $50 per family. It includes lunch. They can register online all the way up to the morning of or even at the door.
John said an event like this can help families see how they can work together. It lets them consider who they are, what prayer means and how the rosary can work for them. When you see other families do it, it becomes more natural.
2nd segment: This week’s benefactor card raffle winner is Lynn O’Connor from Bedford, MA.
She wins a Rosary Activity Set for children by Holy Cross Family Ministries and a CD: Roses for Mary by Quiet Waters Productions.
If you would like to be eligible to win in an upcoming week, please visit WQOM.org. For a one-time $30 donation, you’ll receive the Station of the Cross benefactor card and key tag, making you eligible for WQOM’s weekly raffle of books, DVDs, CDs and religious items. We’ll be announcing the winner each Wednesday during “The Good Catholic Life” program.
3rd segment: Scot said one of the fruits of collaboration between Renew and HCFM is a program on the Blessed Mother in time for the Year of Faith. It involves small groups that connect personal experience with the faith of the Church and moves to some kind of commitment in our lives. Fr. John Phalen is the author of the program. HCFM has produced a rosary video that shows athletes and other celebrities witnessing to their faith and then praying a decade of the rosary. This will be part of the program. Archbishop Kurtz of Louisville gives an introduction in which he talks about his relationship with the Blessed Mother and how it led to his priesthood.
John said the video is called Rosary Stars and it will be part of the retreat this weekend. The individual reads from Fr. Peyton’s prayer book and then reflect on that. More about the stars on the video can be found at the Family Theater website.
Beth said the rosary was a prayer for the domestic church, for families. All members of the family can pray the rosary. In the educational component of family prayer, the children become the catechists for the family. The children encourage the parents to pray the rosary. On the other hand, she encourages parents to start in a simple way. Start with just the basic six or seven prayers and delve into the importance of our Blessed Mother to our lives. Scot said it’s helpful to use a booklet that’s often available.
John quoted Fr. Peyton said a world at prayer is a world at peace and that begins in family prayer. He said Beth is very much in demand to speak on the rosary and family prayer. He named the three big awards Beth has been given for her work of spreading the message of family prayer.
Scot asked Sr. Terry about her hopes for the new program. She said they want people to learn about Mary and how she is relevant today for us, particularly on Mary in Scripture. Also, how to learn how to pray to Mary. People often ask for help learning all the prayers of the rosary. They also offer a book by Fr. Thomas Mooney on praying the family rosary. She also said HCFM also has a great app for iPhones and iPads.
Scot asked Sr. Terry how the Why Catholic program is doing in the Archdiocese of Boston. She said it’s doing well. There are almost 100 parishes involved. Those small groups were together for 3 years and have now committed to four more years. They just had meetings throughout the archdiocese for the program. At each meeting, they had a priest-leader, lay leader, and a lay participant talk about best practices. Scot said Why Catholic is a journey through the Catechism. Each year focuses on one of the four pillars of the Catechism.
Scot emphasized that people can join in any time and many new parishes are also joining in as well. He aid a group of Chinese-speaking Catholics that very much wanted the curriculum to be available in Chinese and worked with Renew International to translate it.
Sr. Terry said Boston was the first archdiocese to use Arise and from the beginning Cardinal Seán wanted it available to everyone so they translated it into 7 languages. They have several hundred people involved in the Chinese language version. Now they are coordinating a translation into Vietnamese and the Powerpoints and handouts for training of leaders has been done.
Beth said HCFM said they just had a contest on prayer and 5th grader from St. John the Evangelist in Canton won it this year. Next year, the theme will be Joy to the World on the joyful mysteries. The contest is open to the whole country and about 40,000 entered this year. They have a family retreat planned at the University of Notre Dame in August. They are also organizing a pilgrimage to Ireland in September with Fr. Phalen. They will visit the Fr. Peyton Center in Mayo and the shrine of Our Lady of Knock. On Monday, Beth, Fr. Phalen and Fr. John Phelan will be leaving for the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.