Champions of the Rosary

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Rallying Around Our Lady

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As we begin our Advent journey to Christmas, the Church gives us several Marian feasts (such as the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception and the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe) to remind us that the easiest path to our Lord is through Our Lady.

How? Turn to Our Lady and the devotions she has given us, such as the Rosary.

Need a model? Meet Alice.

"I'm just trying to get people to reach out to Jesus through Mary and the Rosary, which is a very powerful prayer," said Alice Zacharewicz of East Nassau, New York.

She's been gathering family, friends, and neighbors at her home in the fall for 12 years now to pray the Rosary for a variety of intentions, especially for the issues surrounding marriage and the family, as well as the coming of a culture of life.

"There's so much going on that it's hard to narrow it down to one thing," said Alice. "The culture of death is just spreading so badly and this is just my one way of trying to reach out to people. Every year I try to find new ways to reach out to people. The Holy Spirit has put a lot of new people in my path, and I honestly think that there is a good reason for that because these people are all pro-life people."

Attendance has been anywhere between four and 15 people, including Alice's niece, who comes in all the way from St. Louis, Missouri, specifically to take part in her aunt's Rosary rally. "God puts us in places and God puts people in our lives for a reason," said Alice, "and I'm thanking God because I had such a wonderful showing this year because of that."

She welcomed 15 people to her house to pray the Rosary this year, as well as one of the traveling pilgrim virgin statues of Our Lady of Fatima.

"This year because I had this statue coming, I bought a canopy in case of inclement weather," she said. "It was a beautiful, gorgeous day, and so my niece and I decorated the canopy and got ready for the statue, and we had the Rosary rally outdoors."

Alice sends out notices to family and friends before the Rally, explaining what the year's theme is and the intentions for which they'll be offering the Rosary. On the day itself, she said, "I begin the Rosary by indicating certain things that we want to pray for. I pray for the former attendees, and everybody has their own personal intentions, and then we say the Rosary. I start the Rosary and then we have people who volunteer to do the decades."

Following the Rosary, the group sings one or two songs to the Blessed Mother, using song sheets Alice provides. "It depends upon the group," she explained. "Some are enthusiastic and they'll want to sing more than that. This year, I had a song to Our Lady of Fatima. And then we finish and do the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Then we chitchat, and I go in and set up some light refreshments."

Alice intends to keep hosting the Rosary rally for the rest of her life, "as long as God leaves me here," and encourages club members to consider doing likewise. "Don't give up. Just give it a try." She reminds us that numbers aren't that important; as Jesus said, "For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Mt 18:20). "And that's what we want," Alice concluded.

"There're just so many reasons to pray, and people are too busy to pray, so we have to pray for those people who don't have the time to pray," said Alice. "Sometimes I get discouraged, but I'm hanging right in there. Because I say, 'No, you've got to do it. That's the least that I can do.' So I would encourage people to still keep at it, and then miracles happen all the time."

How do you spread devotion to Our Lady? What special devotions do you practice? Send us your story at thirteenth@marian.org and help inspire other children of Mary to do likewise.

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