No One is Forgotten

After morning Mass every day, a small group remains in church to pray the Rosary.  This is a common practice in Catholic Churches throughout the world.  You will always find a group of the faithful remain after morning Mass to recite together the Rosary.  The Rosary means “crown of roses” and is a popular tradition that traces itself back to the Dominican order and Saint Dominic himself in the 13th century.  Little has changed about the Rosary until the 20th century when Saint John Paul II included a fourth mystery called the Luminous Mysteries.  We are, perhaps, more familiar with the Joyful, Sorrowful and Glorious Mysteries of our youth.  The Rosary remains most probably the greatest devotion of the faithful outside of the Holy Mass.  Countless times I have met elderly men and women who bring out of their pockets ancient rosaries they have carried since childhood. I know men who have consistently carried the same rosaries through childhood and onto the battlefields of war.  I am thinking of one particular man who carried the same set of rosary beads in his pocket for over 60 years.  He has never been without them even for a single day.  I gave him a new case for them because the small case was in tatters.

Each day at our parish that small group of the faithful will recite the Rosary and then at the end they do something most profound.  They recite the specific names of all those who are to be remembered in their prayers.  They pray by name for the Pope, for our bishops, for the president, for the priests of the parish who presently serve, for those priests who had served here for over a century-and-a-half, for the sisters who continue to reside here.  They remember by name those who had died the previous week, they pray by name for the sick whose names are on our sick list and those who are alone at home.  They pray for the unborn children, for those in nursing homes and hospitals, for those who do not practice their faith, for families, for religious liberty, and for the poor.  They remember those who have abandoned their faith.  They announce a long litany of names, some of whom I know, some names I do not.  No one is forgotten.  Their list of prayers is quite extensive.  They miss no one.  I am happy to say that they pray for me by name in that long litany as well.  Perhaps they even pray for you.

It is good that you know they are there, praying ceaselessly, every day for those who have asked, and for some who have been forgotten by the world; because the Church does not forget.

– Fr. Gerard Gordon