More Men Praying The Rosary
I recently came across this article by David Olson of the Riverside (Calif.) Press-Enterprise (click here to read or hear audio report). It mirrors a trend I’ve seen over the last three-four years. Here’s how it starts:
David Calvillo used to think praying the rosary was for “old ladies and funerals.”
Then he went to a Catholic men’s retreat in 2008, where for the first time he felt the rosary’s spiritual power as he prayed it with 79 other men.
Calvillo, 49, is now on a crusade to convince Catholics that “real men pray the rosary,” the name he gave a nonprofit he founded last year.
The rosary, a cycle of prayers said while worshippers finger a string of beads, is not gender-specific. Yet many men say they have always associated the rosary with women, especially older females.
There’s no way to know whether the number of men praying the rosary is increasing, but nearly 9,000 people have indicated they like “Real Men Pray the Rosary” on the group’s Facebook page. (Note: The article was published in June. Its Facebook “likes” now number more than 15,000. “Real Men Pray the Rosary” also has a Web site and blog.)
The increase in men praying the Rosary is great news, although it is odd that men should ever think the Rosary is a woman’s prayer. In school, it was taught as an important aspect of Catholic prayer life and priests and religious never, in my experience, emphasize it to girls over boys, women over men.
There are several ways in which praying the Rosary is encouraged: At an adoration hour, with your family, and after daily Mass to name a few. If your parish does not have an active group praying the Rosary and promulgating it, perhaps that is a project to take on in consultation with your pastor.
Unlike other prayers, the Rosary, with its devotion to different mysteries of the Gospel, has a certain draw and power. As the article states, the prayers are the same, but they can take on a different meaning each day as you meditate on the meaning of each mystery. It’s one reason the Rosary has a special place in the hearts of many — and many more, particularly men, are discovering that now.
Groups such as Real Men Pray The Rosary are sprouting up to encourage men to pray the Rosary.