August 17, 2007

Faithful Lines / Shirley Vogler Meister

If the rosary seems boring, then think again

Shirley Vogler MeisterRecently, I received this from Christian Newswire: “Ninety years after the Marian apparitions in Fatima, Portugal, Catholics are gearing up to commemorate its jubilee anniversary with 2,000 ‘public square’ Rosary Rallies. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) and its America Needs Fatima campaign are coordinating the event for Oct. 13, the Day of [Fatima’s] Miracle of the Sun.”

I wondered how to introduce the news to “Faithful Lines” readers. Then I remembered that shortly before receiving the report from Christian Newswire e-mail, I had started reading a book about the rosary. I had originally set it aside, thinking it more appropriate for October, the traditional Month of the Holy Rosary.

However, Mitch Finley’s The Rosary Handbook: A Guide for Newcomers, ­

Old-Timers and Those In Between is perfect to introduce now rather than later because of plans being made to celebrate the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima. What better way to promote public rosary prayers than with Catholics more knowledgeable than ever about the devotion?

Finley, an award-winning Catholic writer and speaker, has written more than 30 books, including The Joy of Being Catholic and The Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. He is also a staff writer for a Catholic paper in Spokane, Wash.

Poor Clare Sister Patricia Proctor, the author of 101 Inspirational Sources of the Rosary, says about Finley’s new book: “If you are looking for a book that will explain why you should pray the rosary, this is it. If you want a book to help you to pray the rosary, this is it. If you think you know everything there is to know about the rosary, think again. [Finley’s] book goes wider, deeper and further than any other book. …”

After reading The Rosary Handbook, I not only agree, but am surprised at what I learned, including why the rosary is right for us, the rosary’s origins and history, why it’s more than just a string of beads, moments of meditation and how to pray the rosary.

Strangely, I thought I knew how, but I was wrong. At the end of the book, the author introduces a convert to Catholicism, Lynn Morales, who found creative ways to pray the rosary as well as fit it into her busy days. This stay-at-home mother at first considered the rosary “too Catholic … and boring.” Her contributions to the book are not boring. They are innovative and interesting for anyone, not just busy mothers

The $11.95 book is published by The Word Among Us Press and can be ordered at or by calling their toll-free number at 800-775-9673.

For information about America Needs Fatima Rosary Rallies, contact

It is always a blessing when totally different topics like a rally and a book come together so serendipitously.

(Shirley Vogler Meister, a member of Christ the King Parish in Indianapolis, is a regular columnist for The Criterion.) †

Local site Links: