The Rosary is a go-to prayer for Catholics everywhere, including the Tavares family, missioners to Glenmary parishes (above, in Glenmary’s newly built Holy Family mission).
The rosary has been an important devotion to Glenmarians since their founding decades ago. The rosary has been adapted for many uses since St. Dominic popularized it in the Middle Ages.
The most recent big change was by Pope St. John Paul lI, who added an entire set of new mysteries, the “Mysteries of Light” (Luminous Mysteries)—a set of scriptural prayers focusing on key moments in Jesus’ evangelizing ministry. Glenmary Father Steve Pawelk offers a much smaller adaptation, a set of “missionary meditations” to accompany the prayers of the rosary’s mysteries.
Let’s combine the big and the small here! Join us in reflecting on mission as we pray the Luminous Mysteries of the rosary.
The Baptism in the Jordan. (Mt. 3:13-7) John baptizes Jesus in the River Jordan.
Missionary Meditation: That all Christians may lead others to the waters of Baptism.
The wedding feast of Cana. (Jn. 2:1-12) Jesus manifests his glory by changing water into wine.
Missionary Meditation: That we may help others see the miracles within their own lives.
The proclamation of the kingdom of God. (Mt. 1:12-15) Jesus proclaims glad tidings to the poor and liberty to the captives.
Missionary Meditation: That with gladness we may help the poor, visit prisoners and comfort the afflicted.
The Transfiguration. (Mt. 17:1-8) Jesus radiates in dialogue with Moses and Elijah before his disciples.
Missionary Meditation: That we may radiate the love of Christ to all we encounter.
The institution of the Eucharist. (Mt. 26:26-30) At the Last Supper, Jesus offers his body and blood for the forgiveness of sin.
Missionary Meditation: That we may lead others to the Eucharist, the ultimate feast of forgiveness.
Says Father Steve, “I wrote these because I wanted a prayer both for our mission families and for Glenmary supporters. I kept it scripture-based because scripture is so important in our mission counties.” He reports that parishioners pray these meditations each week at St. John Paul II mission in Rutledge Tenn., his former parish, where the newest Glenmary church is under construction.
Praying these Missionary Meditations can remind us that a missioner’s work is not for the faint of heart. Our missioners leave home behind, head off into cultures not their own, even in these United States. That is why, besides Poverty, Chastity, and Obedience, Glenmarians take a fourth Oath: to pray. After all, it is God who empowers a missioner’s work. Every believer, every missioner must open our hearts to let God work in our lives. The rosary can help us to do that.