DANBURY—About two-dozen children gathered at St. Joseph Church on a Friday evening to pray the Rosary and make rosaries for themselves and others.
The new Children’s Rosary Ministry, which welcomes children of all ages, is led by Ania Szurawsk, who credits the creation of the ministry to the Blessed Mother.
“I listened to the Blessed Mother,” Szurawsk said. “She was telling me in my heart to do it. I just said yes to the Blessed Mother.”
Children gathering for the ministry enjoyed some playtime in the sunshine at the St. Joseph School playground with their guardians, before entering the church to pray.
Each child was given a basic Rosary guide, a list of the five Sorrowful Mysteries and an opportunity to choose a rosary from a basket of colorful handmade rosaries.
Szurawsk began the Rosary prayer session with instructions about how to hold the Rosary, the meaning of the number of beads and prayer intentions.
“I would like to dedicate this Rosary to all of us,” she said. “I am grateful that you are here. Our intention for this Rosary is to pray for all the children in our parish.”
Children took turns approaching the altar and reading one of the five Sorrowful Mysteries before the group continued with the prayers.
“I want to be sure how to pray the Rosary because it’s an important part of my faith,” said 13-year-old Emilia Schweitzer, adding she knew parts of how to pray the Rosary and the prayer session helped her learn the order of the prayers.
Following the prayer session children and their guardians were welcomed to the adjacent Carmen Buck Religious Education building to make rosaries and enjoy a dinner of pizza and ice cream.
Szurawsk instructed the children to introduce themselves to their neighbor as they sat at round tables getting ready to make rosaries.
Children could choose from a rainbow of colorful beads that were laid out on tables along with wooden or plastic crucifixes and medallions. Samples were placed on the table for children to follow.
“I thought it was good,” said 14-year-old William Stramiello of the Rosary prayer session. “It got us to pray together and it gives us an opportunity to get together. It’s important to pray with others,” he said, as he worked on putting together a green-colored Rosary. “It’s my mom’s favorite color. I’m going to give it to her.”
William’s nine-year-old brother Jack was stringing together black beads for his rosary. “It looks really cool,” he said.
Denise Lor Cerullo, attended the event with her two grandchildren.
“It’s very important for them to know their faith,” she said.
Szurawsk said she is overjoyed to see so many children praying the Rosary.
“It’s a beautiful thing to pray the Rosary. It’s a powerful thing,” said Szurawsk, who is a parishioner at St. Joseph for 22 years.
“Praying the Rosary fills your whole heart with such joy,” she said. “You feel closer to God and by praying the Rosary you are getting closer to Mary’s son Jesus.”
By Kathy-Ann Gobin