We’re moms, all of us.
That’s what we have in common, along with our Catholic Faith.
Every Monday, we drop our big kids at school and meet in the choir room of our church, which is full of toys and has a miniature table to gather around. I don’t remember anyone ever complaining about the tiny chairs we sit in or the goldfish cracker crumbs that need to be vacuumed from yesterday’s child watch during Mass, which was held in the same room.
Rosary group is a joyful gathering that we look forward to each week. We lament when our kids are sick or we have another commitment and can’t make it. We keep in touch all week long through prayer requests in a messaging app we made a point of downloading. As busy women, we don’t have a lot of extra bandwidth on our phones or in our lives, but we choose make time for prayer, each other, our kids, and our community—priorities that feel most important and life-giving.
The Format of Our Rosary Group
The format is simple. We start by oohing and ahhing over each other’s littles as they arrive. Who’s wearing a sweet bow? Who said something precious at children’s liturgy? Who’s getting so big? We notice, and we love them like our own.
Then, we redirect the kids to each other, so we can chat. Often, this involves raucous laughter. We met by showing up to prayer and have become good friends.
Eventually someone says, “We should get started.” I usually nudge one of the extroverts to start with their intentions because some people have a gift for getting the attention of a chatty room.
Sharing Our Hearts
Then, we go around the circle and give each woman a voice and opportunity to share what’s on her heart. Though technically we meet to pray for the kids and everything going on with the school across the street, we are open to any and all prayer requests. Sometimes, we have a heart full of praises. Other times, laments.
Usually we are praying for others, but sometimes we need support for what we are going through as individuals. As women who are typically the doers and the givers in our community, sometimes this is the only time all week we’re asked, “How are you really doing?”
Over the years, we’ve been through the adoption process, death of siblings, infant loss, grief, depression, difficult relationships, miscarriages, health crisis, teenage drama, and kids with all kinds of issues including mental illness and open-heart surgery. We open our hearts to each other, accept each other, and listen without judgement.
Celebrating One Another
We also celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Members of our group have planned fundraisers, started non-profit organizations, run marathons, become board-certified OBGYNs, gone on fabulous vacations, had beautiful babies, and been blessed in countless ways. It is a safe place to suffer and shine with Christ through the ups and downs of life.
Praying the Rosary Together
When everyone has had a chance to share, we take turns leading decades of the Rosary. Since we meet on Mondays, we always pray the Joyful Mysteries, which I tailored into meditations for the needs of the kids at the school across the street.
Then, we pray.
Yes, we pray the whole Rosary with small children in the room. I want you to know it is possible. We’ve had as many as 15 at once, but usually 5-10 show up. Sometimes a preschooler will lead a decade for his mom, and it’s the sweetest thing in the world. Other times, a preschooler will pick a fight with her sibling the moment it’s her mom’s turn to lead a decade, and we can all relate.
Often, a hush falls over the room when we start to pray. The Mother of God is clearly present with us in a powerful way. The kids seem to feel it and get into a gentle rhythm of play. We may never know all the blessings that flow into our community through our consistent devotion to prayer, but the grace is palpable and so are the fruits of the Holy Spirit growing in our hearts over time.
Many Blessings Within Our Group
Over the years, we’ve grown from the original three prayer warriors to a pool of 30 women, who come when we can. Anywhere from seven to 15 tend to show up at once.
Out of this group, friendships have been forged, along with a committee called Navigating Technology Together that support parents to set limits on screen-time. We have planned candlelit prayer vigils for sick babies, started meal trains for families in need, and gathered with schoolchildren to pray through surgeries.
We’ve created coalitions to swap watching each other’s kids and blessed items like prayer shawls and Rosaries for those in need. We’ve showed up boisterously to daily Mass on feast days with all of our preschoolers in tow, hilariously livening up an ordinarily quiet Mass time. Together, we’ve crafted faith notes and laid hands to pray over each other through devastatingly difficult times.
Together with our Divine Mother’s help, we have created a safe place to journey closer to the Lord in authentic Christian community through the Rosary. We consider each other sisters and celebrate joyfully when new members arrive.
We want to share this sisterhood in Christ with others.
How to Start a Rosary Group at Your Child’s School
If you don’t have a weekly rRsary group at your child’s school, I pray you have the grace to start one as beautiful and genuine as ours.
- Find another interested mama or two (remember we started as a group of three before growing to 30).
- Decide on a time that works naturally into your schedules (I think our group is successful because it flows naturally with when we already have to drop our kids at school).
- Commit to that time (in our group, there are three who very rarely miss, which keeps the meeting time solid for those who come and go).
- Invite others (personal invitations are most effective, but we also advertise in the school e-newsletter, parish bulletin, and on Facebook).
- Bring extra Rosaries and printouts of the mysteries.
- Be real (our group is successful because of the open-hearted women, who are willing to be vulnerable and embrace each other wholeheartedly).
- Welcome new members joyfully (make sure they know it’s okay if they don’t have the prayers memorized or feel comfortable sharing).
- Listen and love (don’t give advice or try to fix anyone’s problems unless specifically asked—sometimes we just need to be heard and accepted as we are).
- Stay connected throughout the week (group texts and messaging aps like GroupMe help).
- Thank God and each other (it is a pure gift from Heaven to have a weekly prayer group with other faith-filled women)!
Let’s Pray for More Rosary Communities!
Mother Mary, thank You for being our Divine Mother. Please help us to draw more groups of women together to pray the Rosary once per week. Bless our families and schools. Teach us to be genuine friends to one another, and give us the grace to be better mothers to our own children.
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Nicky Gant is a mother of four who is passionate about Christ’s miraculous ability to transform lives through the power of prayer. A lifelong student of spirituality, she is a practicing Catholic with a heart for social justice, the spirituality of motherhood, and cultivating a personal connection with God in silence. You can find out more about her here.