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DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - An international prayer group is on the rise, and its members are young children.
Called simply "Children's Rosary," the organization has only been around for about six years. A local affiliated group can meet for Rosary monthly, weekly or even daily.
An organizer of Children's Rosary, Blythe Kaufman, shared photographs and factoids with us on Friday. She told us about the initiative's origins, "The Children's Rosary began at St. Thomas the Apostle Parish in West Hartford, Connecticut, on April 10, 2011."
After little more than six years, it has already spread internationally — to schools, parishes and orphanages in 27 countries and on six continents.
The prayer initiative's website has a map of the world. When one of the groups prays the Rosary, a little blue light appears on the map over the location. Yellow lights indicate when individuals pray the Rosary in union with the intentions of the organization.
For example, at the time this article was being written, there was a blue light for a group in Tanzania and a yellow light for an individual in the Philippines.
We asked Kaufman about the age range of children participating in Children's Rosary. She explained, "The general target age range is 4–14, but children who have an interest in attending should never be turned away even if they are younger or older. Of particular note are children with disabilities who may be older but have a very important place in the Children's Rosary."
Kaufman mentioned to us that a Children's Rosary group recently got started at a parish in Russia. The Russian group even got a priest involved.
The initiative's organizers recommend incorporating little prayerful gestures and rituals into Children's Rosary meetings. For instance, some Rosary groups light prayer candles or place a bouquet of roses in front of a statue of Our Lady.
In addition to the website, Children's Rosary also has a blog. Recently, the blog advertised for a Christmas novena to the Infant of Prague.
Kaufman also wrote to us about the need to encourage children to pray the Rosary. She said:
For those who are feeling drawn to start a Children's Rosary, I would encourage them. We have seen young people start groups, grandparents, parents and single individuals. The children are our future Church. It is very important that we support the prayer lives of children. A prayer group in a parish or school provides a place for children to pray with other children — something that is very needed today!
Kaufman noted that the website for Children's Rosary also has Spanish and French versions.