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The Worldwide Women’s Rosary is coming to the United Arab Emirates

November 22, 2022 Catholic News Agency 2
In the United Arab Emirates, a group of women will join other women from around the world on Dec. 8, 2022, to honor the Virgin Mary in the Worldwide Women’s Rosary. / Credit: Facebook page St.Joseph’s Cathedral Abu Dhabi AUH

CNA Newsroom, Nov 22, 2022 / 12:00 pm (CNA).

Women from all over the world will join together Dec. 8 for the public recitation of a rosary to Our Lady. In the United Arab Emirates, where only 7% of the population professes Christianity, women are participating in the initiative in a special way.

Martha and Darío are a Colombian married couple living in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. There they have developed an active faith life, and on Dec. 8 they will be part of a Catholic community that will join the Worldwide Women’s Rosary.

It was a job position for Darío that led him and his wife to move to the United Arab Emirates in 2008 and start their lives over, 8,000 miles from their native Colombia.

In an interview with ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language sister news agency, Darío said that during their first few years of living there they attended the celebration of the Eucharist in English at St. Joseph Cathedral in Abu Dhabi. An announcement during Mass led them to meet a group of Spanish-speaking people who were attending Mass in Spanish.

Some time later, Martha was asked to be in charge of coordinating the Mass, and with the help of her husband, who had experience in the life of the Church in Colombia, she undertook the task, joined by one of her friends.

Darío approached the then pastor of the cathedral to offer his help. From that moment on, he began working as a coordinator for the Spanish-speaking community.

Thus “began the activities aimed at the formation of a community, of a Spanish-speaking Catholic Church, in the midst of a parish that has countless different languages and cultures congregated in the same place,” he recalled.

The tasks followed one another: community outreach, locating rooms for catechesis, preparation of the Mass and soon there were some 220 families from countries such as Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Panama, and Spain.

The Catholic faith in the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi belongs to the South Vicariate of the United Arab Emirates, a country where the official and most widespread religion among its inhabitants is Islam, at 75% of the population, and approximately 7% professing Christianity.

“It’s common to think that in a place where the Catholic faith is not the main recognized faith, different kinds of difficulties may arise,” Darío acknowledged.

“Here, on the contrary, we constantly receive ‘friendly challenges’ to faithfully demonstrate our faith to others in love, in charity, in respect, in tolerance,” he said.

The official language of the vicariate is English, but at St. Joseph Cathedral, Mass is offered in Spanish once a month.

The same is true of the Arab, Filipino, Sri Lankan, and Indian communities (in their different language groups), as well as small German-, French-, and Italian-speaking communities.

As for education in the faith, unlike in Latin America, catechesis is not directed toward sacramental preparation, but during the 12 years of primary and secondary school, catechesis is given on weekends as an extracurricular activity.

In the Spanish-speaking community, there is also catechesis for families whose children will receive the sacraments in their country of origin. “At the same time, parents receive their faith formation,” Darío explained.

Their connection to the rosary

At Martha’s initiative, since they arrived in Abu Dhabi, she and her husband began to pray the Pilgrim Holy Rosary in the homes of different people. Later, it was transferred to the cathedral, where a group of women met once a week.

At the beginning of the pandemic, the practice had to be suspended, and it hasn’t been possible to restart it because normal activities in the country only resumed two weeks ago.

The news about the Worldwide Women’s Rosary came through Fanny Tagle, a Chilean who participates in coordinating the initiative and who was a classmate of Darío’s in a professional development course. And so Tagle conveyed the proposal to him.

Martha and Darío took the idea to the parish, where the priest decided to support it, proposing to offer the intentions of the rosaries that are said in the half hour before each Mass from Dec. 5–8 for the Worldwide Women’s Rosary.

In the entire country, which is about the size of the state of Maine, there are only nine Catholic parishes, which means that “people of different cultures and different countries flock to the eucharistic celebrations.” Darío estimates that every Sunday some 15,000 people attend Mass.

On liturgical solemnities such as the Immaculate Conception on Dec. 8, it’s not possible to hold any activity outside of Mass, and the rosary cannot be prayed in the church.

During the month of October, the Catholic community of the United Arab Emirates celebrates the devotion to the holy rosary. A heavily attended rosary service is held to close the month’s events, and this year it brought together close to 1,300 people. It was the first one to be led by the new bishop of the vicariate, Paolo Martinelli.

To join the global initiative Dec. 8, the couple is considering meeting in a house and livestreaming it from there on the Facebook page of the Spanish-speaking community of Abu Dhabi.

Representatives from Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, and the United States have already confirmed their participation in the Worldwide Women’s Rosary.

Also participating will be women from Guatemala, Honduras, Italy, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Uganda, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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Hundreds of men pray the rosary in the rain in Bogotá, Colombia

October 12, 2022 Catholic News Agency 1
Rain did not deter the hundreds of men gathered as part of the Men’s Rosary in Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 8, 2022, to pray the rosary for the victims of abortion. / Photo credit: Eduardo Berdejo/Twitter

ACI Prensa Staff, Oct 12, 2022 / 10:00 am (CNA).

Hundreds of men gathered Oct. 8 in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes in Bogotá, Colombia, to join the worldwide Men’s Rosary, reciting the Marian prayer under the rain that fell on the Colombian capital.

The Men’s Rosary was held Oct. 8 in dozens of countries, an initiative originating in Poland and Ireland in 2018 and that in a few years has spread to other nations on different dates.

The Oct. 8 Men’s Rosary was the first to be held worldwide. The goal was for the rosary to be recited 24 hours a day in some city on the planet.

In Colombia, the Men’s Rosary was prayed in Cali, Bucaramanga, Barranquilla, Santa Marta, Bogotá, and other cities.

In Bogota, the men — who were accompanied by some women — gathered in the Plaza de Bolívar and on the esplanade of the Minor Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes.

A video shows that a few minutes after the prayer began, rain began falling on the assembled men, but it didn’t stop them from continuing to recite the prayer, with some even on their knees.

While some of the faithful covered themselves with umbrellas, others remained on their knees without any protection.

During the reflections for the mysteries, the faithful prayed for aborted children, their families, and for the authorities.

The prayer in front of the Basilica of Our Lady of Lourdes was organized by the Rosario de San José group, joined by other lay organizations such as the Movement of Catholic Solidarity, Mission for the love of God throughout the world, Lazos de Amor Mariano (Bonds of Marian love), Regnum Christi, and others.

Why a Men’s Rosary?

On their website, the originators of the Men’s Rosary state that the objective is to fulfill the will of the Virgin Mary, which is the will of her Son, Jesus Christ.

They note that “the role of men in God’s plan is to protect for eternal life all those whom God has given us here on earth.”

“Just as St. Joseph was the earthly protector of the Holy Family, we also have the task of defending the sanctity of our families and loved ones. We want to do it together, in a community of men. In this unity, we strengthen our male identity and masculine virtues,” the promoters of the prayer movement explain.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.


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The ultimate rosary gift guide

October 7, 2022 Catholic News Agency 2

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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 7, 2022 / 11:57 am (CNA).
Oct. 7 marks the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, when the Catholic Church celebrates its most beloved devotion to the Virgin Mary.Like every other year, the rosary continues … […]

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The rosary: common myths and facts

October 1, 2022 Catholic News Agency 10

null / Vatican Media.

Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Oct 1, 2022 / 02:00 am (CNA).
October is designated by the Catholic Church as the “Month of the Rosary.” Here are seven common myths and facts about this devotion to Our Lady.Only Catholics can p… […]