Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth, England, is marking October, the month of the Rosary, by distributing free recordings of the devotion to every parishioner in his diocese.
The bishop, who is to make the announcement in a pastoral letter due to be released on Sunday, says the CD will contain all the mysteries of the Holy Rosary.
“As you leave church today, I am offering you a free gift,” Bishop Egan’s letter says. “It’s a CD for use at home or in the car, and I am grateful to the young students of St. Peter’s, Bournemouth for their help in recording it.”
He adds: “I want to encourage you to use this CD often, perhaps especially when driving – though do drive safely! It will help you reflect on the joyful, luminous, sorrowful and glorious mysteries of the Catholic faith, and so the CD contains the Rosary, with brief meditations and intentions for each decade.”
Recalling that the Rosary is a prayer centred on Jesus, “who is honoured by a bow of the head in every Hail Mary,” Bishop Egan explains that for centuries the Rosary has “helped Christians grow in the spiritual life.” It is a deeply scriptural prayer, he continues, and quotes Pope Pius XII in describing it as the “compendium of the entire Gospel”.
He adds that prayers through Mary “never fail” and suggests practical ways in which the faithful could deepen their devotion to the Blessed Virgin. He recommends placing a Marian statue or icon in the home, hanging a rosary in the car from the rear-view mirror, or carrying in one’s pocket a rosary-chaplet as a witness at work or in an airport security line.
“The Church in our time is calling us to an evangelisation ‘new in its ardour, new in its methods and new in its expression’,” he says. “This is why we need to pray for enormous creativity.”
Underlining the importance of prayer, Bishop Egan says it takes us “out of ourselves” facilitating “a person-to-Person encounter with God.” He says he hopes that by dedicating oneself to prayer, each person will become “less inward-looking and more outward-looking, that is, people who constantly pray for those in society around us, for their needs and their salvation.”
“We should work and pray earnestly for the evangelisation and conversion of England,” he says, “that all may have the chance to hear the Gospel and be inspired to convert to Christ.”