ROSARY GARDEN CAUSES A SPIRITUAL STIR IN TRAMORE
There was great excitement and attraction to a new prayer space, which was blessed and opened in Holy Cross Church, Tramore on Saturday last (29 September).
The Rosary Garden which was an idea as part of celebrating ‘The Year of Faith’ which begins on 11 October, has been in planning for a number of months and designed by Fr. Michael Toomey, Anna Flannigan, Jimmy Bourke and Noel Power, and funded by the generous donation of the parishioners. It was blessed before evening Mass, to be used as a guide and inspiration for more people to pray the rosary particularly in the month of October.
Following on from the successful Eucharistic Congress in Dublin in June, Tramore parishioners drew inspiration from the command: “Become what you receive”.
At the Congress, many visitors went into the rosary garden which was designed in Saint Damian’s Monastery by the RDS for pilgrims and visitors attending the Monastery Chapel. Pilgrims journeyed through the garden passing from the busy outside world and events of the Congress to spend time in prayer, quiet reflection and Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament in the Chapel. The garden linked the monastic and fraternal heritage and tradition with our present time and place.
From this came the idea to set up a Rosary Garden in Holy Cross church for the month of October – the month of the Holy Rosary. With the assistance of the ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ based in Dublin who were promoting the faith on their stand, they provided the parish with a number of ‘How to Pray the Rosary’ prayer cards. These have been given free to all parishioners and more cards were ordered such was the high demand for them.
On the walls by the garden are the four mysteries of the Rosary with pictures of each decade, as well as all the pillars in the church decorated in rosary beads decorated by children in the schools, as a guide on how to pray the rosary for those who may have forgotten or who have lost this great treasure of prayer in their lives.
After all the Masses on Sunday, it was wonderful to see so many young people kneel by our own ‘grotto’ and pray quietly to Our Lady.
One parishioner commented: “ It is like our own smaller Lourdes in the heart of our parish church. It is so peaceful and tranquil to come and pray for a while and meditate on the Rosary”.
Another commented: “We have lost the Rosary in our family lives. What was wonderful to see after Mass at the weekend was to see so many young people come up and kneel down just like St Bernadette whose statue is in the garden”.
In his homily on Saturday evening, Fr. Michael Toomey commented on his late grandmother recalling with fondness how as young boys and girls, their father would call in the family at 6pm for the Angelus and pray the Rosary on their knees. “It is an image which I know stirs great memories for many of you here this evening” said Fr. Michael. “But for some of us, we can only use our imagination to see how special that must have been for so many families to stop and pray, in the days long before TV, radio and internet”.
Fr. Toomey also commented how it was wonderful to hear the rosary prayed by the people before Mass during the week. “It is like the Holy Spirit prompts us to pray and mediate on what our faith is. We must be able in the Year of Faith to remember, recall and revitalize this faith in each one of us, and in our families and young children – so they too get to know more about the love of God in their lives”.
It is the hope in this month of the Rosary that many more will promise to daily stop and ponder on the mysteries of the Rosary, and to also pause for a minute at 12 noon or 6pm for the Angelus, which is also being promoted throughout the month of Our Lady.
Already, the garden has attracted groups of people from Waterford, (such as the local flower clubs) and Tramore to come in to see the garden and to take a prayer card.
The Rosary Garden is situated by the Edmond Rice Shrine in the church and will be there until the end of October.