I was mistaken: I thought that I understood the power of the Rosary. For 11 years I had been saying a daily Rosary, holding onto the promise that those who stay true to the Rosary will not be conquered by misfortune.
Then I researched how Our Lady gave St Dominic the Rosary with the promise that it would combat the Albigensian heresy. Albigensianism had misled whole communities of people into thinking that their free will was compromised (as I wrote in this post) on account of believing the body being made by an evil spirit which led them to hold they were not in control of their body’s urges. The part that changed me was that Our Lady told St Dominic to preach the power of the Rosary to the people, not just pray for the people and say nothing to them.
Perhaps it is the proof of the pudding that a ‘religious writer’ such as myself is moved by my own discoveries, when I hope my writing impresses others as to the efficacy of prayer so much that they pray the Rosary themselves.
The very fact that approaching 800 years to the year that the Dominicans were established, they are still unashamedly loyal to the Rosary, which would suggest it is the sieve for their soul that allows them to keep the holy and exclude the bad that rot religious vocations. In their recent trailer for the Jubilee year, there is footage of a dashing young priest saying his Rosary. The Jubilee year begins tomorrow, November 7th and will entail lots of celebrations to mark the 800th anniversary of the official foundation of the Order by Pope Honorius III.
In our era, when other religious orders know a paucity of young vocations, the Dominicans are thriving. One of their greatest success stories is that of Mother Assumpta Long who co-founded Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist. The catch phrase is that they are ‘exploding with young vocations’. The average age in the order is 28 years old.
One of their young nuns, who would be known to British Catholics is Leah, or the girl who was behind the popular You-Tube channel SheIsCatholic. Other convents are filled with elderly sisters who are now living in the rooms that were once for novices, however, the Dominican Sisters of Mary have so many young women that there is not enough room for novices so the novices have to live in the parts of the convent that were designed for old and infirm sisters. Mother Assumpta shares her own story here where she says that what galvanised her was when Fr John Harden told her that the loss of vocations meant that Catholics would lose their institutions.
Even for those of us who do not have a vocation, watching the videos of the young Dominican sisters is very uplifting. In this video, Sr Veronica Marie explains why the extreme sacrifices of becoming a sister are worth it, ‘You think when you enter the convent, I’ve given up my family, children, my car… You think, ‘Lord, I’ve given all these things up, now what are you going to give me?’ And he says, ‘I’m going to give you Myself.’
Multitudes of young women joining mean that they are badly in need of funds for their formation, as Mother Assumpta jokes, ‘can you imagine having that many kids in college?’ They are similar to the British Dominicans who are raising funds to accommodate the rise of young men joining their ranks.
The Province of England has 8 students training for the priesthood and 3 novices. They have a joint noviciate with the Provinces of Holland and Switzerland who have 2 and 1 novices respectively. Anyone with spare cash may consider giving them a few bob, which will be a sound investment in youth and the future of the Church.