Monday, November 13, 2006

Dick Schimmel, the Rosary Man

Tom Heinen reports in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that Mr. Schimmel has given away 1,147,023 rosaries since August 5, 1998.

In case you're wondering,
Catholics are taught to use the rosary of the Virgin Mary to meditate on the life of Christ. Beads or knots on a rosary guide people through introductory prayers to five decades - groups of 10 "Hail Marys" - interspersed with other prayers.

Outside of college football, the "Hail Mary" is more formally, though quite infrequently, titled the Angelic Salutation.
Although traditional devotional practices such as pilgrimages and rosary recitations at Marian shrines declined sharply in the late 1960s and 1970s, they have been growing in popularity in recent years, according to the Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton.

It was apparently believed that eliminating devotional practices would somehow spontaneously generate something better to take their place.
Historian Garry Wills, author of the 2005 book The Rosary, said in an interview last week that he's had a strong response to the book but has seen no hard evidence of a widespread resurgence in use of the rosary.

"I think it has the potential for a real comeback because people are very interested in meditation now," Wills said.

Maybe the Rosary could replace the labyrinth.

Update: Peggy Noonan at Opinion Journal, pre-election, on how all prayers receive an answer.
A month ago Mr. Santorum [Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA)] and his wife were in the car driving to Washington for the debate with his opponent on "Meet the Press." Their conversation turned to how brutal the campaign was, how hurt they'd both felt at all the attacks. Karen Santorum said it must be the same for Bob Casey and his family; they must be suffering. Rick Santorum said yes, it's hard for them too. Then he said, "Let's say a Rosary for them." So they prayed for the Caseys as they hurtled south.

A friend of mine called them while they were praying. She told me about it later, but didn't want it repeated. "No one would believe it," she said.

But I asked Mr. Santorum about it. Sure, he said, surprised at my surprise. "We pray for the Caseys every night. We know it's as hard for them as it is for us."


  1. I don't own a rosary, but I think owning one should be as sacred as passing a precious heirloom.

    When artifacts become disposable, then so can the meaning of owning one.

    Least that's my two pence.

  2. Anonymous10:32 PM

    Who got rid of private devotions?

    It just wasn't allowed to do them publically during the Holy Mass any more.

  3. Archbishop Weakland in his Confidential letter to priests, January 7, 2000 said,

    "I judge my successor may well be interested in promoting the return to older devotional practices, especially Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, public recitation of the Rosary, Stations of the Cross, and many others that are newer, like Mercy Sunday."