by Moira Cullings
OVERLAND PARK — Mike Scherschligt never set out to start a podcast.
But he did want to share the gift of the rosary with others.
“I found when people, [like] my own kids and adult friends, had something that captivated their minds and heart during the rosary, the more fruitful was their meditation,” he said.
“So, I began to weave meditations into the five decades of the rosary, record them and make them available,” he continued. “That’s all. And it grew and grew and grew.”
In August of 2018, Scherschligt, founder and director of the Holy Family School of Faith, started recording and publishing daily rosary meditations on a podcast.
On May 23, he will pray the 1,000th one.
All are invited to join him for that rosary — in person — on May 23 from 5-8 p.m. at Fiorella’s Event Center in Overland Park.
Participants will have time for fellowship and are encouraged to bring drinks, snacks and lawn chairs.
“A wave moves us more than a drop of water,” said Scherschligt, and so he hopes the crowd will serve as an example of the strong Catholic community in northeast Kansas.
“No person is impervious to discouragement that comes from the news and social media that tells us Christianity is dying. And we need to get off that train,” he said.
“If we try to live our faith individually or only in small groups,” he added, “we get feeling very isolated and alone.
“We all need to be encouraged by witnessing thousands of people who believe come together, so that we can say to ourselves, ‘Thank God, I am not crazy, and I am not alone for believing in Jesus.’”
For Chris Hillyer, director of membership for School of Faith, the event is an exciting opportunity for Catholics to build authentic friendships and grow in faith together.
He hopes it will be as well-attended as the first one held at Fiorella’s last August.
“Coming out of this time of isolation and separation caused by COVID, it will be an opportunity for families and friends to share and celebrate their faith,” he said.
“This night will be an opportunity to build friendships, invite others into our spiritual friendships, strengthen our faith and, most importantly, encounter Christ in each other,” he added.
Hillyer noted that it’s no coincidence the 1000th rosary will be prayed on the solemnity of Pentecost, but that it’s “divine providence.”
The rosary podcast has certainly lit a fire in northeast Kansas and beyond, said Hillyer, with a regular audience of nearly 14,500 listeners.
“As people one by one started sharing the rosary, the number of people praying daily grew exponentially,” he said. “There are now subscribers in 48 states and 17 countries around the world.”
Scherschligt said communities like the one School of Faith has created are a key part of the faith, and that a large gathering like the live rosary serves as an example for the wider community.
“I think solitary embers grow cold,” he said. “Everyone needs a small group of family and friends with whom they can share life and integrate their faith.
“For our faith to grow, we need to invite others and give our faith away.
“Having small groups of family and friends — what I like to call teams — plus large events gives us a place to invite people where they can experience people really living their faith.”
The School of Faith team is grateful for the chance to provide this outlet in the archdiocese, said Hillyer.
“We want to recognize and celebrate our supporters and the Catholic community,” he said. “Our faith is meant to be personal, but it was never meant to be private.
“We are called to live and share our faith.”
To learn more about the live rosary event, go to the website at: schooloffaith.com/events.
To sign up for Scherschligt’s daily rosary meditations, go online to: dailyrosary.net.