Leaven Blog

The Carpool Rosary

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

It’s been a while since my life was synced with the cycle of the school calendar and our family year began in late August.

But when school-supply ads come on the television and I hear young mothers lament the beginning of a new school year, I have fond memories of our carpool rosary.

I like to think the kids from my carpool do to.

Every Monday morning, on the way to school, our carpool would begin one set of mysteries of the rosary. 

Each morning a child would lead a decade and we would complete the rosary on Friday.

Five school days, five decades; it’s like Mary had a plan when she gave the rosary to Saint Dominic in the 13th century.

Before reciting the decade each morning, we would talk briefly about the mystery and the part it played in the life of Jesus and Mary.

We usually recited the mysteries by season — concentrating on the Joyful during Advent and Christmas, the Sorrowful during Lent, the Glorious during Easter season and the Luminous in ordinary time.

Each day, we would recall the fruit of that mystery — an important aspect of rosary meditation.

We would discuss the meaning of the fruit and how the children might practice it that day at school.

These were good lessons for our carpool group — attempting to practice humility, forgiveness, courage, perseverance, hope, faith and love.

I can think of no better way to make the daily trip to school more rewarding than to adopt our habit of sharing a decade of the rosary each morning.

The formula is simple, and the rewards are great.

If you’d like to start your own carpool rosary, here is a list of the mysteries and their fruits. 

A little research can give you more insight into each fruit and how you can share it with the children.

Joyful Mysteries:

  • Annunciation: humility
  • Visitation: love of neighbor; charity
  • Birth of Jesus: poverty of spirit; detachment from worldly things
  • Presentation: obedience
  • Finding Jesus in the Temple: joy in finding Jesus in your life

Luminous Mysteries:

  • Baptism: openness to the Holy Spirit
  • Miracle at Cana: fidelity
  • Proclamation of the Kingdom: trust in God 
  • Transfiguration: becoming a new person in Christ
  • Institution of the Holy Eucharist: greater love for the Holy Eucharist.

Sorrowful Mysteries:

  • Agony in the Garden: sorrow for sin, forgiveness
  • Scourging at the Pillar: purity; suffering with grace
  • Crowning with Thorns: moral courage
  • Carrying of the Cross: patience in bearing trials
  • Crucifixion: Perseverance

Glorious Mysteries:

  • Resurrection: faith
  • Ascension: hope
  • Descent of the Holy Spirit: love
  • Assumption: Grace of a happy death
  • Coronation: trust in Mary’s intercession

If you incorporate the carpool rosary into your daily routine, by the time your children finish grade school, they will be well versed in the recitation of this beautiful Catholic prayer.

Your children will have a great tool to help them get through the trying times ahead.

Knowing how to say the rosary will also give your children a feeling of control over a sometimes frightening world that is brought home to them through social and mass media.

When children express concern about the future, simply remind them of the promise Our Lady of the Rosary gave the children at Fatima — if we want peace, we must pray the rosary. 

Let your children know that, with Mary, they have the power to change the world.

About the author

Jill Esfeld

Jill Ragar Esfeld received a degree in Writing from Missouri State University and started her profession as a magazine feature writer, but quickly transitioned to technical/instructional writing where she had a successful career spanning more than 20 years. She returned to feature writing when she began freelancing for The Leaven in 2004. Her articles have won several awards from the Catholic Press Association. Jill grew up in Christ the King parish in Kansas City, Missouri; and has been a member of Holy Trinity Parish in Lenexa, Kansas, for 35 years.

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