Special Issue - Prayer

‘The Virgin Mary doesn’t mind’

by Jill Ragar Esfeld

OLATHE — Prince of Peace parishioner Rosario Downey grew up in the Philippines, immersed in a deeply Catholic culture.

“When we were in grade school,” she said, “all the kids prayed the rosary, so we knew the rosary by heart.

“Even the Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary — I can recite all of those without reading them.

“We were trained that way.”

Downey still has a deep devotion to her faith. She goes to daily Mass and prays in her car on the way there.

“So, from home to church, I don’t stop praying,” she said.

After Mass, she goes to the eucharistic adoration chapel to say a rosary.

“If I don’t have time to go to adoration,” she said, “I pray the rosary here at home and I ask my husband to pray with me.”

Throughout the day, whenever she is driving, she continues to pray.

“I pray for my safety first of all, that I don’t get in an accident,” she said. “I pray for people who don’t have time to pray and for those in purgatory who have no one praying for them.

“I pray for peace throughout the world, because I know how our world is in turmoil.”

Downey is the leader of a rosary group at Prince of Peace and she encourages other members to follow her example.

“I tell them when you are driving, look at where you are going and look at the traffic, but pray,” she said.

Every two years, Downey goes back home to the Philippines. It’s a long trip and she finds it impossible to sleep on the plane. So she prays.

“It’s 12 hours to the Philippines,” she said. “What can you do but pray the rosary?

“The Virgin Mary doesn’t mind if we pray the rosary several times a day!”

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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