Friday, August 12, 2016

Father Calloway's New Book on the Rosary

Father Donald Calloway, MIC, has done the Church yet another tremendous service in writing a wonderful book on the rosary.

Father Calloway's book is titled "Champions of the Rosary: the History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon"

The title alone should get people jacked up!


I have a strong devotion to the Blessed Mother, but I think many people today struggle to find a solid explanation for Marian intercession in general, and the rosary in particular.


Father Calloway's book contains several different elements, all of which I found to be extremely unique and helpful.

Starting from the back (for some reason I always start looking at books from the end) I first came across an AWESOME appendix - "The Rosary in Art".  What a great idea to highlight for people all the different places that the rosary shows up throughout Western Art.  Seeing all these wonderful images collected in one place forces the unbeliever to confront the fact that for a TON of people throughout history, a devotion to the rosary has been a real thing.

Now jumping to the beginning, the first part of the book is chaptered by century as Father Calloway walks the readers through the historical development of the devotion.  As Cardinal Newman says, the further one immerses themselves in history, the more they cease to become Protestant.  As with the art appendix, when one is confronted with all the evidence of the development of the rosary, it becomes clear that this isn't just a devotion someone invented a few years ago.

The second part of the book is devoted to the saints who have championed the rosary through the centuries.  Art is compelling.  History is compelling, but even more compelling is hearing from individuals and seeing Marian devotion lived out in the lives of saints.  The saints have always provided us something to shoot for, and Father highlights many of the spiritual heroes of the Church who had the rosary at the very heart of their lives.

Finally, Father Calloway concludes the book with a third section - a how to for those interested in picking up the rosary as a devotion.  Art is compelling, history is compelling, the lives of saints are compelling, but MOST compelling for us to day is lived experience, and so the best encouragement and advice that most priests give today to people asking about the rosary is "why don't you give it a try for a while, and see if it changes you."  This concluding section of the book is becoming more and more important as well because so many are not exactly sure how to pray the rosary, as seemingly fewer and fewer young people grow up with the devotion in their childhood.

I highly recommend this book for anyone, Catholic or non-Catholic, who wants to know more about why us crazy Catholics pray the rosary.  I'm thankful that Father Calloway undertook this most important project, and I pray that many people will read this book, and then buy copies for their friends and loved ones as well!