Below are some fantastic testimonies from Rosary Army Soldiers all around the world who are just like you.
Have a great Rosary Army story to tell? Send us an email and share it with the world!
Use Me, God
“I’m a “cradle Catholic” of sorts. I was raised going to CCD and Mass. I learned to be a Lector at age 12. My first Mass I lectored at was the Easter Morning Mass. I continued being a Lector until I graduated from high school. That’s when, like so many people that age, I stepped away from the Church. That’s not to say that I didn’t believe in Christ, but I didn’t know why I should be Catholic. I have to say my CCD experience was less than fantastic, and I came away from it, after Confirmation, feeling like I was “done.” At that point, I could be like so many older people I knew…going to Mass on Easter and Christmas. I was not evangelized by my Parish. So that’s what I did. I went to Mass once in a while, never getting involved, never becoming a member.
“Fast forward a few years. Right before Easter 2005, I was invited by a friend to her church. She was not Catholic. Well, I went, and enjoyed the service. It was upbeat, fun, spirit-filled. But it was missing something. I’m sure you know at this point, what I was missing was the Eucharist. Now, right next door to her church is a Catholic church. So, I decided to go there the next Saturday. And I fell in love.
“I started going every Saturday, and every Monday evening for the Rosary and Mass, and Adoration after Mass. I quickly got hooked. And God was working. After almost a year of that, I was at a point in my life where I knew I needed a change. I was filled with certain sins that I loved and held dear to myself. And my mom had passed away, also. My Dad lived 3,000 miles away from me, I lived just north of Pittsburgh, he lived just outside of Los Angeles in Riverside, CA. He and my mom had divorced when I was an infant, and except for 2 visits when I was 22 and 23 years old, I had never met him. I was a Restaurant Manager, a career which I despised more each day. So much needed to change.
“I was lying in bed one night, praying (which was a rare event for me, even though I had been going to Mass for almost a year), and I told God that He could have my life. I knew that things needed to change, but I didn’t know where to start, or even exactly what I meant when I said that my life needed to change. I said “You take it, God. Take my life and do with it whatever You want. I’m done trying. I don’t know what to do.”
“And that’s when it began. Within 2 months of saying that prayer, I had quit my job, packed up my apartment, stored what I couldn’t fit in my car, and drove to California. I moved in with my Dad, joined the local Parish, became a Lector again. I started reading the Bible. I read the Purpose Driven Life. I prayed every day. I learned how to say the Rosary again. I discovered a program called Alpha. I went through the 10-week course. After that, I led a group in the Purpose Driven Life. Currently, I’m a group leader in my second session of Alpha. I go to Starbucks every night to journal and read a chapter of one of the Gospels, and a chapter from another book in the Bible. I’ve gone through John and Luke, and Proverbs, Revelation, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and several others. God has changed me from the inside. I can feel it. I’m on fire with the Spirit.
“All through this time (it’s been 16 months now) I’ve been praying for God to continue what He started that night in July of 2006 in Ambridge, PA. He’s been my guide, my shield, my strength, my comfort. I bounce ideas off of Him almost daily. He’s given me a plan for my life. He’s guided me through a cross-country move, 2 career changes, and countless bumps in the road. I told Him I wanted more. I discovered Christian music. I gave Him my entire life. “Use it, God,” I said. “You gave it to me, it’s Yours.” He has given me a vision of an apostolate of my own, now. And that’s thanks, in part to you. You and the other Catholic podcasters out there, iPadre, The Catholic Hack and Catholic Underground. I love you guys.
“I’m going to open a Mission of sorts. I was telling a friend, my best friend, the one that invited me to her church, about the visions that I had. She was excited, and we decided to go into business together. Joshua’s Vineyard (based on Matthew 1:21 and John 15:4) is what we’re calling it, and I’m moving back to Ambridge, PA in a few months to start working on it with her. We’re going to minister to single mothers and those who seek a closer relationship to Christ, but think He won’t have them. We’re called to love the ones that think the Church (and God Himself) doesn’t love them. We’re going to own rental properties and lease them out to earn money to run the “Joshua House,” which should be a communal living facility for young (or older) adults needing a refuge from the world, while they re-chart their course in life, very much like I did by moving here to California.
“I’m eternally grateful to the Lord for His love and guidance over the last 16 months or so. I’m ecstatic that He has given me a plan for my life, one that could bring His love to so many. I’ve discussed this with the Pastor of my Parish, and he is very supportive, I’m waiting on an e-mail from the Pastor in Ambridge with his feedback.
“Well, that’s my story. My testimony. Please, add it to your new website if you think it might inspire someone, and feel free to share my name and e-mail address, I could use resources and guidance. I’m glad I had the courage to share it with you. I love your podcast, and always smile when I check my iTunes and there’s a new show. Keep me in your prayers, Greg and Jennifer. You’re in mine.”
Steven B. – Norco, CA
Rosary Army Brought Me To RCIA
“Rosary Army was basically the catalyst I needed to get me into RCIA. I have been thinking about it and slowly taking steps to begin the process for over 3 years.
“I have always had great interest in the rosary, ever since I was a little kid and found one on the ground, asking my Mom, “What’s this?” For the past year and a half, I’ve been praying the rosary almost daily and wanted a recorded version to listen to on my way to work in the morning, as I go in at 3 AM and there is not much on the radio at that time of day. In searching for a recorded or podcasted version of the rosary, I came across Rosary Army. While they did not have the spoken rosary recorded at the time, they did pique my interest in many other ways.
“At Rosary Army, I found a group of people that were excited about being Catholic. The positive attitudes, a strong urge for everyone to better themselves, and a search for more knowledge about the Catholic faith I found at Rosary Army really sparked something inside me. I grew up in a Lutheran household and family that taught mostly disapproving things about the Catholic Church. So, most of my references were pretty negative and though my wife is a cradle Catholic, she never forced the faith on me in any way. She was just happy if I went to church with her.
“Rosary Army, though, demonstrated by their actions and through the podcast how exciting the Catholic faith can be and instigated further investigation on my part, ultimately resulting in my enrollment in our parish’s RCIA course. Granted this was something I had been thinking about for some time,
Rosary Army really got me moving on this path that I could have easily taken several more years to find.”
Tim J. – Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Former Wiccan, Now RA Soldier
“I first found out about Rosary Army because I had prayed the rosary with a friend, just on the off-chance that it might help me in my life (I was not Christian at the time, but a disillusioned wiccan/witch). This openess evidently helped, because I felt much, much “lighter” afterward and maintained a significantly better attitude the rest of the day. Afterwards, it began to nag at me in the back of my head, “Maybe I should investigate further?”. I googled “how to pray the rosary” and Rosary Army popped up. I downloaded the audio files with the both of you reading the rosary (I started with the scriptural rosary) and also printed out a little paper on it.
“Thereafter, I prayed it every morning. . . except maybe a couple days of the week when I overslept. 🙂
“Your website, naturally, led me to your podcast as well (I never even knew what a podcast was before now. . it was just an unexplained option on my Zune) wich was very helpfull for me in learning about the Catholic beliefs. Because of the edifying effects of the rosary on my personal life, I began to research Catholicism in depth. Naturally, few of my associates liked this idea very much, because I/we were very active in the pagan community until that point. In need of support, I had started listening to the Rosary Army Podcast daily, and you led me from there to SQPN where I found The Daily Breakfast with Father Roderick (of particular interest to me, because my Grandmother is from Holland as well). Now, no day is complete unless I top off my morning with the Daily Breakfast, and listen to Rosary Army in the afternoon.
“I think every new convert from a pagan religion, like me – wicca, is prone to have a few catches or “speedbumps” along the way in the beginning of their conversion. Due to lack of support locally and to the quite extreme change in theology and lifestyle that accompanies this experience; when I hit my first “speedbump” I turned to the forums in the Rosary Army website and started the above mentioned post. The people there were very, very helpfull, and just hearing kind and encouraging words did a lot to boost my faith in God and confidence in myself.
“I am not the most outgoing person normally, but I made a small leap of faith and left a bit of feedback for the podcast, by way of thanks, and posted on the forums here. I also am becoming, as you suggested, more involved at St. Francis of Assisi, my local parish. This required a great mustering of resolve for me. . . as I tend to be a very solitary, quiet person – I just had faith that if I blunder around for a while, God will see the effort and make something good out of it. . . needless to say my faith was well rewarded. The encouragement the Rosary Army podcast and website have offered me have been a big catalyst to God’s work in my life.”
Dale P., Bermuda Dunes, CA
A Mother/Daughter Experience
“Rosary Army has answered many needs in our lives, many of which were unknown. For my teenage daughter, Laura, it has given her a place to be independent in expressing her faith, and an opportunity to witness among adults in a creative way. She has felt secure with the other “soldiers” and has been able to grow in faith with Rosary Army, through involvement in the forums and in the workshops and booths. It has been a tremendous boost to her self-esteem to be accepted as an equal. And during the turbulent years of high school, it has been a constant – a constant reminder of Christ and His Love.
“For me, it has been an involvement I could share with my daughter, a source of knowledge, a supportive community in my faith journey, and particularly of mentors in devotion and faith. Rosary Army is so much more than a craft activity or a prayer group – it is a vibrant force that attractively presents Christ and His Mother as the true center of our being. It has made a tremendous difference in both of our lives and as the ministry grows, so will the gifts of the Spirit we are receiving!”
Elizabeth D. – Conyers, GA
Making Rosaries During Chemo Treatments
“The Rosary has long held a special place in my heart. I think it began with a special Rosary I remember my mom praying. It was a beautiful, soft purple color and looked very old. I remember my mom telling me the story behind this special Rosary. When she was 10 years, she was near death from diphtheria when she received this Rosary as a gift from her aunt, who was a nun. Shortly thereafter, she received one of the first available doses of penicillin and recovered. I was always fascinated by this Rosary. When I left home, mom my gave it to me. I held at my father’s funeral. I held it on my wedding day. I carry it with me always.
“While I have always carried my Rosary, I am ashamed to say that I did not always pray it regularly. In September of 2004, I made a committment to attend an hour of Eucharistic Adoration once a week. Better, but as I would soon find out – not nearly good enough! In January of 2005 I was diagnosed with cancer. Now that brought me to my knees and my Rosary to my hands.
“Facing what I knew would be months of treatment and recovery, I was desperate to find something to keep me busy. I have long enjoyed doing various crafts, but I now felt like I needed to find something more meaningful to do with my hands. I had always wanted to learn to make Rosaries, but as I researched Rosary making online – I found that most Rosaries were quite expensive to make. For some reason, I had it in my head that I wanted to give these Rosaries away – so they couldn’t be too expensive!
“Finally, after several days of searching, I stumbled across (ok, I know – no coincidence here!) the Rosary Army website. I was struck by the Rosary Army motto: Make them. Pray them. Give them away! Could this be? Someone else had the same idea as me?! I had never seen anything like these Rosaries, and was skeptical that I would be able to be successful at making them.
“I watched the video clip and was encouraged.
“I ran out and got some twine, and was even more encouraged.
“I couldn’t wait to receive my twine and Crucifixes! I made my Rosaries in my recliner at home. I made my Rosaries in the doctor’s waiting rooms. I made my Rosaries at the hospital. I made my Rosaries during chemo treatments. After 6 months of treatments, I had finished 250+ Rosaries! The majority I had made for the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (my brother, having been deployed in both countries, “approved” the color/size). However, my mom has become my best distributor – sending my Rosaries to all who have prayed and continue to pray for my recovery. I showed my Rosaries to one of my sister-in-laws, and she is now also an avid Rosary maker and has given away hundreds of Rosaries herself.
“I feel so blessed to have “stumbled” across the Rosary Army website. What a great group of prayer warriors and what a tremendous ministry. Thank you, thank you, thank you!”
Cindy G. – St. Charles, MO
Rosary Army Has Affected Me On A Personal Level
“I was introduced to Rosary Army [during] winter 2003-2004. For some reason I kept finding links that brought me to the Rosary Army (affectionately called RA by its members) website. I read everything on all-twine knotted rosaries available on the site. There was a lot that spoke of the Rosary and all-twine knotted rosaries on the website, and the quantity has only grown. I bought a few rolls of twine, joined the Rosary Army Forums and have been non-stop ever since.
“Of all the ways Rosary Army has effected me on a personal level, I believe the greatest would be my realization that I can help Our Lady introduce the Rosary to others. Of course, I cannot do this unless I have realized its power and so my devotion to the Rosary has only grown and grown. The Rosary-making bug is very contagious and one only has to give one away to see just how spectacular it is to do good works for Almighty God, His Mother Mary, and His Bride the Church.
“To me Rosary Army is a great big extended family. In the Church we are all united as the Body of Christ and share each other’s hardships concerning moral issues, joy in events happening in the Church, etc. Rosary Army has taken that to the next level, by effecting each person individually and involving each other in personal hardships. On the Forums there is what is called the “Pray them” subforum, where folks post personal prayer intentions. It is very comforting to know you have a legion of prayer warriors to help storm the gates of Heaven for you.
“Also, members of the Forum can learn about the Church because there is much knowledge and wisdom present there, and all one has to do is ask.
“Secondly, in the Rosary Army Podcast Greg and Jennifer Willits give their listeners a little window into wacky events in their life while touching base on some very important topics. In recent episodes, Saint Louis de Montfort’s Preparation to Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary and its effect on them has been discussed. I thank them both for all they are doing for the Church in the name of the Rosary.”
Brandi Y. – Greensburg, KS
Former Lutheran Turns Catholic
“I have been attending Catholic Mass off and on for the last 18 years and weekly for the last four years. July 4th weekend our Priest had something in the church bulletin about the Chaplet of Mercy prayer so I went on the internet to look it up and learn a little about it. Instead, I found two websites that got me started, [one of which was] Rosary Army’s. I started praying the Rosary and the Liturgy of the Hours in July and have been praying both since. I credit praying the Rosary and what I have learned here on Rosary Army to helping push me over the edge and to finally start RCIA this fall. If all goes well and God willing, I will be a full member of the Catholic Church at Easter of this year.
“I came from a Lutheran background and praying to Mary was something that was very difficult for me, but many of the forum threads helped me understand just why we pray the Rosary and ask Mary for her intercessions on our behalf. One of my prayer intentions when I pray the Rosary has been for a nineteen-year-old girl that I have become friends with over the internet. She has been discerning a vocation as a religious Sister and I have asked that she hears the calling what ever it may be. On January 5th she was accepted as a candidate at the School Sisters of Christ the King in Lincoln, NE.
“I have to thank both Greg and Jennifer have been very open and helpful with the pod casts that they do each week. I still haven’t been able to listen to one pod cast when they lost Jenny Lee, but I cried for them when I heard the news. I don’t post much on the forums but I do read them daily and have learned a lot from them. Thank you Greg and Jennifer for all the hard work you do to make Rosary Army work.”
Scott F. – Abilene, TX
Rosary Army Helps Lukewarm Catholic
“I just want to take a moment to thank you for the work you do at the Rosary Army apostolate. I’ve been a Rosary knotter for several years, but had no inkling that there might be a faith community of fellow knotters out there with whom I might fellowship. Thank you for providing a basis for that community, it has made quite an impact upon my walk as a Catholic.
“I began reading and posting on the Rosary Army forums at around the time my mother’s terminal illness took it’s final downturn. I had been knotting rosaries for some time, but my practice of my faith had become, shall we say, “lukewarm”. I had no fundamental differences with the Catholic Church which so many people claim as their reason for “cooling off” in their practice. Quite to the contrary, I was feeling very alone in my faith…. as though no one my age ( I’m a late thirtysomething) seemed to share the values I embraced when I converted to the Church nearly 15 years ago in college. Quite simply, I was feeling like I was not being “fed”. Rosary Army has helped fulfill that need in a way I would have never imagined before. Although its “soldiers” are far-flung geographically, the sense of family in the forums is very real. The people there have helped me re-commit to my faith walk, and I firmly believe that my return to regular praying of the Rosary has been a large part of that.
“Interestingly, my increased rosary production has also put me in touch with like minded people in my community, through my “making, praying and giving away” making the benefits several-fold.
“Thank you again for your work in maintaining the forums, in producing the podcasts…. good for solid Catholic listening when such things are a little scarce…. and for your work in spreading the word about Our Lord, His Blessed Mother and devotion to Them through the holy Rosary.”
Ronada W. – Pottstown, PA
Now Making A Rosary A Day
“I arrived at Rosary Army’s doorstep in the fall of 2004, when I was looking for some Internet guidance on how to make a rosary for my mother. Christmas was approaching, she has just about everything she needs, and she’s a devout Catholic (which I am not – more about that anon). But she does collect rosaries, and I started out looking for a nice rosary to buy for her, then thought perhaps I could actually make one. I stumbled into RA’s website and figured I’d give knotting a try.
“One of my rosaries travelled to Iraq with the son of a co-worker, where he carried it in his boot when he went on patrol. An identical one remained in his mother’s hands, and she prayed it every day her son was away and continues to pray it now that he’s back home safe. Since then other rosaries I’ve knotted have gone to soldiers I’ll never know, and I often think of them and I hope they are still able to finger the knots and enjoy the simple act of breathing.
“I average about a rosary a day as my slightly-ailing hands permit. I knot full-length, single-decade, and Workers’ rosaries, according to people’s specific requests or my own intentions. Every other month or so, I collect the ones I haven’t given away already, sort them by color (the military can only accept dark ones with no metal), and send them on to rest in the hands of those who may receive comfort from them. They’ve gone to relatives, friends, co-workers, Katrina victims, and the passing stranger who responded to the sight of one with a sigh of wonderment and memory. Between my mother and me, we’ve probably given away 300-350 rosaries. (My mother’s gnarled, arthritic hands preclude her making them, but she sure excels at spreading them around!) I’ve also taught others to make them, and admit to being very pleased at the image of a growing network of rosary knotters with myself somewhere in the vast middle of the web – a variation on the old shampoo commercial, “I taught my friend, and she taught two friends, and they taught two friends…” and so on into infinity. (And often, as I sit quietly knotting at night, I wonder what my very orthodox, Catholic father would have made of this. I’m sure he would have been pleased and proud to show off and to pray every day a rosary made by his doubting-Thomas daughter, and would have wanted to see in it a sign of her eventual salvation.)
“I’m still questioning – this is not a story of blinding revelation but rather one of slow, slogging soul-searching – and if I have a role model at all it’s Teresa of Avila, a trouble-maker if there ever was one. But I’ve found in Rosary Army a new community of people who are very different in many ways, and with many of whom I frequently disagree, but who share one big thing: a belief that our “hobby” or “apostolate” or “ministry” (or whatever each of us chooses to call it) matters to us and to others, and can make the world better – one person, one prayer, one knot at a time.
“This work should, must, continue.”
Marilse G. – Cambridge, MA
Knotted Rosaries at World Youth Day Lead to Rosary Army
“During World Youth Day 2002 in Toronto, I met a seminarian who made all twine knotted rosaries. When I returned home I attempted to make one myself but could not remember his instructions. I got busy with life, and forgot all about the twine rosaries. In 2004 my grandmother died, and in her room I found a small knotted rosary that had been my grandfather’s. When I returned home after the funeral I looked up “twine rosaries” on the Net and discovered the Rosary Army site. One year later, after the nightmare mentioned above, I returned to the site hoping to request a twine rosary that I could carry with me daily (I was afraid of losing my grandfather’s). Instead, I saw a link for a $2.00 Rosary Starter kit which I ordered, and received two days later.
“I made my first rosary on March 15, 2005 and haven’t stopped. Since I began making, praying, and giving them away I have seen the Lord’s hand in my life in more ways than I ever imagined. First of all, my nightmares stopped. I was attending daily Mass and joined my local parish, was invited to join the Religious Education Commission and attended my first meeting which led to me joining the pilgrimage to World Youth Day. I applied and was accepted to our diocesan Lay Ministry Formation program and was hired as the High School Youth Minister at my parish. I have never been more at peace than when I am praying the Rosary, and I never prayed the rosary regularly until Rosary Army and twine rosaries.”
Jennifer E. – Rockford, IL
Rosary Army Rosaries In Iraq
“I received my free rosary from you and found the colors you had selected were perfect for my Catholic friend serving in Iraq. I mailed it to him and told him the story of the Rosary Army. I also told him that I was only “lending” this rosary to him and I expected him to keep it and return home with it and bring it back to me. I told him I will only accept it as he raises his arm and hands it back to me as we stand facing each other.
“I know that sometime in the next several months that he will do exactly that because the power of God in the Rosary Army is the same power in the United States Army men serving in Iraq.”
Johnny L. – Maysville, GA
Helping to Spread Rosary Army For Spanish Speakers
“When I saw your organization in the Eucharistic Congress I immediately felt encourage to participate. I felt that this organization might be expanded to the Hispanic speaker, so I helped the Rosary Army people to translate the knotted rosary instructions. After that I have tried to encourage others to pray the rosary, our lady is the way how we can get Jesus in our lives. Rosary Army helped me to understand the importance of praying the rosary in our lives. I congratulate rosary army for the hard job. May GOD bless you.”
Alejandro H. – Grayson, GA
Rosary Army Helped Me Pray My First Rosary
“I found Rosary Army in July 2005 through a Google search at a time when I wanted to really learn how to pray, and not just say, the Rosary. Although a cradle Catholic, I was never taught how about meditating on the mysteries, therefore I could never figure out why people prayed the Rosary. “It’s just recitation of prayers,” I thought. I tried reciting the prayers and never got anything out of it; I figured the Rosary wasn’t for me. Maybe I was too young, after all ‘it’s for old ladies.’
“But then I became pregnant with my first child. God had answered the prayers of me and my husband. I felt truly blessed and humbled by the miracle bestowed upon me; I was drawn toward truly deepening my faith and living the life Christ intended for me. I was pulled to the Rosary for some reason and I found Rosary Army. Through the Web site and forums I learned about how to truly pray the Rosary and found people who could articulate what it meant to them and why it was so important. Their enthusiasm and faith were so contagious. Really meditating on the mysteries wasn’t easy at first as I got distracted easily, but I stuck with it and soon I found myself eagerly looking forward to the quiet time spent with Jesus and the Blessed Mother every day. My love for God, Mary and the church deepened, I felt more peaceful and loving, and less judgmental of others (a fault I had been wrestling with mightily for a long time). I attended Mass faithfully and read up extensively on the Rosary and Catholicism to better understand my faith and path. I even attended my local Eucharistic Congress and while there made my first Reconciliation in nearly 20 years; I cannot tell you how amazing it felt.
“In addition to this revolution of my faith, I also started making Rosaries, which I learned through Rosary Army. I gave them away to friends, friends of friends, family members, the military and even to groups assisting Hurricane Katrina victims. I am amazed at how they find their way into the right hands. People have been so grateful to receive them, and I am humbled with my small role in spreading the love of the Rosary where I can.
“None of this would have been possible without Rosary Army. I am truly awed at the impact it has had in my life over the past several months and I know the Holy Spirit guided me there. I cannot say enough about this truly amazing organization.”
Melissa S. – Millbury, MA
Children Respond to the Rosary
“Just wanted to thank you for all the hard work and dedication you have given to the formation of this wonderfull ministry. As a PSR teacher at [my parish] I was pleased to be able to pass on your rosaries to the 3rd grade children in my class. The response of the children to this little symbol of our faith was overwhelming and you could see the gratitude they had in learning the prayers and the mysteries of rosary. They also were thrilled to learn that they were made in our own Parish and were very responsive to the possibility of somehow contributing to either the making and or giving of these Rosaries to others.”
Marilyn F. – Conyers, GA
Rosaries for the Family
“I read about the Rosary Army in my local Catholic paper. I couldn’t wait to start making these rosaries. I ended up making them for my whole family for Christmas (over 50 rosaries). Everyone LOVED them, my Aunt even told me that she and my Uncle had said earlier that day that they were going to start saying the rosary every night together. She was just thrilled to receive my rosaries. She said it was a sign to her that she was thing just the right thing. I hope (and I think) that my rosaries inspired everyone in my family to keep praying the rosary together.”
Sheilah R. – Scottsdale, AZ
Endless Need For Rosaries
I began making rosaries after becoming intrigued doing a websearch for something. I have forgotten what I was originally looking up but I came across a reference to ranger rosaries. I began to follow links. I came across directions for making rosaries, places to order supplies and Rosary Army.
Very quickly after my box of twine came I became hooked on making rosaries. The first rosaries I made went to Rosaries for Soldiers and my local parish. For a physically handicapped person who is housebound a large amount of the time making rosaries has been a life changing event.
There seems to be an endless need for rosaries. And every request I get for a package to be sent somewhere gives me a sense of fullfillment and service to my God I have never felt before.
Rosary Army has been a great resource for me. They are a great support network for rosary makers and a real source of inspiration. My one regret in all of my efforts has been I have not yet been able to send a package of rosaries to Rosary Army.
Pat M. – Dayton, OH
Thank You For Your Dedication
“My letter is not of any miracles or blessings bestowed on me since I have had my Rosary Army Rosary. I have always had many many blessings in my life. And I use my Rosary to pray in thanksgiving, and also for the many people that I have promised to pray.
“I would personally like to thank you for your dedication.
“I got my first rosary from Patty Willits. It was just before we took a trip to Rome. She told me of the need of crucifixes and hopefully some Miraculous Medals. So, when we went to Rome, we met with Jaime Rivera (a seminarian at the University there), and he showed us WHERE to get the crucifixes. He called it the “Catholic K-mart”. We were able to bring back a few hundred crucifixes and also some Miraculous Medals. We were able to get some of the crucifixes blessed by Pope John Paul II. When we returned I gave them to Patty and she made more rosaries for me to give to my 5 sisters. All of my sisters were so very thrilled with them, and since I have had mine, I have taken it to bed with me every night and say the rosary every night. I mentioned it to them, and now they also take it to bed with them and we all keep them under our pillows. When I am having a night that I am not sleeping well, I just reach for it. I have enjoyed saying the rosary every night, and feel I would not have started this practice had it not been for my little string rosary. (Other rosaries make noise when I handle them. These do not. So I don’t wake my sleeping husband in the middle of the night.)
“I truly hope and pray that the Rosary Army will continue in its great dedication to Mary, our Blessed Mother.”
Elaine B. – Peachtree City, GA.
Helping A Younger Generation
“Thank you so much for all you do with the Rosary Army apostolate. My mom started teaching me to pray the rosary even before I could really understand it. I remember on cold mornings sitting in the barely lit kitchen with the oven door open to help take the chill off and praying. A lot of the younger generation has not had the proper exposure to this most beautiful of all forms of prayer. Your apostolate is helping correct this problem. The late Pope John Paul II was a great believer and lover of the Holy Rosary given to us by Our Lady and Mother and if it was good enough for him, then I sure want to follow his example. To walk in Jesus’ footsteps meditating the mysteries is such a meaningful learning tool in this world and needs to be encouraged from as many avenues as possible and I thank you for your efforts in this arena.”
Kay Linder – Atlanta, GA
Strengthened My Faith
“I’m 20 years old and I come from Denmark. We are not many Catholics in Denmark, and we are not good at being in contact. Rosary Army has given me a possibility to talk to Catholics and ask for advise from those who are older and wiser than me, thereby I have been strengthen in my faith.”
Linda L. – Denmark
Watching Rosary Army Grow
“Just wanted to send you a note to let you know how much I enjoy the Rosary Army. I’m very blessed to know you and Jennifer and from the gifts you’ve shared with so many people teaching us all how to make beautiful all-twine knotted rosaries.”I don’t know if you remember but I was with you at the spring retreat in 2003 when you first taught the teens and the core team how to make the rosaries. It was there we first saw the light in your eyes where you first thought about starting the Rosary Army. What a beautiful life changing weekend that was!
“It’s been wonderful watching your ministry grow. I’m more of a ‘lurker’ on the Rosary Army forums but my prayers for the Rosary Army are no less sincere. God’s word is shared through the Rosary Army is so many ways from the gifts you’ve given by showing the world how to make rosaries
through the website and CDs, to reminders on the Home Page which Mysteries to pray each day, to personal prayer requests and prayers offered on the forums, to the laughter and funnies and the light-hearted forums, to praying for you through the personal sacrifices you and Jennifer have made to help this ministry grow. It’s like one of your children watching it grow and flourish. It’s a powerful testament to your love of God and your true devotion to the Blessed Mother.
“You and Jennifer have endured many high highs and low lows while growing the Rosary Army, but you both truly are so unselfish and giving when it comes to caring for others and doing whatever it takes to keep the ministry growing. Of late, I’ve also had some difficult family trials. I’ve found your daily posts and podcasts very spiritually uplifting.
“Through your ministry, my own small group reunion from Cursillo, have made rosaries to give to the new cursillistas as they return from their weekend to begin their 4th day. As thank you gifts to my daughters, to Kristi J. who sang at my wedding, and my friends in Cursillo, who also helped with the wedding arrangements, I made special rosaries. Kristi J. graciously took all of 16 of these special rosaries to Rome and held them up in the air as Pope John Paul II gave one of his last blessings to the crowd in St. Peter’s Square after a Wednesday Angelus. Needless to say, my famiy and friends were very touched to have these special hand made rosaries which were blessed by Pope John Paul. I have given several handmade rosaries to Protestant friends who also say the Rosary and have a richer understanding of our Blessed Mother through reading information you’ve provided on the Rosary Army website.
“Without a doubt, Jesus and Mary are surely smiling down at you and Jennifer and all of the Rosary Army soldiers for all the blessings you’ve shared to those around the world who have received a rosary from you or from someone you taught to make a rosary.
“Thank you so much for your kindness, spiritual devotion to Jesus and Mary and for making Rosary Army such a blessing to all of us. I pray that God will continue to bless you and this ministry for many years to come.”
Julie H. – Covington, GA
Immense Growth in the Catholic Faith Because of Rosary Army
“When I first found Rosary Army I was searching the internet to find a way to make a rosary with the supplies I had on hand. I couldn’t find any of mine and I didn’t even know how to pray one, but at that moment it was important for me to pray a rosary.
“Since finding Rosary Army I have made over a hundred while my children watched. I know this has affected them in some way. Even my two year old recognizes a ‘rosy’ when I didn’t know a thing about them myself until high school.
“My best friend who I grew up with had strayed from the church and neither one of us had been faithfully attending mass when I discovered Rosary Army. Sometime after I found the website I began to attend church regularly. Through the information I have found on Rosary Army and the helpful people that visit there I have grown immensely in my Catholic faith.
“When I told my best friend about the rosaries she didn’t think much at first. However after showing her the rosaries and how I made them she became even more interested than I. She began an ambitious project to help an organization that wanted to send 1500 rosaries to South Africa. She now attends church on more frequent basis and I know that Mary will lead her completely home through the rosary.
“[In 2005] I attended a National Youth Conference with other members of Rosary Army in Atlanta. It was such a joy to watch the many teenagers and adults learn how to make a rosary themselves. Many of them wanted to learn so they could teach their churches, youth groups, and friends. I have learned through Rosary Army that there are many groups out there they need rosaries to donate across the world. From what I have seen these groups are mostly small and scattered. Rosary Army has made a big difference to some of those groups in meeting their needs. The rosaries are sent to soldiers in Iraq, people in Aruba, South Africa, the Americas, and so many more places. I’m glad to know that there are so many loving Catholics around our world. I wouldn’t be where I am in my faith today if it hadn’t been for Rosary Army.”
Carissa S. – Fort Valley, GA
Teenage Rosary Army Soldier
“Rosary Army has affected my life in many ways, most prominently by bringing me closer to Christ by educating me about the Rosary. I first learned of this apostolate at Atlantas Eucharistic Congress two years ago and started actively making rosaries and joined the Rosary Army Online Forum.
“Making rosaries has been a very rewarding and valuable skill. I was even blessed with the opportunity to teach and work with our parishs Spanish community on a project, making Rosaries for the Our Lady of Guadalupe celebration last December. This was a great bridge between the English and Hispanic groups at my Church.
“Besides learning and receiving contacts and ideas for making Rosaries. I have also benefited greatly from the very welcoming and encouraging environment I have found on the Rosary Army Online Community. I have grown so much from conversing with such faithful people, dedicated to God in all they do. I have been immensely inspired by reading about their devotion and discovered the value of practices such as Praying the Liturgy of the Hours, reading encyclicals, and the importance of studying the lives of the Saints in order to model my life after their great examples. And of course the power found in the Rosary, and how I can use it to come to know the Lord, so that I will come to love him more fully, and then be able to serve him with the love of Christ as my motivation. I find it hard to believe that I have come so far in my spiritual journey and knowledge of my Catholic faith by simply being involved with such holy people, but am certain it would not have happened otherwise.”
Joe M. – Carrolton, GA
Family of Rosary Army Soldiers
“My Mom is totally addicted to making Rosaries. In our small town several people now carry the knotted Rosaries that she has made. Several people that have had family members pass away in our parish have also asked her for a Rosary to have buried with their loved one. It is now a common site to see the knotted Rosary near hospital beds and in the hands of the sick in our community. I guess the comfort these people have felt in these trying times, have made them want that same comfort to go along with their loved ones for eternity.
“She (Mom) has sent numerous Rosaries to sick extended family members, who have in return asked for more to hand out to people in their hospitals where they are at. The Rosary Army has been like a snowball effect in North Dakota.
“I am not talented enough or patient enough to actually make the Rosaries myself, but do order & partially pay for the twine for the hundreds of Rosaries that both my Mother & Sister make.
“Speaking of my sister, she also makes many Rosaries & gives them to people in need. She works as a corrections officer in a large jail & has been able to spread the word & work of Rosary Army to many people when they are down & out. She has handed Rosaries out to many people in the Little Falls, MN area.
“I also listen to the weekly podcasts for Rosary Army & each week it gives me a little shot in the arm to continue to pray to Mary & ask for Her blessings. The podcasts have also shown me how everything isn’t always perfect or even near perfect, but that if you have trust in God things will work out for the better. We just need to have patience, trust, & faith to see how it will be!”
Rita H. – Lisbon, ND
Changed For The Better
“Rosary Army has changed me for the better. Before finding the Rosary Army podcasts and website during the summer of 2005, I attended Mass, gave a very small portion of my income to the church, and sent my first child to Catholic School. I worked at bingo and volunteered at the annual summer social. But I wasn’t excited about my faith.
“Things changed significantly when I discovered the Rosary Army forums. There I have met all sorts of interesting and kind folks who make, pray and give away all-twine knotted rosaries. In the months since becoming an RA member, I have experienced a renewed enthusiasm and thirst for our faith. I have begun to tithe consistently. I have learned so much from the members of Rosary Army, and I am, for the first time in my life, actively seeking to be a better Catholic.
“Making, praying and giving away rosaries has brought peace and blessings to my family. I am very thankful that I found this wonderful apostolate that Greg and Jennifer Willits have worked so hard to share with others.”
Tim B. – Evansville, IN
Affected in More Ways Than One
“To be a part of Rosary Army is to be reassured that my love for making rosaries is truly a gift from God. Knowing that there are other Catholics who feel drawn to this apostolate brings me closer to our Blessed Mother as I make each knot I am following our Lords call. It reiterates to me that I am not alone in this faith journey. Greg and Jennifer and all the people on the forum are walking with me supporting me. My grandmother used to make rosaries from everything from buttons to crochet threads. Over three generations, rosaries have been made, prayed and given away. I feel my Grandmother would approve of my twine rosary making.
“I look forward to reading the messages in the forum and have just found the joy of listening to the pod cast. It is truly amazing to me that I can sit in front of the computer and have a Catholic interaction or conversation. I am blessed to work in our parish office and have the Catholic atmosphere daily. But you just cannot get enough of our Catholic faith. Its wonderful to be able to welcome the Rosary Army Apostolate into my leisure time and interact with all. I can only imagine what a blessing this must be for people who have only THIS Catholic contact available daily right in their own home. I think through the podcast and the Rosary Army forum, many topics have peaked my curiosity of Catholic prayers, topics, and books and made me investigate my faith deeper.
“The Rosary Army Apostolate has been part of my life for 3 years. Ive made probably 1,000 rosaries (beaded and all twine). The very first batch of all twine rosaries went to very special people. I brought about 20 rosaries in for Father to bless and before I left the parish office all were gone. Everyone who saw them wanted to send one to someone. I have made several spools of pink rosaries. One went to my friend who just found out she had breast cancer. She was so moved and asked for more to give to ladies at her clinic and at church. I was surprised to see my pink rosary across the aisle as we said the rosary at a Healing Mass.
“I take my packet of twine everywhere I go – doctors appointments, car trips, airplane flights, soccer games and car pool. There are always a couple of completed rosaries in my bag just in case. Ive taken my parents to doctors appointments and well you know how long the wait can be so I pull out my twine and start knotting. Without a doubt someone will ask what I am doing and we begin to talk about the rosary. You should have seen the look on a ladys face when I asked if she wanted one (she was in the hospital surgical waiting room.) Oh she said yes that her sister (who was in surgery) was Catholic.
“Around Thanksgiving, I taught a teenager from Blessed Trinity High School how to make the knots. He picked it up very quickly and has made over four dozen rosaries. Recently he asked for pink twine so he could make a rosary for his aunt who has cancer. It is amazing how these rosaries get a life of their own going to so many different places. Over the past 3 years I have been making packets of the rosaries (there is a small group of rosary makers but it will grow) with How to pray the rosary leaflet and a Divine Mercy card. Every time rosaries are placed in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel puff they are gone within days. This is an amazing Apostolate.
“There are so many wonderful blessings that have come out of making rosaries and giving them away. I am so thankful I was given the Rosary Army business card. And you know I wish I would have given Archbishop Wilton Gregory one when he came to visit our parish.”
Elyse E. – Roswell, GA
Would Have Quit Going to Church
“What can I say about Rosary Army? If it wasn’t for my wife and Rosary Army I would have quit going to church and abandoned the Catholic faith completely. Thanks in part to Greg and the forum I have had more people praying for me and giving me uplifting words of advice, during a very hard time in my life. My wife also has received help numerous times, thanks to all the people in the forum. To this day were still going to church, studying the Catholic faith, but mostly I’m awaiting the end of RCIA and my First Communion.”
Scott E. – Kansas
Rosaries Traveling Around the World
“I have only been making twine rosaries for about 6 months but what enjoyment. One memory I will always cherish is the following – There is a young man from our parish who joined the priesthood and is now at the college in Rome. Just before Christmas I sent him a twine rosary and explained the colors that it contained. Last Sunday, he called me from Rome to “thank” me for the rosary. I was thrilled that he thought enough of the rosary to call me. I told my husband that that was probably the closest I would ever be to the Pope. I enjoy the messages that I receive from the Rosary Army and the wonderful deed of spreading the prayer of the rosary by giving them away. Making a rosary every evening is my way of relaxing when I get off work. I don’t know what I did before I learned the art of making the twine rosary.”
Marilyn H. – Atchison, KS
“I was introduced to Rosary Army at a Eucharistic Conference in Atlanta a few years ago. I started making the rosaries and have not stopped. It IS addicting. I run the Youth Ministry at our parish and have got numerous teens making them. We give or trade many at the youth conferences. For Christmas this year I made tons of rosary bracelets and crosses made of knots and gave them to many friends and family (Catholic and Protestant alike). Thanks for the ministry and God bless you!”
Michael L. – Atlanta, GA
Opportunity to witness to the Catholic faith
“As a relatively recent convert to Catholicism, it can sometimes be hard to find a niche where one can use one’s talents to serve Christ and His Church. That’s why I’m glad I ran across Rosary Army on the Internet a year and a half ago. Making all-twine knotted rosaries allows me to use the skill with fiber arts that I’ve always had (knitting, embroidery, etc.) to give glory to God. Knotted rosaries are small and portable to make, so I can make them anywhere – and anytime someone asks, “Hey, what are you making?” it’s an opportunity for me to witness to the Catholic faith. I’ve been able to give handmade rosaries to family and friends, to a co-worker, to the 2005 RCIA class at my parish, to families of children undergoing surgery in Nicaragua, and even to several random passers-by at the Minnesota State Fair! Finally, Rosary Army has helped me overcome the ingrained Protestant “allergy” to Mary that I grew up with as a Lutheran pastor’s kid. I’m very grateful for this apostolate.”
Becky W. – St. Paul, MN