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From Subversive Schoolboy to Rosary Evangelist: Rev. John Phalen, C.S.C., Shows How to Find Life’s Rhythms in the Mysteries

May 15, 2011

Notre Dame, IN—In Living the Rosary, Rev. John Phalen, C.S.C., provides readers with reflections on the mysteries of the Rosary that will enrich their love for this vital Catholic practice. Phalen writes in the introduction to his book, “With a very short attention span and two sisters who rather looked forward to my antics, I did my best to subvert the family Rosary.” Years later, Phalen became an international champion of the “Gospel in miniature,” as the Rosary is often called. Phalen is the current president of Holy Cross Family Ministries, founded by Servant of God Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., who coined the phrase, “The family that prays together, stays together.”

Blessed Pope John Paul II particularly encouraged Catholics to pray the Rosary, a practice that originated in its current form around the fourteenth century. Phalen invites readers to imagine Mary praying the Rosary with us, as if she is turning the pages of a photo album of the events in her son’s life. Mitch Finley, author of The Rosary Handbook, writes, “The Rosary’s mysteries are as much about today and about your life as they are about events that happened long ago! Phalen’s book will help you learn to make this connection and enrich your praying of the Rosary a hundred times over.”

In Living the Rosary, Phalen invites readers to find the rhythms of their own lives within the Rosary. Phalen writes that the mysteries are in correct proportion to the experience of human life—the categories of Joyful, Luminous, Glorious, and Sorrowful reflect that there is generally three times as much joy as there is suffering in life. Phalen writes that the purpose of the Rosary is “remembering Christ with Mary, learning Christ with Mary, being conformed to Christ with Mary, praying to Christ with Mary, and proclaiming Christ with Mary.” Phalen uses stories from scripture and from his own pastoral experience to lead readers into deeper communion with God through the Rosary.

About John Phalen, C.S.C.

Rev. John Phalen, C.S.C., is a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross, United States Province of Priests and Brothers. He is the assistant superior/steward and novice director for the Congregation's District of Perú. He previously served as president of Holy Cross Family Ministries, an organization founded by the “Rosary Priest,” Rev. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C.

Born in Waterbury, Connecticut, Phalen earned a bachelor’s degree from Stonehill College and a master’s degree in theology at the University of Notre Dame. He also has served in parishes in Indiana and New York.

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