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Our Family

By: Sarah Pedrozo on May 19th, 2024

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Our Family's Week with the Sorrowful Mysteries

family prayer  |  Catholic Family Fun  |  Sorrowful Mysteries  |  Ave Maria Press


The Rosary is one of my favorite ways to pray. Not only is it a powerful prayer, greeting Mary using the same words as the Angel Gabriel, but it also hinges on Jesus and walks us through key moments in the life of the Holy Family, and the story of God becoming man. But I will admit, sometimes my mind wanders off as I am praying ... and I realize I’ve zoned out on several Hail Marys. So, I was excited to try praying with Fr. Willy Raymond’s new book inspired by the life of Venerable Patrick Peyton, The Family that Prays Together Stays Together: A Bead-by-Bead Family Guide through the Mysteries. It was that “bead-by-bead” part I was especially interested in.  



The book instructs parents to focus on one decade at a time and work through an entire set of Mysteries in a week, rather than trying to pray all five Mysteries in one night. This is good advice if you have a house full of little people and was the way my husband and I introduced the Rosary to our children when they were very young.   

But life has changed for us, and we are now parents to young adults who are in their late teens and early twenties. So, for us, it made more sense to pray all five of the mysteries on the same evening, using the book as a guide. I’ll share our experience of praying the Sorrowful Mysteries.  

I introduced each of the mysteries by first reading the short explanation of each Mystery found in the Introduction to the Sorrowful Mysteries. These introductions are just a couple of sentences long and give us a good reminder about the event we were about to contemplate together. From there, we followed the pattern laid out in the book. We prayed the Our Father, then read the Scripture passage and Reflection. After praying the 10 Hail Marys and the Glory Be, we listened to the Conclusion. We passed the book around, alternating readers as we prayed through each Mystery as well with each Mystery.  




We especially appreciated how the Scripture, Reflection, and Conclusion of each Mystery worked together to guide us into a deeper understanding. For example, praying the fourth mystery, the Carrying of the Cross, was very moving. Not only did we read the Scriptural passage detailing when Simon of Cyrene was “pressed into service” (Mk 15:21) to help carry our Lord’s cross, but we were reminded in the Reflection that many of those who accompanied Jesus through his suffering, death, and burial were women.

We learned, also, that just as those holy women accompanied Jesus, two women helped Father Peyton carry his cross. After his mother died, Father Peyton found out from his aunt that his mother’s constant prayer was that all his sufferings “would come upon her” so that he would recover his health and resume his work. Likewise, Fr. Peyton’s sister, Nellie, also offered up all her “thoughts, words and actions” every day as a way to help her two brothers, Thomas Francis and Patrick Joseph, carry their crosses.

It was very moving to hear about a family praying for each other in such a way, of parents and siblings really desiring holiness for each other. The Conclusion to this Mystery emphasizes the need for each of us to carry our cross, instead of seeking comfort and ease, and to be aware of the crosses others are carrying, to try to help them through prayer and actions, if that’s possible.  

The reflections for this mystery in particular resonated with us, and my kids thought about what crosses they are called to carry and how they can pray for each other and help each other. Imitating Nellie, they realized they, too, could offer up their “thoughts, words and actions.” It led to some fruitful dialogue, which I hope will also bear fruit in their lives. It was well worth the extra minutes spent reading and reflecting more deeply on the mysteries, and we appreciate Father Willy’s insight and wisdom. I plan on keeping this book in our family prayer space and returning to it often.  


Save 20% off the cover price of The Family That Stays Together Prays Together when you purchase the book from the Holy Cross Family Ministries online store. Use coupon code CMROSARY at checkout. This offer expires on June 10, 2024. 


Catch up on our 4-week series featuring this new book!





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Copyright 2024 Sarah Pedrozo
Images: Ave Maria Press

About Sarah Pedrozo

Sarah Pedrozo has worked in family faith formation for the past 15 years, helping families learn and live their Catholic faith. With master's degrees in theology and English, she especially likes using stories to catechize. Sarah blogs at BasketsAndBlessings.com, in between working and taking care of her family. She loves bluebonnets, her rescue dogs and the Texas Hill Country.