MILWAUKEE — The rosary is probably the most identifiable Catholic devotion, but it’s one that has dwindled in recent years for many Catholics.
To further encourage devotion, Dick and Terry Boldin, founders of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, are producing a film, “Power in My Hands,” that they hope will unveil the power of the rosary.
“America is in spiritual crisis but we have the solution which is Jesus Christ through Our Lady and her rosary,” said Terry. “The film will be positive, hopeful, passionate and creative to bring the message across in an artistic manner.”
The 78-minute film featuring ethnic cultures in America hopes to provide a message of hope to viewers, leading them to be open and receptive to “Gaze on the Face of Jesus with Mary” by praying the rosary to bring spiritual transformation in America and beyond.
“The film will be captivating and engaging to inspire the viewer to respond,” she said. “The rosary is all about encountering Jesus Christ and the simple yet profound power of the rosary is for the family and peace.”
Currently in the screenplay development and editing phase, “Power in My Hands” will be submitted to film festivals later this year and then released to the public. Margie Mandli, owner of GEM Communications is the film’s executive producer. She recently finished writing a draft script for the film and is working closely with the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, and has the endorsement of Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki as episcopal advisor.
“This project was born out of Dick and Terry’s ongoing call to raise awareness of the beautiful devotion of the rosary as part of their apostolate. With the current state of our nation and our secular culture, they both felt it was important to bring to light the need for the rosary in America,” she explained.
Her company, GEM Communications and Consulting along with Backflip Films, outlined a theme for the film, identified individuals to participate and for the last 18 months, have filmed people around the country speaking about the rosary.
The film includes Catholic experts and evangelists, such as Jeff Cavins, Doug Barry, Marian of the Immaculate Conception Fr. Don Calloway, Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers and Lydia LoCoco.
“But we’ve also filmed regular everyday people, such as Nancy Salerno and her family from Kenosha and Chris Czarka and Rebecca Rouboin from Nashville who can share how the rosary has been a powerful prayer in their own life,” said Mandli. “Finally, we’ve even filmed San Diego Chargers’ quarterback, Philip Rivers, who is married with eight children and has a strong devotion to the rosary.”
Process is ‘surrendering to God’s will’
Mandli knew the Boldins through their evangelization efforts in the archdiocese. Although she had worked on videos and marketing projects before, when Dick asked her to become the script writer and executive producer, she felt unqualified to produce a documentary. She committed the project to prayer before making a decision.
“I remember sitting in adoration one day, and I felt God nudge me that I needed to say yes to this project,” she explained. “Every step of this process has been a surrendering to God’s will: from finding the film crew to the people that became available to film and even the approach in theme and messages. I also believe that every work uttered by our subjects has been blessed by God. I also believe our Blessed Mother has been watching over this project and guiding us along.”
They felt called to be heaven’s messengers through the project, a role she described as “exciting and scary” at the same time.
“Each subject we interviewed was beautiful in their own unique way,” she said, adding it’s been rewarding to learn about how the rosary has touched these people, but how it also has the power to transform a nation or society.
Interestingly, while they were filming, Fr. Calloway was finishing his latest book, “Champions of the Rosary.”
The funding for this nearly $600,000 project came primarily from anonymous investors and donations of individuals across the country who realize the vital need for this film, explained Dick and Terry Boldin. They hope to raise $146,000 for marketing and distribution. To donate, visit www.rosaryea.org or send a donation to Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, P.O. Box 305, Oak Creek, WI 53154. For more information on the movie, visit: www.powerinmyhandsthemovie.com
“Sometimes you scratch your head and think about the irony, but it is no irony,” she said. “Our Lady wants us to use all channels to communicate the importance of this devotion. On a personal level, this project has been deeply spiritual. I’ve renewed my own devotion to the rosary and have felt the consolation of our Lord and his mother in countless ways.”
Rosary is devotion for all ages
One of the greatest challenges to this project is ensuring relevancy in today’s culture of intense media saturation, explained Mandli. While some mistakenly assume the rosary is a prayer left to the grandmotherly types, it is a devotion for all ages.
“It is our job to depict this relevancy to young people, husbands and fathers and families,” she said. “Our desire through this film would be that more men lead their families in praying the rosary and that more young people pick up their rosary as they discern their vocation or seek the guidance of the Lord.”
One of Mandli’s favorite subjects was Rivers, because he is successful and has everything by the world’s standards.
“In a beautiful way, he explains his own struggles to not get caught up in the ills of fame, how he prides himself in leading his family in faith, how he too, has been on his knees asking for guidance through praying the rosary,” she said.
According to Rivers, his power is on the football field, because the ball is in his hand for all the plays.
“But it is in largely how useful that power is depends on my preparation, my decision-making, where I decide to throw it, all of those things,” he explained. “With the rosary, the power in my hands is a lot less dependent on me. Just by being obedient and praying the rosary, I am giving the power to God almighty, and our Blessed Mother as the greatest intercessor there is, to then use her power, their power to shed graces, pour graces on us and on the whole world.”
For Salerno, a member of St. Anne Catholic Church, Pleasant Prairie, praying the rosary has carried her through the ups and downs of motherhood, raising four children, one of whom is severely disabled.
“I first heard the rosary recited very late one night on Catholic radio while I was sitting in my car, waiting for my son to finish his baseball practice. I actually stumbled on that station while looking for music. I was in my late 40s and this was the first time I had ever heard the rosary,” she explained. “Immediately, I was drawn to it and how to say it; then, after my Marian consecration, I taught my children. They all have special rosaries; Alex, my youngest, built his rosary, bead by bead with the help and kindness of the owner of a Catholic bookshop, who made the rosary for him. We like to each say a part of the rosary when we do it together, usually on Sunday evenings. Believe it or not, our dogs come in and lay down by our feet when we come together for this prayer. It is really amazing.”
Chosen to be part of the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary, Salerno said it might sound sad to most people, but there was great joy in this mystery.
“The cross that Nick and the family carry because of the disability is actually a great grace God gave to us,” she explained. “I am very proud of my son, Nicholas for all that he has done in life as a messenger of Christ, carrying the cross of cerebral palsy. I am also extremely proud of how my other three children who have a deep devotion to their brother and all share in his care without complaint.”
Provides hope amidst spiritual crisis
LoCoco, Relevant Radio personality and managing director of administration and ministry at St. Jerome Parish, Oconomowoc, included her own experiences in the film.
“I am very devoted to Our Lady and have experienced in my own life the power of the daily rosary,” she explained. “For me, the gift of the Blessed Virgin, her appearances and our helplessness in the face of evil on our own society, come together in a very mysterious way as we look at the end of our own lives and on a larger scale, to the end times,” she said.
Calling any evangelization about Mary a worthwhile endeavor, she said she was “honored to have even a small part in this movie.”
Those involved in the project experienced a deepening of their faith, including the Boldins, they said. Dick explained that the project helped him encounter Christ in a deeper way and felt that there is hope amidst the spiritual crisis of this age.
“This has brought me to an ever-greater realization of the need to bring Christ to others in this age when there are little signs of hope, mercy, compassion and love for the dignity of the human person,” he said. “Individuals and families, regardless of their station in life have a spiritual hunger which needs to be filled with the love of Christ through Our Lady. We need to bring hope to others and that is the core message for the film, ‘Power In My Hands.’”