In 2002, Pope John Paul II authored an apostolic letter, “The Rosary of the Virgin Mary” and added the luminous mysteries to the rosary. He urged the faithful to contemplate new phases of Christ’s life when reciting their prayers. He also proclaimed the start of the Year of the Rosary and urged Catholics to take advantage of the new focus on the rosary to revive their faith.
Through prayer, Dick and Terry Boldin, members of the Basilica of St. Josaphat, Milwaukee, answered the call to proclaim holiness to the world.
“We were led over a period of several years to reflect on the importance of the rosary at this time in history,” said Dick. “After pondering and praying upon these numerous promptings, we were introduced to then-Archbishop Timothy Dolan to begin an apostolate focusing on the rosary as the key to the heart of Christ, and as the key and the vehicle to gaze on the face of Jesus.”
Sr. Immaculata of the Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus in Wauwatosa introduced the couple to the archbishop after she proposed they meet to discuss a new rosary ministry. What was to be a 15-minute meeting on Jan. 31, 2003 turned into 45 minutes with the archbishop encouraging them to begin the ministry immediately.
“This apostolate is a call to holiness by contemplating the face of Jesus and Mary, through the promotion and praying of the holy rosary in order to bring peace to the world and society, and the fostering and preservation of Christian family values,” said Terry.
Branches of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate
WYRE-Wisconsin Youth Rosary Evangelization, under the leadership of Brian Magliocco, which ministers to youth through the annual Wisconsin Catholic Youth Rally-High School and Middle School editions and other youth oriented events and activities including the March for Life and Youth Minister gatherings and trainings. www.wyreministires.org
Sacrament of Mercy Branch – Founded in 2009 to foster a rediscovery of the sacrament of reconciliation.
The Rosary Monstrance Program – to foster adoration for vocations and parish eucharistic adoration.
Families in His Presence Branch
For more information on the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate
The Rosary Evangelization Apostolate observed its 10th anniversary with a rosary and Mass celebrated by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki at Saint Francis de Sales Seminary on Feb. 19. It was an opportunity to celebrate its humble beginnings as well as the growth of the ministry into four additional branches or programs. (See sidebar)
“The Sacrament of Mercy branch is truly a national initiative,” said Dick, adding, “The apostolate is being contacted from people throughout the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, other dioceses of Wisconsin, and other areas of the country regarding its mission and various activities.”
The rosary CD with Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan reaches across the nation and is included as a resource through the Association of Marian Helpers, said Dick, noting the rosary CD is heard daily on Catholic radio in Baton Rouge, L.A., and a new rosary CD with Archbishop Listecki is also available. A daily rosary program is offered on Relevant Radio on 100.1 FM and sacrament of reconciliation resources are requested from dioceses in other states, according to Dick.
The Boldins are the directors of the apostolate and Dick has volunteered full time since 2004 without compensation. The couple organizes gatherings, distributes resources related to the mission of the apostolate, and has hosted more than 100 events since its inception.
When the Rosary Apostolate Evangelization was founded, then-Archbishop Dolan served as its episcopal advisor until he became archbishop of New York. He remains an honorary episcopal advisor of the apostolate. Archbishop Listecki serves as the episcopal advisor, a role he takes seriously.
“This is such an important ministry,” said Archbishop Listecki. “The rosary means spreading good news by use of devotional prayers. Most Catholics would tell you that the best form of devotional prayer is the rosary. To understand its effect in one’s life is in that of spreading of the Gospel. That devotional prayer deepens the relationship with God in so many ways. Looking at the evangelization that Dick and Terry did, they saw immediately the need to spread the Good News of the Gospel through the use of the rosary and they have done it so well.”
As the episcopal advisor, Archbishop Listecki ensures the group’s mission remains in line with Catholic teaching and the relationships with the mission of the local church.
“I advise the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate with events they are planning, or with individuals they would like to have speak so they would meet with my approval and fit in with the vision the archdiocese is trying to achieve,” he explained.
Through the guidance of the Boldins, Archbishop Listecki said the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate has done an excellent job with spreading the word about the rosary, encouraging an understanding of devotional life and how it plays into everyday activities.
“They have done a tremendous job in inciting and uniting people in rosary evangelization,” he said. “I feel the group has increased overall devotion to praying the rosary. It is definitely a group on the archdiocesan level that is devoted to that prayer activity and then there is a tendency to learn more about it and participate it, both publicly and privately.”
As spiritual advisor for the apostolate, Jesuit Fr. James Kubicki, the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer, prays for the ministry and offers Mass once a month for the benefactors of the apostolate. He also serves as a theological advisor for the organization.
“This rosary apostolate plays an important role insofar as promoting prayer for vocations through the eucharistic Holy Hour that it began,” said Fr. Kubicki. “And that is especially because they use the monstrance that was one of the last monstrances blessed by Blessed John Paul II. This has been used at different times for Holy Hours and in particular for prayers for vocations.”
Historically, Catholics have looked inward regarding Catholic evangelization, explained Fr. Kubicki, but because of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate, Catholics are beginning to look outward by praying for peace in the world and in the family.
“It is particularly exciting that they have had projects where different bishops talk about the Eucharist so that we Catholics can know the great treasures we have in the Eucharist and are better able to share that with others,” said Fr. Kubicki. “One really neat thing they are doing is a big rally in September at State Fair Park and it is being endorsed by Cardinal Dolan, Cardinal Francis George and others from around the country. This prayer rally is an opportunity to bring many people together to pray for the world and family life.”
Hearts United 2013 Eucharistic Rosary Rally for Peace and the Family will be hosted Sept. 7, and is endorsed by six bishops from Wisconsin. This family event is in response to the Year of Faith.
“This has the potential for bringing several thousands of people to pray the rosary on the feast closest to the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (Oct. 7),” said Fr. Kubicki. “This apostolate also does a great service in promoting the sacrament of reconciliation and not just in our diocese, but all around the country with their booklet on the sacrament. It is almost as though things that begin here are shared with other places so we are sharing the spiritual wealth of the archdiocese with other places.”
Michael Groark, manager of the Marian Center Store in Milwaukee, assisted Dick and Terry with the rosary apostolate, primarily to help organize and assist at conferences.
“I was one of the main organizers of the Marian conference in 2008, but my role is small. I am just a helpful, humble, little volunteer,” he said. “One of the key goals of the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate is in the education of the faithful and I think the more programs we have to educate about our faith, the better everyone will be.”
Groark credits Dick and Terry for their devotion and overwhelming success of the rosary apostolate.
“The ministry really exists because of them and their dedication to the cause,” he said. “They were a wonderful choice by then-Archbishop Dolan to head this up. They are tireless in their efforts ever since they took over. This ministry requires a lot of support, and they should get a lot of support from all of folks and parishes with publicity. Their events need to be well attended.”
With the rosary rally in September, Groark expects the apostolate will continue to grow.
“Dick, Bishop Hying and Fr. Mitch Pacwa on the EWTN program is huge,” said Groark, speaking of a Feb. 27 appearance on EWTN Live. “To be on that level of Catholic television and promoting Dick’s vision to reach out beyond the Milwaukee Archdiocese area is incredible. This event is big enough that it could draw thousands from Illinois, Minnesota and Iowa as well.”