The Month of the Holy Rosary at Tynong

The month of the Holy
Rosary has always been a time of special spiritual joy for Dominican religious
communities and their associates, and is crowned by the beautiful feast day of
Our Lady of the Rosary on October 7. It is the patronal feast of Rosary Convent
and a first-class liturgical celebration for the entire Dominican order, and it
was certainly greeted with much anticipation by our sisters.
The Office for this day recounts in detail
each of the various mysteries of the holy Rosary as well as some of the
glorious prerogatives that crown our Blessed Mother; namely her Divine
Maternity and position as

of all graces.
ye nations; roses rare to gather from these mysteries fair; and thus plait
crowns in heaven above for her, the Mother of fair love. Glory be given to the
Trinity, Who through each sacred Mystery, on those who pray may graces rain,
that they to glory may attain
.” (From the Vespers hymn
of October 7 from the Dominican breviary). 

Pope St. Pius V (a
Dominican) instituted this feast, under the title of “Our Lady of
Victory,” in thanksgiving for Our Lady’s response to the Christian nations
who had been tirelessly reciting the Rosary for the intention of a victory over
the Turks at the Battle of Lepanto on October 7, 1571.

In 1573, Pope Gregory XIII changed the title
to the “Feast of the Holy Rosary” and appointed the first Sunday of
October for its celebration. Later on, Pope Leo XIII, moved by the sorrowful
trials under which the Church groaned during his pontificate, raised this feast
to one of the second Class with a new Mass and Office. 

Commonly known as the
Pope of the Rosary, he wrote thirteen eloquent encyclicals on this devotion and
encouraged its devout recitation as a means to combat the diverse moral and
political evils that plagued societies and families in his day.

Additionally, the familiar
tradition of the Holy Rosary being entrusted to St Dominic as a fruitful weapon
in his attempts to extinguish heresy and immorality highlights the character of
this devotion as an essential weapon in spiritual warfare. This devotion and feast
day were clearly instituted and celebrated for centuries in honour of Our
Lady’s protection over the Church both from heresy within and from insidious attacks

May we then turn to our
Immaculate Queen in these times marked by countless assaults against the Catholic
Church and the true faith, entrusting ourselves to the Blessed Virgin’s
A whole array of saints also
surrounded our Blessed Mother during this grace-filled 
month. On October 3rd,
we delighted in the feast day of St Thérèse of Liseux, patroness of the
missions and of our very own Sister Marie Thérèse.  We hope fervently that this Carmelite nun, one of the
greatest saints of modern times, would intercede for our humble missionary efforts
down under in Australia, which until recently has been classified as a
missionary country. 
The celebrations
continued on October 4th, the feast day of the Seraphic Patriarch St
Francis of Assisi. He is especially honoured by the Dominican order as a
beloved friend of St Dominic and a fellow labourer in Christ’s vineyard, and we
greatly rejoiced with Sister Mary Francis on the occasion of her first name
October 23rd witnessed
another new development in the construction process of our new convent. Our
superiors journeyed down to the town of Sale for the relatively enjoyable task
of selecting new colour schemes for the buildings. Black, cream and various
shades of white were the dominant hues chosen alongside timber for the
flooring, reflecting the colours of our order as well as fulfilling the
requirements of tasteful simplicity.
 An in-house rosary crusade also began at this
time as we urgently pleaded for the intercession of the Queen of the Rosary.
This took the form of a novena which ended on the feast of Christ the King.
Realising all too well the great need for more donations, for dry weather to
finish the foundations and for the approval of our building permit, we recited
our beads and had recourse to the unfailing aid of prayer.  We ask too for our dear readers and
benefactors to continue their prayers and
generosity in
this campaign to finish the Mother-house in time, especially as we welcome at
least 4 new postulants for 2015. In the meantime, new cells and a new refectory
will have to be carved out from the existing space we now have. 

The homage paid to the
Queen of Heaven this month culminated in the feast of Christ the King. For the
first time ever at Rosary Convent, we attempted to pay a magnificent homage to
Our Lord with…. heaps of paint covered sawdust!

This dusty material duly
formed the basis of a simple but elegant Agnus
design on the grounds of the convent in preparation for the procession
which was to stop outside our chapel. 
On the Friday and Saturday before the
feast day, creative hands and eyes painstakingly dyed and sprinkled the coloured
sawdust into an intricate design that took its inspiration from the Book of the
Apocalypse. It honoured Christ as the Lamb who was slain for our salvation, as
well as the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end of all creation. 

Fides the dog took a great liking to the lamb motif and to the soft

Other sisters with green
thumbs took to turning the numerous and messy piles of roses, chrysanthemums,
orchids (and other species too unfamiliar to be named by us!) into arrangements
that surrounded the throne of Our Eucharistic Lord. The rose bushes at the
Church and at the College in particular duly surrendered their spring blossoms
to adorn the altar of repose.

At the Sung Mass on the
festal day, Fr. Stephens gave a memorable sermon on the Kingship of Our Lord
and neatly arranged his main points under the acronym of KING, which served as a
most useful mnemonic. He exhorted the faithful to devote themselves more and
more to His service by getting to know and imitate their Divine Master with
promptitude and while relying on the abundant grace offered by God. The Mass
was followed by a Eucharistic procession to and back from the convent.
“If to Christ our Lord is
given all power in heaven and on earth; if all men, purchased by his precious
blood, are by a new right subjected to his dominion; if this power embraces all
men, it must be clear that not one of our faculties is exempt from his empire.
He must reign in our
minds, which should assent with perfect submission and firm belief to revealed
truths and to the doctrines of Christ. He must reign in our wills, which should
obey the laws and precepts of God. He must reign in our hearts, which should
spurn natural desires and love God above all things, and cleave to him alone.
He must reign in our bodies and in our members, which should serve as instruments
for the interior sanctification of our souls, or to use the words of the
Apostle Paul, as instruments of justice unto God. If all these truths are
presented to the faithful for their consideration, they will prove a powerful
incentive to perfection.” (The Encyclical Quas
, by Pope Pius XI).