Since prayers through the Blessed Virgin Mary “never fail,” Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth is commemorating this month of the rosary by giving every parishioner in his diocese a free recording of the Marian prayer.

“For we are now coming to the end of the month of October when, as in May, our hearts and minds customarily turn to the Woman but for whom we could not be here,” Bishop Egan stated in a pastoral letter to his diocese, read at all its parishes on Oct. 26, remembering the Blessed Mother as “the perfect mother of God … a model mother for us.”

“As you leave church today, I am offering you a free gift. It’s a CD for use at home or in the car … It will help you reflect on the joyful, luminous, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the Catholic faith, for the CD contains the rosary,” the Bishop of Portsmouth announced, hopeful that this recording would help the faithful grow in their spiritual life, just as the rosary has helped countless Christians in past centuries.

Calling Mary a true Christian disciple, Bishop Egan noted how she “devoutly followed Jesus in His public ministry, pondering in her heart everything He said, supporting Him from the foot of the Cross, and after the Resurrection praying with the early Church for the coming of the Holy Spirit.”

“No wonder Mary is the best loved member of the Church! No wonder Christians ever seek her powerful intercession!”

Bishop Egan went on to advise parishioners in the diocese to seek this intercession from Mary in the rosary, but adding they should not stop there. Urging them to maintain a special devotion to the Blessed Mother, the Portsmouth bishop suggested that they also answer to the call to evangelization.

“I hope you will find the CD useful. But why not install a Marian statue or icon in your home? Or hang a rosary from the rear-view mirror in your car? Or carry in your pocket a rosary-chaplet, a witness at work or in an airport security line?” he asked, stating that “the Church in our time is calling us to an evangelisation 'new in its ardour, new in its methods and new in its expression'. This is why we need enormous creativity.”

Bishop Egan requested that his diocese pay special attention to prayer in the new liturgical year, noting that in prayer “we are meant to be taken out of ourselves, the words facilitating a person-to-Person encounter with God.”

“The rosary is like this, the repetitious words occupying our mouths so that our hearts and minds can be lost in the mystery,” Bishop Egan stated, hopeful that the rosary and the new Year of Prayer would encourage everyone to “become less inward-looking and more outward-looking.”

“In the weeks ahead, I invite you to contemplate Mary, filled with the joy of the Gospel, guiding people to Christ,” Bishop Egan stated.

“Indeed, as you pray the rosary, pray especially that the wind and fire of the Holy Spirit may disturb the hearts of those with little or no faith, that all may come to know, serve and love Jesus Christ in the full communion of His Body, the Church.”