Last updated September 26, 2009

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Rosary Altar Society

The Rosary Altar Society, officially known as the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary, is a spiritual association whose members undertake to say the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary once every week. The Society was founded in the fifteenth century by Ala del la Roche, a Dominican Friar. On October 2, 1898, Pope Leo XIII Issued the apostolic constitution on the Most Holy Rosary (Ubi primum) containing the laws, rights, and privileges of the Confraternity. It states that the confraternity was instituted so that the faithful, united in fraternal charity by the prayer of the Rosary, may praise and honor the Blessed Virgin and secure her patronage. The right of erection the Rosary Confraternity is assigned to the Dominican Master,a nd the Order "holds as its inheritance all that belongs to this devotion." The Rosary Confraternity has spread throughout the Catholic world, including the United States, where it exists in many parishes under the title of Rosary Altar Society. Although men and children may be enrolled and enjoy all the rights and privileges of the Confraternity, in the United States the parish Rosary Altar Society restricts its membership to women. Since the time of Alan del la Roche, the confraternity has been the primary means of propagating devotion to the Rosary, and has raised the Rosary from a form of private prayer to that of shared or common prayer. "For whenever a person fulfills the obligation of reciting the rosary according t the rule of the Confraternity, he includes in his intentions all its members, and they in turn render him the same service many times over" (Ubi primum 1).

The primary purpose of the society is to praise and honor the Blessed Virgin Mary and to secure her patronage by the recitation of the Rosary for the mutual spiritual benefit of all its members throughout the world, and to promote and aid the parish spiritually by performing any activities for the care and well being of the Church, Rectory and Pastor.

St. Mary's Rosary Altar Society was charted August 8, 1952, and it is affiliated with the Confraternity of the Most Holy Rosary. The Rosary Confraternity is one of the oldest in the Church, and it is probably the most enriched with indulgences and privileges. Bless Alan, a Dominican preacher, was the first to propose the Society in 1470. The initial unit was approved by the Church and established on September 8, 1475 by Fr. Jacob Spenger.

For more information, or to join the Rosary Altar Society, please complete the volunteer form or contact the Parish office.

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