Category: Front Page News

A Bishop in Nigeria, Boko Haram, and a Sword

The following excerpt comes from 10 Wonders of the Rosary, the forthcoming book by Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC. It will be available  at or by calling 800-462-7426.

In April 2014, Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 young girls from a school in Nigeria, Africa. Boko Haram is the notorious radical Muslim group that violently slaughters non-Muslims by such means as decapitation or burning people alive.

In December 2014, Jesus appeared to a Catholic bishop in Nigeria and instructed him that the rosary was the weapon that would overcome Boko Haram. Bishop Oliver Dashe Doeme of the diocese of Maiduguri, Nigeria, claims that one evening, while he was praying his rosary, Jesus appeared to him holding a sword. During the vision, Jesus extended the sword toward the bishop. When the bishop went to take the sword from Jesus, it miraculously transformed into a rosary! Once the bishop had the rosary-sword in his hands, Jesus looked at him and said three times, “Boko Haram is gone! Boko Haram is gone! Boko Haram is gone!”

After the bishop of Maiduguri had his vision, he began to promote the rosary in his diocese in Nigeria. In many of his interviews, he repeats his vision and informs his listeners of his interpretation of the vision in the following words: “As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary. I didn’t need any prophet to give me the explanation. It was clear that with the rosary we would be able to expel Boko Haram.” On October 13, 2016, dozens of kidnapped girls were suddenly released by Boko Haram from captivity. In May 2017, another 83 girls were released. Then, on July 3, 2017, 700 members of Boko Haram surrendered their weapons and turned themselves in to Nigerian authorities.

How the Rosary Drove Communism Out of Brazil

March 19 is the anniversary of a time when Catholic women of Brazil picked up their most powerful weapon—the rosary—and drove communism from their country.  

In 1964, the oppressive President Joao Goulart had appointed many communists to positions of leadership. Humble, faithful women understood the power of the Blessed Mother’s intercession and formed rosary groups. They showed up at political rallies and drown out speakers by loudly praying the rosary. 

The event which took place on March 13 in the city of Belo Horizonte during a communist rally was written about in Father Donald Calloway’s book, 10 Wonders of the Rosary. President Goulart had orchestrated a rally there, calling for a communist revolution in Brazil. The archbishop of Rio de Janeiro, Cardinal de Barros Camara, went on national radio pleading with people to live the Fatima message in order to overcome the communist threat.  

“President Goulart was so enraged by the archbishop’s message that he insulted the people of Brazil in a public speech and ridiculed the rosary, saying that it was the communist ideas that would reform and save Brazil, not the rosaries of simple women,” Father Calloway explained.

Those were fighting words that fired up the prayer warriors. They showed up to the rally in Belo Horizonte which was led by the president’s brother-in-law and expected to be the biggest one yet,  

Father Calloway wrote: “As it was taking place, more than 20,000 women marched into the streets with rosaries in their hands to engage in spiritual battle! The marched right into the midst of the communist rally and prayed the rosary so loudly that they shut it down.”

Six days later, on March 19, more than 600,000 people marched through the streets of Sao Paolo praying the rosary. It was called the “March of the Family with God toward Freedom.” Even non-Catholics joined in. 

Within two weeks on April 1, a military coup deposed President Goulart who then fled the country. In thanksgiving for the victory, the people of Brazil organized another march in gratitude to Our Lady and her rosary. It was held the very next day, April 2, through the streets of Rio de Janeiro and called the “March of Thanksgiving to God.” Over one million people participated.  

There’s a reason that the Blessed Mother told us in many of her apparitions to pray the rosary daily. It is the prayers of the life of Christ through Mary—just as he chose to come to us through his Incarnation. The rosary is a spiritual weapon of mass destruction, leaving sin in its wake and laying the ground for miracles, conversions, and victories over evil, attained by Jesus through the intercession of his mother. 

Article taken from Catholic News & Inspiration

The rosary – greater than the atomic bomb

Four Jesuits were very near the center of the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima. They survived both the initial explosion and the radiation that killed thousands in the months following.

The four religious never doubted that they had been blessed with protection by God and the Blessed Virgin Mary. “We were living the message of Fatima and we prayed the Rosary every day,” they explained.

The Jesuits priests Hugo Lassalle, Hubert Schiffer, Wilhelm Kleinsorge, and Hubert Cieslik were at the rectory of the church of Our Lady of the Assumption, one of the few buildings that resisted the bomb blast.

Father Cieslik wrote in his diary that they only sustained minor injuries from the broken windows – but nothing resulting from the atomic energy that was unleashed.

The doctors who took care of them afterwards warned them that the radiation they received would produce serious lesions, as well as illness and premature death.

The diagnosis never materialized. No disorders ever developed, and in 1976 Father Schiffer attended the Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia and told his story. He confirmed that the other Jesuits were still alive and without any ailments. They were examined by dozens of doctors some 200 times over the course of the following years, without any trace of the radiation being found in their bodies.

Our Lady of Gietrzwald asks us to pray the rosary every day.

There is only one approved Marian apparition from Poland, Our Lady of Gietrzwald.

It was June 27, 1877. Thirteen-year-old Justyna Szafryńska was on her way home from church. As she heard the Angelus bells and said the prayer, she suddenly saw a strange light and a figure dressed in white on the nearby maple tree. The apparitions would continue for almost three months, concluding on September 16.

On June 30 during the apparition Justyna asked: “What do you want, Holy Mary?” The reply she received was, “I want you to pray the Rosary daily.” Our Lady spoke in the local dialect similar to the Polish language.

For the complete account see here

Go to for resources about how to pray the rosary

Our Lady of Akita, Japan

“Pray very much the prayers of the Rosary.”

On Oct. 13, 1973, the anniversary of Our Lady’s last apparition at Fatima and the Miracle of the Sun, she appeared to Sister Agnes Sasagawa in a convent in Akita, Japan.  

Our Lady actually began what she told Sr. Agnes with these words:

As I told you, if men do not repent and better themselves, the Father will inflict a terrible punishment on all humanity. It will be a punishment greater than the deluge, such as one will never have seen before. Fire will fall from the sky and will wipe out a great part of humanity, the good as well as the bad, sparing neither priests nor faithful. The survivors will find themselves so desolate that they will envy the dead. The only arms which will remain for you will be the Rosary and the Sign left by My Son. Each day recite the payers of the Rosary. With the Rosary, pray for the Pope, the bishops and priests.

For a more complete account see the article here

For resources to help you pray the rosary go to the parish website

October is the month of the rosary

Our Lady of the rosary

On the Catholic calendar the month of October is dedicated to the Holy Rosary. Oct. 7 is the memorial of Our Lady of the rosary.  On Oct. 13 we celebrate the last apparition of Our Lady of Fatima.  One of her exhortations was for each of us to pray the rosary daily.

During October, after every Sunday Mass, we will pray the rosary.  We will use a series of videos to lead the prayers.  The videos use a number of different visuals to help us focus on the mystery which is being prayed.  Praying the rosary takes about 20 minutes.  Each Sunday we will pray a different set of the mysteries.  By the end of the month, the Joyful, Luminious, Sorrrowful, and Glorious will all have been prayed.  Please plan on spending the time after Mass and praying with the parish.

Please bring a rosary with you to Mass.  If you have several rosaries, you are invited to bring them to church and give them to someone who does not have one.  On the first Sunday in October we will give a free inexpensive rosary to everyone who needs one.

During the month, the homilies will focus on the rosary.  We will preach about how to pray the rosary and the benefits of praying it as an individual, a group, and a family.

The parish website has a lot of rosary resources to help you pray the rosary.  Look at

Power Lab Vacation Bible Camp was a success

This year’s Summer Day Camp was full of fun, learning and friendships. We had 58 campers from 18 different schools ranging in age from 3-12. We had 9 High School Crew members and 4 College Station Leaders and 10 Adults. What awesome Volunteers!

The kids learned songs with Sign Language, Dance and  Computer Coding. They enjoyed making Snacks for other campers, Science Experiments, high energy fun games and experiencing Bible Stories that came to life. Fusion Finale gave them the opportunity to see Science Lab experiments make changes and experience other activities. They also got to make Crafts And Science projects that were slimy and Gizmos that walked, flew. They designed their own tie-dye shirts. 

Our 18th Annual event was a big hit! Thanks to all who participated and supported this wonderful event with your Time, Talent or Treasure, we truly appreciate it.

Save the Dates for next year’s Extravaganza June 22-26, 2020. Our Facebook page is St. John’s Vacation Bible Day Camp, you can check out this and past year’s adventures.

Let us know what you thought about Power Lab 2019.
Please comment, share, email a recommendation.
We appreciate your help to spread the word

Pam Vincent, Director

Pictures from Power Lab 2019

Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord

When Fr. John Direen addressed our annual liturgical ministers meeting, he made frequent reference to a document published by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.  The document, Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord, is available on their website in  English and in Spanish

Co-Workers in the Vineyard of the Lord expresses the bishops’ strong desire for the fruitful collaboration of ordained and lay ministers who, in distinct but complementary ways, continue in the Church the saving mission of Christ for the world, his vineyard.

There is also an extensive Frequently Asked Questions about Lay Ecclesial Ministry on their website.

Raffle Business Sponsors

A number of our business neighbors have donate cash or other items to support our parish festival.  The donated items will be raffled off throughout the day on Sunday. Buy you tickets to win.

Please patronize those businesses who have generously supported us.

Olivero Plumbing
11360 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Doherty's truck rental
Doherty’s Truck & Auto Rental
10895 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530


El Cerrito Royale
6510 Gladys Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Well Grounded Tea & Coffee Bar
6925 Stockton Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530

Jenny K
6921 Stockton Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530


El Cerrito Natural Grocery Company
10367 San Pablo Avenue
El Cerrito, CA 94530