NEW SMYRNA BEACH | Students arrive to religion teacher Maria Bilodeau’s class, take a seat and pull out their rosaries. As the bell rings, a student gets up to lead the days’ decade of the rosary. A bell ringer exercise is already posted and they get to work. It gives the children time to read the daily readings from U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops or listen to a Christian song and do a Lection Divina style of reflection.
Seventh grade student, Carson enjoys the prayers. “Praying a decade of rosary in our Religion class helps me calm down.” He added, “It helps me focus before doing my Daily Reflection/Bell Ringer.” Sarah, a 5th grader loves leading prayer for her class.
The teacher of fifth through seventh grade religion hopes her own love of the Blessed Mother will overflow into the hearts of her students. Her personal devotion to Mary commits her to praying in her home rosary garden. She is also a member of the parish ministry, Travelling Mother of Divine Mercy, a parish group at Sacred Heart that has a devotion to the Lady of Fatima and the Divine Mercy.
“I hope to instill in my kids the love for Mary, the model of obedience to God. I always tell them we have to keep our Sacred Tradition alive by using the rosary, a sacramental, and honoring Mary especially in October,” she said. What is her inspiration? “(Mary) is the ultimate example of courage and as a mother myself, I call on her to guide me and make me a good mother – that my two children and my hundreds of children in school can fall back on, if they need me.”
By Glenda Meekins of the Florida Catholic, October 21, 2020