Tom Hoopes is Vice President of College Relations and writer in residence at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. He has written for the Register for more than 20 years and was its executive editor for 10. His writing has appeared in First Things’ First Thoughts, National Review Online, Crisis, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside Catholic and Columbia. He has served as press secretary for the Chairman of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee. He and his wife, April, were editorial co-directors of Faith & Family magazine for 5 years. They have nine children.
“The Rosary is excruciating. There I said it.” Thus begins Brian Pessaro’s “My Struggle With the Rosary” at Godspy.
“I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for Mary’s intercession,” he writes. “Since the age of 11, I was addicted to pornography. It began simple enough with sneaking peaks at my best friend’s father’s Playboys in the basement of his house. But by the time I was 25, I was so hooked on Internet porn that I would itch for my wife to leave the apartment so I could secretly jump online. Several times over the years I tried to quit. Each time, not only did I fail, but the addiction got worse to the point where I gave up resisting.”
Then, while looking at a book about apparitions, he had an experience of Mary. Pessaro gives a striking account of why he prays the daily Rosary at all.
He said his earthly mother rarely scolded him. His Heavenly mother suddenly did: “I felt her say to me sternly, ‘Brian you’ve got to stop looking at that garbage. Starting now!’”
That night he went online and in the dresser drawer for entirely new reasons: He ordered a Scapular and pulled out his grandmother’s rosary beads.
Not only did he kick the habit, he says but also “when I was in my late twenties I could still see those images from when I was eleven as if it were yesterday,” he says, “And now they’re gone.”
He admirably calls everyone to pray the Rosary daily, just like he does. Even if it’s tough.
What we would say to him is: It doesn’t have to be quite so tough. In 2004, we dedicated an issue of the Register to the Rosary and for each mystery offered 10 points of meditation, artwork, additional prayers, and scripture.
The Rosary issue was a huge hit.
“It is the best resource I have found so far,” wrote one woman, a teacher. “Would you please tell me how I can obtain 20 copies?” We did.
“I am a Protestant who is journeying toward the Catholic faith,” wrote another. “The rosary was always a mystery to me. Your rosary issue has been such a blessing. Have you thought of providing your guide in a booklet form?” We did that, too.
We created a booklet version of our Rosary Guide, and, with the help of CatholicMil.org, “Thousands of copies of the Guide were mailed to Catholic troops overseas,” wrote Archbishop Edwin O’Brien, who was then the Military Archbishop. “Demand was so great, that our supply was soon exhausted.”
The supply is no longer exhausted. To get your copy, click here.
To preview the content (without the beautiful artwork) look here.
I’ll ask Circle Press on Monday if Brian Pessaro’s order has been processed yet.
— Tom Hoopes