“There was a calling for us to do it,” Rose Avila said. “We believe in the message of Our Lady and we can’t stop.”
In the early days of the ministry, participants would meet at different houses and enter into prayer, not leaving until 2,000 prayers had been recited. After a while the ministry moved to Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Chino for a number of years before finally settling at St. Margaret Mary Parish in Chino.
“We were so happy when they said yes,” Avila said. “We wanted it here [at St. Margaret Mary’s] because this is our parish.”
At 6 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month, the group meets in the Devotional Chapel at St. Margaret Mary parish and begins praying. The group takes a break at 7 a.m. for Mass and then continues throughout the day until the Hail Mary has been recited 2,000 times.
Before each set of 100 prayers, two participants come forward and state a prayer intention. Using the open-door policy, parishioners are free to come and pray for as long as they want. The group tends to have at least 15 people present at all times.
Being aware that the parish and surrounding community caters to a diverse group of people, the group encourages participants to pray in their own language.
“Most of the time I spend all day at the church but I never feel tired,” Avila said. “I am filled with joy. I spend the day with my spiritual family.”