What do an NFL player, the mom of child with cerebral palsy, an atheist turned priest, a father of a family estranged from his own dad, a radio show host, and a country musician all have in common? They have all grown closer to Jesus Christ through the intercession of the Blessed Mother Mary by praying the Rosary.
“Power in My Hands” is a new documentary film produced by the Rosary Evangelization Apostolate directed by John Shoemaker and Ryan Freng and written by Margie Mandli, which seeks to bring the power of this beautiful prayer to the younger generation. Sometimes we may be tempted to think that the rosary is only for “old ladies and funerals,” as one interviewee put it, because that’s the only time we see it being said. But this is so far from the truth.
With an original score and stunning images of Jesus and his Blessed Mother, “Power in My Hands” compellingly witnesses to the effectiveness of the rosary through the stories of real people. Contributing major interviews to the film are EWTN hosts Jeff Cavins and Doug Barry.
Philip Rivers is the quarterback for the Los Angeles Chargers. He admits that when he has the football in his hands, he has power. That power comes from his preparation and where he decides to throw the ball. But with the rosary says Rivers, “the power in my hands is a lot less dependent on me. Just by being obedient and praying the rosary, I am giving the power to God almighty, and our Blessed Mother as the greatest intercessor there is, to then use her power, their power to shed graces, pour graces on us and on the whole world.”
Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers in Power in My Hands (Backflip Films)
Nancy Salerno, already a mother of three, found out she was carrying twins but that one of the twins had died in the womb. When the other was born, he had cerebral palsy. Salerno tells of her struggles in dealing with the grief over her lost twin and with caring for her special needs son. Where does she get the strength to live each day in thanksgiving and joy? From praying the rosary.
Deacon Harold Burke-Sivers of Portland, OR, was estranged from his father since he was a teen. When he moved from his home in New Jersey to Oregon his mother made one request of him: that he pray daily for his Dad. Resistant to the idea he did so only for his Mom’s sake. When family reconciliation happened after 20 years, Burke-Sivers found out that his mother had prayed the rosary daily for the intention of being reconciled with her husband.
“Power in My Hands” also takes care to speak specifically to men. The film encourages men to take up the rosary as a weapon against the forces in the world that could harm those in their care. Fr. Donald Calloway, a priest of the Marians of the Immaculate Conception, was a mess in his early life, a drug abuser, promiscuous, and prison inmate. His mother, a convert to Catholicism, prayed to Mary for her son. He eventually converted after impulsively reading a book on Mary. Fr. Don acknowledges that guys like him enjoy guns, weapons. He says that if men could see the rosary as a weapon, they would find the strength and power they need to be better husbands, fathers, and protectors. He says, “the rosary is not a passive exercise, you’re talking about battle. If men would pray the rosary together, it would be a thunderous battle cry.”
Married couples and families are also encouraged to pray the rosary. Rebecca, a young musician from Nashville, prayed the rosary, asking Mary’s intercession to find a good man. Chris was the answer to her prayers. Now married, Chris and Rebecca pray the rosary daily to strengthen their marriage. Kelly Wahlquist, founder of WINE, Women in the New Evangelization, tells how her kids used to roll their eyes when it came time for the family rosary, but years later, her daughter, in a paper for a college class, mentioned that praying the rosary as a family was one of the most influential parts of her childhood.
Chris and Rebecca Czarka in Power in My Hands (Backflip Films)
The documentary takes on American culture’s ideas about power and freedom, showing how the Catholic understanding of these concepts turns the world’s understanding upside down. True power comes from knowing that God has all the power and we do not. True freedom does not mean being able to do whatever we want, but being free to do what is right. All this is helped along when we reach out to our Blessed Mother, especially through the prayer of the rosary. It is she who will bring us to her son.
“Power in My Hands” will renew your resolve to take up the rosary in your own hands and ask Mary to lead you closer to her Son, Jesus. The film will also greatly aid religious education teachers as it would be appropriate to show to religious education classes, RCIA groups as well as those preparing for the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, or Marriage.
For more information on the film, visit their website at www.powerinmyhandsthemovie.com. There you will find information on various screenings happening around the country as well as information to help you bring the film to your parish or school.