August - 2013

ARTICLES

Ministry Spotlight: Real Men Pray the Rosary
Mary Job
How To Be Catholic In College: Six Steps to Success
Jonathan Mani
The Call
Gigi Cherian
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Ministry Spotlight: Real Men Pray the Rosary

Mary Job

“Sleep is optional,” David Calvillo says when asked how he manages a full-time ministry while being a civil trial lawyer, a mediator, a Certified Public Accountant, a husband, and a father of seven. Calvillo’s dedication to the calls of God in different aspects of his life is evident daily.

Calvillo is a Texan, born and bred in the city of Weslaco. He is the oldest of Joe and Alicia’s five children. His parents were always prayerful Catholics and instilled a love of the faith in their children. His mother had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and the rosary and encouraged David to pray it. “But I was way too cool for that when I was young!” David says.

In the summer of 2008, because of marital issues, Calvillo found himself at a low point in life, perhaps the lowest. He recognized that he needed a spiritual recharge. So, after years of making excuses, he finally accepted an invitation to attend an ACTS (Adoration, Community, Theology and Service) Retreat and he says, “ACTS changed my life. ACTS saved my life.” At the retreat he prayed the rosary for the very first time. Before then, Calvillo could not even remember ever having prayed the rosary in totality and definitely not with the devotion done at the retreat.

The ACTS Retreat was attended by about eighty men: forty organizers and forty retreatants. During the retreat, they prayed the rosary as a group. In doing so, they prayed it for various aspects of life: for their families, for their marriage, for their children, to be better, to rise out of sinfulness. David describes the praying of the rosary as, “An out-of-body, ecstatic experience. I felt the presence of God in prayer. I felt that I was transcending time and geography. I felt as if I was praying the rosary with everyone who had ever prayed it.” That retreat began for Calvillo a journey to learn more about the Blessed Mother and the rosary. His journey led him to read, analyze, accept, and fully consecrate himself through the teachings of Saint Louis de Montfort in his book, Preparation for Total Consecration to Jesus Christ through Mary.

That initial retreat led Calvillo to serve as a team member at subsequent ACTS retreats. Being a team member required thirteen weeks of preparation. In those meetings, Calvillo was exposed to men who prayed the rosary unabashedly, loudly, and with great devotion. One of those men was Alex Gamboa, Jr., who would wrap the rosary around his fist. Gamboa is a fairly scary-looking biker type. Here was this manly man embracing the power of the rosary. After several occasions of seeing Gamboa and others like him, an inspired thought came into Calvillo’s mind, “This is a good thing. These are men praying the rosary, real men…real men praying the rosary.”

When he went home that night, he shared the idea with his wife, Valerie. Together,  they formed the Real Men Pray The Rosary (RMPTR) apostolate on the Feast of the Annunciation in 2009.

RMPTR’s mission is to promote the rosary by applying the lessons of the rosary meditations to daily life. The ministry has an active online presence through their website (www.realmenpraytherosary.org), Facebook (to date they have 29,000+ likes), and Twitter. Amidst his full-time service as a family man and at his law firm, Calvillo shares daily reflections with the ministry’s followers.

One of the things that makes RMPTR unique is their Total Consecration classes offered for those who want to renew their baptismal vows and who strive their best to be holy. In 2012, RMPTR identified leaders in several parishes in their home Diocese of Brownsville, prayed with them, and prepared them according to Saint Louis de Montfort’s book. A Mass of Consecration was held at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan de Valle in San Juan, Texas and the classes had over 2,500 participants who looked to re-energize their spiritual selves by dedicating themselves to Christ Jesus through His mother. That number was over one thousand more than the 1,300 participants they had in 2010. The next classes will be held in the summer of 2014.

And since he is only planning to sleep perhaps when he is retired, Calvillo penned “Real Men Pray the Rosary: A Practical Guide to a Powerful Prayer,” published by Ave Maria Press and released this year. With an introduction by Most Reverend Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Texas, and a foreword by author Greg Tobin, Calvillo shares “why the Hail Mary is the perfect prayer and concludes with a 33-day Rosary Challenge so readers can experience for themselves how praying several minutes each day for thirty-three days radically changes their lives.”

For those who use their talents for the glory of Christ and His Church, their “call” is sometimes the most unexpected of things. No one, including Calvillo, could have imagined that God would call a CPA/lawyer to be a messenger of the rosary. Yet his answer to the divine inspiration and his and Valerie’s dedication to its mission is evident in the fruits of the Real Men Pray The Rosary ministry’s labors. The young guy who was too cool to know the Blessed Mother and pray the rosary now proudly proclaims himself to be a “Mama’s boy.”
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MARY JOB serves on the Editorial Council of Shalom Tidings. She resides with her family in Edinburg, Texas.
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