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'1,000 Rosaries for Life'

Deacon recruits prayer warriors for new mission aimed at saving lives

Deacon Michael Plummer began promoting his "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign at his parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, after prodding from his pastor, Msgr. Kenneth Schwanger.

Photographer: COURTESY

Deacon Michael Plummer began promoting his "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign at his parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, after prodding from his pastor, Msgr. Kenneth Schwanger.

MIAMI | Deacon Michael Plummer headed for the mountaintops close to heaven when the global pandemic hit, and there, in the midst of God’s beauty and the breathtaking views, he was inspired to carry out a special mission to save lives.

“I began a commitment to pray a thousand rosaries for life using specific mysteries,” said the energetic 80-year old, who has vowed to constantly pray the rosary in honor of the Blessed Mother and to call on her for help in the protection of life.

“I think this is a very interesting and important mission. It has potential,” said Deacon Plummer.

He began praying Jan. 1, 2021 and has continued to pray every day since. He is back in Miami now, where he serves at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. After being nudged by Msgr. Kenneth Schwanger, his pastor, he is beefing up his prayer project.    

These are the mysteries to be focused on while taking part in the "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign thought up by Deacon Michael Plummer, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Miami.

Photographer: COURTESY

These are the mysteries to be focused on while taking part in the "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign thought up by Deacon Michael Plummer, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Miami.

“Msgr. Schwanger invited me to share this as a call to others to commit to praying the rosary,” said Deacon Plummer. “A thousand rosaries for life may not seem like very many in the grand scheme of things, but think about the power of 100 people saying 1,000 rosaries. Of course, I would rather have one million people praying,” he confessed.

Our Lady of Lourdes has announced Deacon Plummer’s “1,000 Rosaries for Life” campaign in the parish bulletin, encouraging families and individuals to get involved and to promote the prayerful mission to others, especially those at home still in lockdown because of COVID-19.

Parishioner Ana Perez-Nodarse, a respect life representative at Our Lady of Lourdes, said she supports Deacon Plummer’s idea of encouraging rosary prayer, especially during Lent and the worldwide 40 Days for Life campaign of prayerful witness in front of local abortion clinics, which began Ash Wednesday.

“It is a wonderful idea,” she said. “I think we can work together. We can put all our rosaries together in a beautiful bouquet for Our Lady.” 

As part of Deacon Plummer’s vision that manifested while he was “hiding out from COVID” in North Carolina’s Appalachian Mountains, participants are asked to meditate on certain mysteries of the rosary or a passage in the life of Christ or Mary.

“The richness of the 20 mysteries of the rosary became a bit clearer to me,” said Deacon Plummer. He explained that he carefully and deliberately selected five mediations with life at the center.

The three joyful mysteries he selected are the Annunciation, Visitation and Nativity. These meditations remind the faithful of the Son of God’s joyful coming into the world.

“That is the best prolife story ever told,” said Deacon Plummer. “God brought his only son into the world through the womb. There were other ways he could have come.”

Deacon Michael Plummer having dinner with his wife, Roxann, in his North Carolina "hideout" from the coronavirus pandemic. That's where he came up with the idea of the "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign.

Photographer: COURTESY

Deacon Michael Plummer having dinner with his wife, Roxann, in his North Carolina "hideout" from the coronavirus pandemic. That's where he came up with the idea of the "1,000 Rosaries for Life" campaign.

The other meditations he selected include the celebration of marriage and family at the wedding feast at Cana, a luminous mystery, and the resurrection, a glorious mystery.  

In his nearly 40 years of service as a deacon in the Archdiocese of Miami, Deacon Plummer has taken on many roles. He has been a prolife advocate for as long as he can remember, quietly praying for respect of life during events and gatherings and during his own personal prayer.

He believes that now, perhaps more than ever in today’s world, Catholics are called to step up to put their faith in action and to pray for life, marriage, and family, all of which are threatened by society.

“Human life is sacred from the moment of conception until natural death. It is my argument that you can’t separate respect for life from the discipleship of faith,” he said.

Deacon Plummer was ordained a deacon in 1984. He is also a husband and father of five children and eight grandchildren. He lost his son, who would have been 47 this year, to a helicopter accident in 2005, a life-shattering event for him and his wife.

Born in Pennsylvania, he came to Florida in 1960 when he joined the U.S. Air Force. After the service, he studied at the University of Miami, earning both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business. He had a successful career in a Florida utilities business. 

In 1967, he married his childhood sweetheart, Mary, fondly known as Roxann. She is her husband’s biggest supporter. “I get a crazy idea, and my wife says, ‘Go do it,’” said Deacon Plummer jokingly.

A simple but beautiful emblem has been designed for the prayer campaign, featuring rosary beads in the shape of a heart and a simple prayer to Mary under the title Our Lady of Hope. Our Lady of Hope appeared at Pontmain, France in 1871 wearing blue and white and in her eighth month of pregnancy. The emblem will be used to promote the “1,000 Rosaries for Life” campaign.

“I am trying to plant seeds,” said Deacon Plummer.  “We are trying to do it in the midst of the COVID pandemic.”

Longtime Our Lady of Lourdes parishioner Martha Valladares, involved with the parish respect life initiatives, whole-heartedly supports “1,000 Rosaries for Life.”

“It is a wonderful idea,” she said. “I pray the rosary every day. I have seen the power of praying the rosary. I have experienced it.”

For more information, email Deacon Michael Plummer at [email protected]

Prayer to Our Lady of Hope

O Mary, my mother, I kneel before you with heavy heart. The burden of my sins oppresses me. The knowledge of my weakness discourages me. I am beset by fears and temptations of every sort. Yet I am so attached to the things of this world that instead of longing for heaven, I am filled with dread at the thought of death.

O Mother of Mercy, have pity on me in my distress. You are all-powerful with your divine Son. He can refuse no request of your Immaculate Heart. Show yourself a true mother to me by being my advocate before his throne. O refuge of sinners and hope of the hopeless, to whom shall I turn if not you? 

Obtain for me, then, O Mother of Hope, the grace of true sorrow for my sins, the gift of perfect resignation to God's holy will, and the courage to take up my cross and follow Jesus. Beg of his Sacred Heart the special favor that I ask in this novena.

(Make request)

But above all I pray, O dearest Mother, that through your most powerful intercession my heart may be filled with holy hope, so that in life's darkest hour I may never fail to trust in God my savior, but by walking in the way of his commandments I may merit to be united with him and with you in the eternal joys of heaven. Amen. 

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