Fondly called “Roses” for short, the Roses of the Immaculate Heart household is dedicated to following the Little Way of small acts of trust in God in order to come “closer to the Immaculate Heart and into the loving arms of God the Father,” as stated in the covenant.
The name Roses reflects the goal of the members, who strive to “send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise” (Sirach 39:13-14). The Roses of the Immaculate Heart household looks to revitalize Marian devotion and grow in holiness with a focus on the Little Way of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, according to the covenant.
This household is centered on close friendships and living a balanced life. “One of our biggest (charisms) is about balance,” said household coordinator Brigid Williams. “We seek to live our lives in a balanced way: academically, physically, spiritually and socially. Some of the ways that we do that is every month we have a fun night that we invite anyone to come to. We just kind of invite that into our lives. Social life is important, but so is spiritual, and we also have different commitments that are very good for growing spiritually.”
The Roses host a variety of activities and commitments throughout the year, including their monthly fun nights, clay baking, group discussions on the Gospels, Easter egg dying session and even movie nights like their “Chick Flicks and Chocolate” event, said Williams. Their main fundraiser is the Immacu-Latte Sale, a creative event in which they raise money for their household by selling coffee and teas such as their “Carmelite Immaculattes,” “St. Michael’s Strong Coffee,” “Red Rose Tea” and other homemade baked goods. These events help foster a sense of community and form close friendships among the household sisters.
Since the household is devoted to the Blessed Mother, one of its commitments is praying a daily rosary. In fact, hanging on the Roses’ bulletin board is a quote of what Our Lady said to Blessed Alan de la Roche: “When you say your rosary, the angels rejoice, the Blessed Trinity delights in it, my Son finds joy in it too, and I myself am happier than you can possibly guess. After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love so much as the rosary.”
Another unique aspect of this household is its devotion to the dynamic duo of Our Lady and St. Michael the Archangel, according to Williams. In addition to their devotions to daily rosary and the Mass, the Roses also look to St. Michael as one of their patrons and include his chaplet as a part of their Lord’s Day celebration. “The Blessed Mother and St. Michael really work together to ward off evil and to protect us,” said Williams.
“One of the really cool things that I like to reflect on is … that we are Roses of the Immaculate Heart,” said Williams. “If you see an image of the Immaculate Heart, it shows Mary’s heart pierced through with a sword, but there is also a crown of white roses around it. What it means to be part of the Immaculate Heart for us is that we are being held close to Our Blessed Mother and to her heart, as a mother protecting us and watching over us, but also helping us to grow.”