Getting the rosary into others’ hands

Catholic layman works to spread devotion via campaign

Sam Perry has always had a rosary in his hands. Now he wants to get it into others’.

Local parishioner Perry, a lifelong believer in the power of the rosary, has vowed to travel parish-to-parish bringing the love of Mary and her promises.

With Denver Archbishop Samuel Aquila’s stamp of approval, Perry and his wife, Becky, of St. Thomas More Church in Centennial, decided to spend their retirement encouraging others to finger those rosary beads.

“My goal is to take it across the state,” said 74-year-old Perry. “We’ve got to get people praying the rosary.”

Though the “Pray the Rosary” campaign, the pair will work to deliver some 300,000 colorful how-to booklets and rosaries to the Denver Archdiocese’s 140-plus parishes to spread devotion to Mary. Then he wants to take the campaign statewide.

Using his own funds and support from the Catholic Foundation of Northern Colorado, where he’s a board member, and Knights of Columbus, Perry will print booklets and collect rosaries to begin his ministry.

The campaign seeks Mary’s intercession for the country, help in the fight for religious freedom and the right to exercise one’s conscience.

“The rosary is a powerful spiritual weapon, so let us encourage all families to pray the rosary for our country and for the protection of religious liberty,” wrote Archbishop Aquila in a letter about the campaign Sept. 24.

The archbishop encouraged all parishes to participate.

So far, Perry distributed thousands of booklets and rosaries at St. Thomas More Church, 300 at St. James School in Denver and plans to visit Queen of Peace Church in Aurora and St. William Church in Fort Lupton with Spanish booklets and rosaries.

Perry said praying to Mary has always helped him through life.

“Most kids grew up with toys. I grew up with the rosary,” he said.

After he survived a couple of car wrecks, Perry said he’s always kept one handy in his pocket.

Later, he began buying extras and giving them away.

After learning about the rosary’s impact on historical events, Perry became further encouraged to launch a campaign.

In the 13th century, St. Dominic promoted the devotion for the conversion of the Albigensians— believers in a heresy claiming there were two gods—and other sinners. Pope St. Pius V credited Mary with the Holy League’s victory over the Turkish invaders in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.

In 1960, Father Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., held a rosary rally in San Francisco that drew over half a million people.

These facts drew Perry to realize that the rosary can change Colorado and the country, which he said is plagued with moral and social ills.

“With 300,000 people praying in our archdiocese, I think we can change this state,” Perry said.


Support the Pray the Rosary campaign
Parishes are invited to contact Sam and Becky Perry to participate in the campaign.
Phone: 303-882-3396

COMING UP: Team Samaritan cyclist goes ‘Everesting’ for the homeless and hungry

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When it comes to the daily sufferings of those who are homeless, there’s nothing like a 29,029-foot bike ride to keep things in perspective.

That’s exactly what Corbin Clement will be doing this Saturday, June 19, with a couple of his riding buddies as they attempt an “Everesting” ride to raise money for the Samaritan House homeless shelter in Denver. Starting at Witter Gulch Road in Evergreen, the three riders will climb Squaw Pass Road to a point in Clear Creek County and ride back down the hill for over eight laps, which amounts to roughly 190 miles in distance and the equivalent of the elevation of Mt. Everest in terms of vertical climbing – hence the name “Everesting.” Their goal is to complete the feat in 20 hours or less.

Oh, and they can’t sleep. It is, indeed, just as crazy as it sounds. Those who aren’t avid cyclists might be wondering, “How in the world do you train for something like this?” 
“For training, it’s been just more or less ride as much as possible,” Clement told the Denver Catholic. “The training is structured around endurance, and that’s of course what Everesting is. It’s just a lot of peddling. So, a lot of my training so far has just been trying to ride as much as possible and ride longer high elevation rides.” 

In March, an Irish cyclist set the world record for Everesting when he completed the feat in six hours and 40 minutes. Clement isn’t trying to set a record, but regardless, it’s quite a feat to undertake, even for a seasoned athlete like him, whose pedigree includes snowboarding and rock climbing. 

“Our ride will be the same thing, but it’ll be pretty different,” Clement said. “We don’t have any sort of special bikes or super focused diet or a really regimented plan or a crew that’s very well-instructed on how we’re going to tackle this. I’ve read a couple of things to just kind of make it into a party — have friends come out to support you, get people to join you on certain laps…that’s kind of the approach we’re taking.” 

Clement has already raised $5,200 for Samaritan House, with a current goal of $8,000. This is Clement’s first year riding for Team Samaritan, but his dad, Kevin, has ridden for the team for several years. When his dad offered to give him an extra kit and uniform, Clement accepted, but didn’t want to take it without doing something help the cause. He could’ve simply opted for a nice ride in the countryside, but he chose to do something a bit more challenging.  

Corbin Clement used to experience the challenges that homeless people face on a daily basis when commuting through downtown Denver to work on his bike. This Saturday, he will raise money for Samaritan House homeless shelter by “Everesting,” a 190-mile bike ride that is the equivalent of the elevation of Mt. Everest in terms of vertical climbing. (Photo provided)

“For some reason, the Everesting idea popped into my head,” he explained. “I think it’s one of those things that has a little bit of shock value for people who hear about it. It’s certainly something that’s gained more popularity and visibility in the last couple of years with endurance athletes. I wanted to choose something that would actually be a challenge for myself and something that I’d have to work towards.” 

Clement currently resides in Utah, but he used to live in Denver and commute by bike to work every day. During those rides to his office, which was located near Samaritan House, he would pass many homeless people and have conversations with them. This experience was also a motivating factor for his Everesting attempt for Team Samaritan. 

“It’s very different when you’re on a bike versus in a car because you’re right there,” Clement said. “If you stop at a stoplight and a homeless person is on the corner, whether or not they’re panhandling or something like that, you hear the conversations, or you’ll have a conversation with them. There are things you smell or you hear or you see that you just never would if you were in a car. So, it kind of made sense, too, with the biking aspect. It’s part of my community that I’ve lived and worked in for a very long time.” 

Clement’s Everesting attempt is one event in a series of endurance event’s he’s doing over the summer that culminates with the Leadville 100, a single-day mountain bike race across the Colorado Rockies. In that race, he will be riding to support young adults diagnosed with cancer by raising funds for First Descents.  

Both causes are near to Clement’s heart, and he said that while his Everesting attempt will be a form of “suffering,” it pales in comparison to what the homeless face day in and day out. This is ultimately why he’s riding and raising funds for Team Samaritan. 

“Any time we see a homeless person or people who have to live on the streets,” Clement said, “That is true suffering — true endurance — with no end in sight.” 

To learn more about Corbin’s fundraising efforts or to donate, click here.