Champions of the Rosary: An Interview with Fr. Donald Calloway

January 16, 2017

The darkness grows in the world on a daily basis. Wars and rumors of wars. Political upheavals. Terrorism. Our Christian brethren martyred at an incredible rate. It is easy to become discouraged, but that is the one thing we must not do.

Instead, we must pray. And there is no better prayer to pray in these times of anxiety and fear than the rosary. History has proven over and over that the rosary is a powerful prayer that can literally change history. Recently, I sat down with one of the chief promoters of the rosary in our day, Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC, to talk about his new book, Champions of the Rosary: The History and Heroes of a Spiritual Weapon.

If you aren’t familiar with him, Fr. Calloway has an incredible conversion story that involves mafia connections, getting kicked out of a country, surfing, and a profound encounter with the Blessed Mother. He is now a priest with a truly Marian devotion who spreads the message of Fatima and devotion to the rosary.

While Fr. Calloway has written several books, Champions of the Rosary may very well go down in history as his masterwork. It took him several years of research to write and it includes many incredible saints you’ve never heard of, little-known facts about the rosary, and plenty of amazing stories. It is thick—some 400 pages. If you think the rosary is boring and cliche, this book will change your mind and heart. If you love the rosary already, you will love it even more after reading this book. You can get your copy here.

Without further ado, here’s the video of our conversation.

Sam Guzman


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Reader Interactions


  1. Gregory Watson says

    Got this for Christmas from my awesome wife! It is quickly becoming my new favourite book. St. Dominic is my patron saint because of my love for the Rosary, so reading Fr. Calloway’s defence of the pious tradition of the origins of the Rosary was a tremendous blessing!

  2. David Sanguinetti says

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for the effort in interviewing the author. It seems a really great interview, except for one part. I don’t know if it happened only to me, but I couldn’t hear Fr. For most of the interview. Check out this please.

    David Sanguinetti

  3. Bobby McQuin says

    I purchased a copy of Champions of the Rosary after hearing about it on the Catholic radio station in DC. You are correct, this is a fantastic book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and learned so much about this powerful spiritual weapon! Thank you for doing this interview and promoting the Rosary so frequently. May God Bless you and may He continue to bless Fr. Calloway!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I’m very intrigued about this book but I pray the traditional Rosary (15 Mysteries) and really don’t want to spend the money if Father presents the information and how to pray the Rosary as consisting of FOUR decades (20 mysteries), as if it’s a new Rosary. A pet peeve of mine as John Paul II simply offered his suggestions and never “changed” the Rosary. Would someone let me know? Thanks so much.

  5. Gregory Watson says

    Elizabeth, I’ve gone back and forth in my Rosary devotion as to the Luminous Mysteries. I came into the Church shortly after St. John Paul II’s encyclical where he suggested the new mysteries, and so was taught them as part of how one says the Rosary. It was, in fact, through meditating on the 2nd Luminous Mystery that I truly met Our Lady in an intimate, personal way that enabled me to fully embrace the Catholic faith.

    However, as I continued to learn and grow in my faith, the connection between the Rosary and the Psalms was introduced to me in a compelling manner, and for some time I set aside the Luminous Mysteries and prayed only the traditional 15.

    So with that said, I hope you’ll read my recommendation of Fr. Calloway’s book. His thoroughly researched history of the Rosary and the men and women who championed it shows that this prayer has indeed developed over the centuries, and that changes have occurred even since Our Lady commissioned St. Dominic (my patron saint) to preach her Psalter to convert the Albigensians.

    So when you claim to pray the “traditional” Rosary, I have to wonder if you include the opening Creed, Our Father, and Hail Marys? This opening came decades if not centuries after St. Dominic. How about the second half of the Hail Mary, which wasn’t added until the late 14th or early 15th century, and wasn’t “canonised” so to speak until the Council of Trent? Or the Glory Bes ending each decade, which some scholars indicate St. Louis de Montfort’s himself suggested adding to the Rosary? What about the Fatima Prayer which Our Lady requested be prayed at the end of each decade only 100 years ago? Which “traditional” Rosary do you pray?

    Fr. Calloway discusses how the Luminous Mysteries weren’t invented by John Paul II, and that Saints before him implied that other mysteries could be meditated upon. He also argues that just as the 15 traditional mysteries were the remedy to the heresy of St. Dominic’s day, so too the Luminous Mysteries speak to and remedy the particular heresies and ills of our day.

    No, Fr. Calloway doesn’t say they are mandatory, or describe them “as if it’s a new rosary.” But I’d recommend reading his arguments in favour of the Luminous Mysteries and prayerfully reflect on them. He might change your mind. He did mine (again).

    And if not, the historical 1st part of the book and the full colour images in the appendix alone are with the price.


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