The Roman Catholic Church, referred to more commonly as the Catholic Church, is one of three main groups of Christianity, alongside Eastern Orthodox Catholicism and Protestantism. The religious hierarchy of the Catholic Church centers on territorial organizations called dioceses which are led by bishops. The church is headed by the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.
Roman Catholicism is practiced throughout the world. In the Balkans it is predominantly practiced by Croatians and Bosnian Croats from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In Croatia, the church administration is centered in Zagreb. In the United States, Roman Catholic churches may be found in most parts of the country. Bowling Green is part of the Diocese of Owensboro and contains two Catholic Churches, St. Joseph and Holy Spirit, as well as a third chapel at the St. Thomas Aquinas Center.
Roman Catholic Rosary
The Rosary is used by Roman Catholics to meditate on important events in Jesus’ life, a practice believed to bring grace to the user. The Catholic Rosary is believed to have been revealed to Saint Dominic by St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, in the thirteenth century CE. An important part of the Catholic Church’s devotion to Mary, rosaries are often sold as souvenirs at pilgrimage sites where St. Mary is believed to have appeared, including the site of Our Lady of Međugorje in Međugorje, Bosnia. Praying the full Rosary includes several prayers recited in a prescribed order, but the most important part of the Rosary is the five decades (or five sets of ten beads). Each decade represents an event or mystery in Jesus’ life, and for each bead, the user prays the Hail Mary prayer.