Touching lives — one bead at a time Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Julie Allington, For the Catholic Herald   
Thursday, Mar. 09, 2017 -- 12:00 AM

This Mother Mary wall hanging was created by Laurie Zimmerman and Char Dugan, members of the Mary’s Rosary Assemblers of Christ the King Parish in McFarland. The group is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a variety of activities. (Contributed photo)

MCFARLAND -- To say “thank you for your support of our mission over the past 10 years,” Mary’s Rosary Assemblers of Christ the King Parish in McFarland invites everyone to celebrate together after the Masses at the parish on March 11, 12, 18, and 19.

Parishioners from Christ the King and other parishes in the Diocese of Madison have supported Mary’s Rosary Assemblers’ activities through prayer, praying the Rosary before Masses and at Rallies, and purchasing beautiful handmade Rosaries -- more than 800 over the past 10 years.

This financial support helped Mary’s Rosary Assemblers fulfill their mission to assemble and distribute Rosaries to many foreign missions as well as to various places within our diocese, all free of charge.

Celebration activities

As part of the celebration, attendees will have a chance to win two beautiful items.

The first is a stunning Mother Mary wall hanging created by Rosary Group members Laurie Zimmerman and Char Dugan, featuring Laurie’s original sketch of Mary with the words, Have you talked to your Mother today?, incorporated into Char’s lovely design.

The second item is a beautiful Stained Glass and Roses quilt, designed and made by parishioner and professional quilter, Sharon Walk, of The Quilted Scottie. Also available will be laminated Have you talked to your Mother today prayer cards with the Memorare prayer printed on the back.

Young children will have the chance to make “shoelace” Rosaries with the help of high school students, and pick up a Rosary coloring book, which includes the Rosary prayers.

All of the activities are free and open to everyone. Rosaries for purchase will be available for those interested.

Praying the Rosary

Mary’s Rosary Assemblers’ mission is to honor the Blessed Mother by saying the prayer that she recommended to the three children at Fatima in 1917 -- 100 years ago. She said to them, “Pray the Rosary daily.” Within that year World War I ended.

For 10 years, Mary’s Rosary Assemblers has led the Holy Rosary in the Christ the King Chapel prior to all Masses -- amounting to more than 10,000 Rosaries prayed.

They pray for Mary’s intentions: conversion of sinners, end to abortions, peace in the world, vocations, and all the souls in Purgatory, in addition to individual intentions of parishioners.

“To those who propagate my Rosary I promise aid in all their necessities.” This is one of the 15 promises of Our Lady handed down through St. Dominic and Blessed Alan de la Roche.

Distributing Rosaries

For the past 10 years Mary’s Rosary Assemblers has worked at following Mary’s request by assembling and distributing over 24,000 Rosaries to foreign missions including India, Haiti, and El Salvador; to the Bishop O’Connor Center for Eucharistic Adoration for Vocations; and to area hospitals. Free Rosaries are available at all times in the Christ the King Parish Chapel.

Fr. Theodore Selvaraj has been a recipient of our mission Rosaries to India since our group formed 10 years ago. He writes, “Thank you for the love and concern that you show towards our people and the service that you do to spread the love of God and the devotion to our Blessed Mother. I sincerely thank you and your team for this mission. Please continue to support our mission work in this area.”

Jeff Billerbeck, manager of spiritual care at Meriter Hospital in Madison, wrote of the Rosaries given to their chaplains for distribution to patients, “This is a wonderful way of sharing the healing presence of God’s Spirit with those in times of distress and needed comfort. Whether it is to a critically ill patient, or to an elderly person in the Emergency Room, lonely and confused about their illness, know that all will be comforted by the gift of a Rosary.

“Once again thank you for your ministry of creating Rosaries and providing us with a tangible reminder of the healing presence of God’s Spirit to share with patients.”

Reaching out

The Rosary group has moved beyond simply providing Rosaries, prayer guides, and opportunities for praying the Holy Rosary, to reaching out to others:

First, sympathy cards are sent to parishioners who have lost a loved one with a pledge of 10 Rosaries for the deceased and his/her family by the Rosary group members. Nineteen cards (190 Rosaries) were sent to parishioners in 2015; 12 cards (120 Rosaries) were sent in 2016.

Ernie Stetenfeld wrote this thank you when his 50-year-old brother died suddenly in 2015, “Many thanks for your Christian kindness in extending your sympathy, love, and prayers to me, my wife Betsy, and our family on the death of my brother, Tim . . . Your gracious spiritual gift of 10 Rosaries for the repose of Tim’s soul is much appreciated . . . I made use of one or your group’s Rosaries in praying for either Tim’s survival or the repose of his soul. That wooden Irish penal Rosary was with me through the visitation and Requiem Mass for my brother, and will remain a grace-filled reminder for me of his birth into eternal life.”

Tammi Benishek’s mother died on Christmas, 2014. She writes, “I can’t thank you enough for the special blessings you are giving to my mother through your prayers to Our Blessed Mother. It is the most beautiful gift I could hope for.”

Also, knotted Rosaries are made for each Confirmation candidate with her/his name attached. For one year, these are used for praying the Holy Rosary before Masses, with a special intention for the candidate whose name is on the Rosary. The Rosary, with a medal of their patron saint and short biography, are presented to each confirmand as a gift at their Confirmation.

In addition, crystal chain Rosaries and hand-sewn pouches are made for our First Communicants and are presented to each child at their First Communion Mass.

Then, for the past five years, Mary’s Rosary Assemblers has led the weekly Rosary Rallies for Religious Liberty at the outdoor Marian Garden on the Christ the King Church grounds, from June through October. The Rosary group has developed appropriate meditations and prayer intentions, with which to begin each Rally.

For questions or more information about Mary’s Rosary Assemblers’ activities or the 10-year anniversary celebration, contact Julie Allington at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 715-862-2523.

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