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 as much as the Rosary. ~ Our Lady to Blessed Alan de la Roche
Our Lady’s Rosary Makers of Corpus Christi Parish (aka, “the Rosary Makers”) is a group of Catholic men and women from all three of our worship sites (as well as a couple from St. Patrick’s) who joined together with the sole mission of promoting devotion to the rosary by providing handmade rosaries to world missions, hospital chaplains, US troops, first communicants, RCIA candidates and more. Our group is just four years young this month, having been formed in August 2012.
We make three different kinds of rosaries … cord and bead, wire and bead, and fully knotted (the knots are the beads). The majority of our members make the cord and bead, with only a handful making the wire or fully knotted rosaries.
We meet each Wednesday in the Queen of Apostles Social Hall from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, although someone is usually there by 6:00pm and we often stay until 9:00pm or later, depending on what we’re working on. Our “meetings” are very informal; people come and go as they can fit it into their schedules. It’s often more of a “friends coming together” evening rather than a formal meeting. Some will be making rosaries, while others will be working on other tasks, and still others just come to chat sometimes.
Some of our proudest accomplishments are the “packets” that we assemble. Each packet contains a rosary inside a small Ziploc bag along with a “How to Pray the Rosary” trifold and a poem written by one of our members. To date, we have unique poems for each of the following packet types:
Hospital – Rather than bags, these are now packaged in medicine bottles donated from many parish members based on a quote from Pope Francis, in November 2013, where he “prescribed daily Rosary & Divine Mercy Chaplet as spiritual medicine for heart, soul and whole of life”; we provide them to hospital chaplains for distribution to patients and/or their families.
Grief – These have been provided to both Donna Lear of the Seasons of Hope Bereavement Support Group and area funeral homes for distribution to those navigating their way through the bereavement process after the loss of a loved one.
Decision – These are most often provided to Gabriel’s Corner, but the poem that goes with them is also suited to anyone seeking guidance through Our Blessed Mother for any decision they may be facing.
Soldiers – The only rosaries used for these packets are the fully knotted ones because they can be put in a pocked or worn around the neck without making any noise.
Police/First Responders – These are always some form of blue, black or a combination of the two colors. The inspiration for these came about after the death of Omaha police officer Kerrie Orozco in 2015. Our members wanted to show love and support to our police officers, so these packets were assembled and several of our members attended a “Blue Mass” at St. Robert Bellarmine in Omaha last fall to personally distribute them. (As a result of that effort, we also received a call from St. Mary’s Parish in Storm Lake, IA this past spring and a few of us will be going there on Monday, September 26 to hand out more of these packets at a Blue Mass that they’re having to honor their police officers and first responders!)
Hospice – These are packaged in gold organza bags and the poem is printed in a larger scale. The poem, along with the rosaries, are butterfly themed (since the butterfly is the sign of transition into a new life) and, in all honesty, these likely hold more significance to the family of the hospice patients than the patients themselves.
Baptism – Our newest packets that have yet to be assembled and distributed. The Our Father beads are teddy bears! The plan is that we will provide these to not only our own parish, but to St. Patrick’s and St. Peter’s as well, if they want them. The priests and deacons performing baptisms can then provide them to new parents as they wish.
We’ve also assembled and provided specialty rosaries and chaplets at the request of our priests and fellow parishioners, including 15 St. Michael chaplets for Mary Hoeferer for her women’s Bible study group; more than 100 Precious Blood chaplets to our Hispanic brothers and sisters as well as some Mexican flag-themed rosaries for celebrations they had; and most recently Fr. Tom has requested wedding rosaries which he plans to bless and present to brides and grooms at their wedding ceremonies.
We could really use some more people to make wire rosaries, so if you’re handy with a needle-nose pliers and would like to join us in this most worthwhile mission, please feel free to come to any Wednesday night meeting, or contact one of the members listed below for further information.
- Kathy Carlin (Queen’s)
- Shelley English (St. Patrick’s)
- Ken & Patty Ernesti (Carter Lake)
- Charles & Maryann Evans (Queen’s)
- Maxine Hast (Queen’s)
- Burton Rausch (Holy Family)
- Mike & Kris Reicks (Queen’s)
- Michelle Schaffer (Queen’s)
*Note that there are a few more “drop-in” members, but those listed are the ones most consistently in attendance. Also, even if you don’t think making the wire ones is quite your cup of tea, we’d be happy to show you how to make any of the others!
Our group has come a long way in four short years and it’s been exciting to see this ministry evolve into something far more than we ever imagined; I can’t wait to see where God leads us in the future!! I’m sure I speak on behalf of all of our members when I extend a huge THANK YOU to all who have helped us along the way, especially Our Blessed Mother and the Good Lord above!!
Rosary Makers' Prayer: Dearest Mother, to you we pray. Bless the rosaries we make today; with loving hands, we add each bead, then with trust in you we further plead. Bless the ones who in foreign lands, reach for them with outstretched hands, and pray like we that God hear our call, for a world united and peace for all. Amen
Also check out the Rosary Makers Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/Our-Ladys-Rosary-Makers-of-Corpus-Christi-Parish-386808691393108/
AUTHOR: KRIS REICKS
Kris has worked for Mutual of Omaha since 1984. A member of Corpus Christi Parish since mid-1976, she serves as lector, extraordinary minister of the Holy Communion and often is a greeter at the 8:00 a.m. mass at the Queen of Apostles worship site. She also serves on the Digital Outreach Committee, is one of the founders of Our Lady's Rosary Making guild and is an active participant in the Tuesday evening women's Bible study group. Kris has been married to Mike since 1994; they live in the West end of Council Bluffs, sharing their house with two Lhasa Apsos, Patches and Ripley. She has two grown stepchildren, Erika and Nick, married to Jenni, as well as two amazing grandchildren, Allison and Ethan.