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How My Rosary Group Blessed Me

I looked around our little community room and smiled. Deep in my soul, I suddenly became aware of a sense of great peace and contentment – that kind of contentment you feel when you know you are right where you are supposed to be at that moment. As I breathed in this awareness, I gently rotated the ancient rosary in my hand. In the next breath, Sr. Mary began the third joyful mystery of the Rosary – the Nativity and we joined her in prayer . . .

Blog by Sr. June Fitzgerald, OP

At various times in my life, the Rosary has taken on special significance for me. These past two months have been such a time of significance for me, and I have been prompted to reflect on community, faith, humility, and the emergence of new life within me. All these themes are present in and woven through the mysteries of the rosary. Let me explain . . .

A few months ago, on my morning walk, a car hit me as I crossed the street. I sustained a concussion, broken elbow, broken wrist, multiple scrapes, and bruises. With the help of selfless colleagues, amazing health care professionals, my community, a skilled surgeon, prayer, physical therapy, and scores of friends, family, and sisters, I can say that I am well on my way to recovery. A big part of this recovery has taken place at our skilled care center, Mohun Health Care Center, on our Motherhouse property in Columbus, Ohio. I never expected to be a resident at Mohun at this time in my life, maybe in 40 years, but certainly not now! Yet, here I was, with my senior Dominican Sisters of Peace, many of whom are much older than me. Not only did I live and recover with them, but they ministered to me in ways I could never have imagined. They also inspired me to recommit to praying the Rosary each day.

After my accident, one of the things I soon discovered was that I could do very little for myself. With each of my arms bandaged from above my elbow to my knuckles, I was dependent on others for almost everything. It was a true experience of total surrender to God, absolute humility, and the shattering of my overdeveloped sense of independence and self-determination. I was also finally open to experiencing the loving care of God through those around me.

One of the sisters who showed me God’s love, was Sr. Mary. After dinner, one evening, Sr. Mary asked me to sit with her for a while. She was in her wheelchair and waiting for an aide to help her get ready for bed. I sat down beside her, and she asked me to help her pray the rosary because she couldn’t remember which set of mysteries she should pray that day. As we began to pray, one of the other sisters in the room began to respond to the prayers and before we knew it, there were five of us praying together. Some of these women had not spoken much all day and yet here we were praying together. These familiar prayers are so deep inside of them that they flow out as naturally as breathing. From that evening, we gathered each day after dinner to pray the rosary. Other sisters joined us and before I knew it, we had a regular “group” who looked forward to this quiet moment to pray together.

One evening as we finished the last prayer, Sr. Mary looked over at me and said, “thank you for helping me remember.” I replied, “You’re welcome, and I can write the mysteries down for you.” “No, it’s not that,” she said, “you helped me remember why I love the rosary.” “Why is that?” I asked. She replied, “It is because, we can do it together, just like I did when I was little. It reminds me what it’s like to be family.”

I don’t know if she saw the tears in my eyes as I turned to collect the rosaries, but at that moment, I knew I was just where I was supposed to be. Sr. Mary, the most unlikely teacher, reminded me what it really means to be family, to be community. She helped to renew my love of the rosary, one prayer at a time.

Shall we begin?

“Hail Mary, full of grace . . . “

15 thoughts on “How My Rosary Group Blessed Me

  1. June,
    Thank you for your reflection. I am grateful to God that you are healing well and to you for sharing your experience of praying with our senior Sisters. God has blessed you and them.
    Lovingly,
    Janie K.

  2. Thank you, June, for your beautiful blog about the rosary with the Sisters. It is totally a Dominican prayer and one that takes you deeper and deeper into the Scriptures.
    Also thank you for encouraging the Sisters to pray it with you. You are a blessing wherever you are!

  3. Beautiful and deeply meaningful reflection dear June!
    Thank you! It brings back memories of my family praying the rosary together every night. Lovely memories of peaceful times.

  4. This is it, Sr. June! So many events of my childhood are marked by family and friends praying the Rosary together. I’m so glad that you found a group. When I visit a different church when I travel, I love to slip into a group that is praying the Rosary before or after Mass. Such a lovely prayer that has sustained me.
    Also, very glad that you are getting better.

  5. Dear Sister June,
    What a wonderful recounting of your accident and the healing process. I loved being reminded about how all of us on earth are connected, and not one of us can survive with out others (ubuntu)! Thank you for sharing your experiences with the rosary and for your model of surrender to our Lord.
    Patti

  6. Dear June,
    Doesn’t God surprise us with so much grace when the unexpected happens in our lives? It only gazing back at the event that we see His loving, healing touch in our lives and the people he surrounds us with to comfort and care for us. Thank so much for sharing your experience and the great value of praying the rosary together as family. Maybe St. Dominic and our Blessed Mother is inviting us all to pray the rosary more frequently and together from your sharing.
    Love, Healing and peace,
    Brigid

  7. As I was going over the OPPeace News I found this treasure again! Thank you for your awareness to how wherever we are is a gift and a blessing to all those with us!

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