WEBSTER — Elvira Falcone never leaves home without her rosary.
She says it in the morning, at night and Wednesday morning after Mass.
She said she has always enjoyed the prayer ritual, which is why she’s glad to have a chance to share the rosary with many other people. She and other residents of Cherry Ridge, a retirement and assisted-living facility, have formed a club that makes rosaries and ships them to missions around the globe. The goal, organizers say, is to make praying the rosary more popular.
The volunteer rosary makers started meeting about three months ago, drawn together by organizer Carl Servas, a Cherry Ridge resident and member of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Greece.
“The people here do a lot of bingo and a lot of cards, and I thought it would be very nice to do something for the spiritual needs of society, too,” Servas said.
So Servas sent away for a package of beads and asked some friends to stay after breakfast to make them. Then the activities director at Cherry Ridge, which is part of St. Ann’s Community, heard about the effort and offered to buy beads for the group, he said.
“No matter what color you pick out, they become beautiful,” said Falcone as she sorted through cups of colorful rosary beads.
The first batch of about 30 rosaries was taken to Ghana by a priest, while the next batch of 30 went to Brazil with another priest. A Sister of Mercy soon will be taking the most recent batch to Santiago, Chile, Servas said.
About a dozen people are regulars of the rosary-making group. Burt Solomon of Webster said he got involved with the group when he was getting his mail one day and saw members at work. Solomon, who is Jewish and had never made a rosary before, volunteered to join them.
“This is very nice,” he said of the group. “I call them a family.”
Sophie Lawlor said she took beads home so she could make rosaries in between the group’s monthly sessions.
“It keeps your mind going,” Lawlor said. “Some people sit at home in a depression. You need something to take your mind off your problems.”
Servas said he learned the craft from other experienced rosary makers and by reading the directions that come with the beads. Now, members of the group refer to him and his finished rosaries as examples of how to complete their rosaries.
Servas said he and his wife, Alice, have said the rosary every day during their 58-year-marriage. The couple usually does things together, which is how their tradition of saying the rosary together began.
“We have eight children, and at night we would say the rosary, and each one would take a different decade,” Alice Servas said.
She said the rosary has been a big part of their lives as a couple.
“It’s comforting, asking the intercession of the Blessed Mother,” Alice Servas said. “And she’s been very good. Even the fact that we’re here is a blessing.”