Rosary guild celebrates five decades - Catholic Courier

Rosary guild celebrates five decades

Rose Marie Schulz and several other members of the Rosary Guild at Christ the King Church in Irondequoit were told to get on a bus one day, destination unknown. Every now and then, the guild’s leaders planned such “mystery trips” to surprise members with an outing to a play or some other activity. However, when the bus pulled into the parking lot of an area bingo palace, Schulz said she was not happy.

“I thought, ‘Hoop-dee-doo, we’re going to play bingo like senior citizens,'” she said.

By the end of her excursion, she had changed her mind about the trip, she said, primarily because she had won $1,000.

Indeed, the history of the Rosary Guild seems to be full of such surprises, if one spends an hour or so listening to a fun-loving member like Schulz, who served as the guild’s president from 1964-65. During an interview about the guild, which turned 50 this year, Schulz was joined in her storytelling by current co-presidents Marilyn Spang and Marilyn Grasso, otherwise known as “The Two Marilyns.” The guild boasts 110 members and celebrated its anniversary — which coincides with the parish’s founding — with a May 22 banquet, the women said.

Despite belonging to an organization with such a reverent title as the Rosary Guild, the three women were clearly irreverent, in a good old-fashioned way, continually swapping humorous stories, telling funny anecdotes and, in general, evidencing a heartfelt camaraderie based on years of praying, playing and serving together. Indeed, friendship and socializing have motivated a lot of women to join the guild over the years, Schulz said.

“It was a way to get out the house,” she said, noting the guild in its early days served as a support group for many stay-at-home mothers.

Spang added that in an earlier era before the existence of such entities as parish councils, the guild was one way lay women could serve the church. She and the other women said the guild members have served their parish by caring for the sanctuary, washing sacramental linens, holding various fundraisers and helping out at parish functions. The guild members also have given religious statues and rosaries to the children who attend the diocesan school on parish grounds, they said, and distribute pamphlets that explain how to say the rosary.

The guild meets on the third Monday of each month from October to May and will hold its annual nine-week Miraculous Medal Novena on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. from Sept. 5 to Oct. 31. The guild also promotes eucharistic adoration and Benediction, and its members noted they feel that their activity leads them closer to Jesus and Mary. All three women said reciting the rosary regularly had benefited them spiritually.

“I grew up with a connection to the rosary,” Grasso said, a point seconded by Schulz and Spang. Schulz added that she considered Mary a spiritual friend.

“I just think that she would guide me,” she said, adding that she believes Mary intercedes with Jesus on behalf of those who are devoted to her. “She’ll go to the Big One, and you know he can’t refuse her,” she said with a smile.

Spang added that she prays the rosary on behalf of others.

“When you’re married and you have children, you’re always praying for your family,” she said, adding: “When you have eucharistic adoration, you feel really close to our Lord.”

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