Teen, adult share devotion to rosary - Catholic Courier

Teen, adult share devotion to rosary

ROCHESTER — What began as a casual conversation about the rosary has
evolved into a profound connection between a teen and her youth
minister.

One day this past summer, Alison LeChase, youth minister for the
Winton-Culver Parishes, mentioned to 16-year-old Liz Bridge that she
was planning to design rosaries for her niece and nephew. Liz responded
by saying she prays the rosary daily.

As they talked further, LeChase was surprised and touched to
discover that Liz had been praying the rosary on her behalf for the
previous two months. LeChase, who has been married for two years, is
trying to start a family. Liz told the Catholic Courier she
hopes her prayers will help bring this about for the youth minister,
whom she regards highly.

“It just seems like she does a lot. She’s always there for me,” Liz
said. “I just pray for her every day, for things to go well.” Liz added
that a group of fellow students at Our Lady of Mercy High School, where
she is a junior, also mention LeChase in their intentions during
morning prayer at school.

Liz said she prays the rosary every night before bed. Another
benefit of this practice, she noted, is that she feels like God “is
kind of in the room … it’s just very relaxing. It helps me get to
sleep at night.”

Liz is a member of Rochester’s St. John the Evangelist Parish on
Humboldt Street. She was fully received into the Catholic Church at
Easter of 2002, through the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults.
Therein lies another link to LeChase, who had gone through RCIA at St.
John the Evangelist just one year earlier. Liz, who was baptized
Catholic but had never received any other sacraments, said she grew
more interested in her faith after she began attending a Catholic high
school.

“It kind of made me realize I’d been missing it. People who went to
church, there was always something they had that I didn’t have,” she
explained.

Liz became active in the Winton-Culver youth group when LeChase was
a volunteer with the group. LeChase was hired as the full-time youth
minister over the summer following the unexpected death last winter of
her predecessor, Dennis Reno. Her ministry also covers nearby St. James
and St. Ambrose parishes.

LeChase said her own attraction to the rosary was sparked during a
moving prayer service at St. John the Evangelist shortly after the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Now, LeChase said, she has
rosaries displayed “in every room of the house.” She and Liz each own
rosaries that are family heirlooms: LeChase has one that belonged to
her husband’s grandmother, and Liz’s rosary was formerly her
great-grandmother’s.

Pretty soon, many other teens in the Winton-Culver Parishes will
have special rosaries as well. After learning of Liz’s devotion,
LeChase said she got the idea to make rosaries not only for her niece
and nephew, but also for every active member of the Winton-Culver youth
group. LeChase buys her own materials and strings the beads and crosses
during her free time at home. She plans to keep this up throughout
October — a month the Catholic Church dedicates to rosary devotion —
and into November so she can give the rosaries to teens with whom
she’ll travel to the National Catholic Youth Conference in Houston Nov.
13-16.

Even if some youth-group members don’t end up praying the rosary
regularly, LeChase said they can still value the rosaries that she’s
creating as important symbols of their faith.

“God is a mystery, and our faith is a mystery. (But) the rosary,
it’s that physical representation of God,” LeChase explained.

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