I met Carol at a Christ Renews Weekend 8 years ago. We had a lot in common; we were both were introverted, wondered why we had signed up for a CRHP Weekend and both knew no one present that weekend. For some unknown reason, we both committed to go on for six months. Each week, as we left our meeting, we would say to each other – “We are not going back.” And, each week we found ourselves planted in the same seats on Thursday evenings. Carol referred to God as the ‘Hound of Heaven.’ Indeed, he hounded us!
Along the way, I got to know Carol’s husband, Charlie. They were nearly inseparable. Carol and I became dear friends. After CRHP, Carol became involved in several ministries and Charlie followed. They both went to Bible Study which they loved. Carol became an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, a Lector and a Lay Spiritual Director of Christ Renews.
Charlie had coped with major health issues throughout his life and suddenly was faced with another. As a Marine, he was ready for the fight. Charlie was diagnosed with cancer, as was Carol within a few weeks of each other. They had different types of cancer and therefore, different doctors and chemo regimens, different treatments at different hospitals. Their lives revolved around fighting cancer.
Involvement in ministries became increasingly difficult. So, both of them being very practical, investigated the Rosary Makers knowing that if they were homebound they could make rosaries to help the missions. When I would visit them they would be sitting in their living room making knotted rosaries. Carol died on Ash Wednesday a year and a half ago and Charlie was lost without her. He stopped making rosaries.
In April, I asked him if he would make knotted rosaries for the pilgrims going to the Holy Land since they were also receiving a book, Mary, Undoer of Knots. He said he would try. Several weeks later he delivered 40 knotted rosaries. Some were in process so he completed them and others he had just made. The pilgrims were very thankful for their rosaries which will always remind them of their time spent in the Holy Land. Charlie died about 3 weeks after we returned from our pilgrimage. After his funeral, I took the remaining rosaries to Bible Study for his friends. They also cherished those rosaries and now both the pilgrims and the Bible Study group pray for Charlie and Carol as they recite their rosary.
Mary, Undoer of Knots, pray for us as we deal with the inconceivable knots in our lives. Be always at our side to help us through these difficulties and let us never feel, despite our situation, that we are useless or unable to serve others.
If you are interested in becoming a Rosary Maker contact Jane Kneipp at firstname.lastname@example.org