Two years ago, Rev. Pamela Reidy, chaplain at Life Care Center of Leominster, Massachusetts, asked St. Leo’s Parish, which ministers to the facility’s Catholics, if the church would run an ad in its church bulletin requesting used rosary beads.
“Often, short-term rehab patients arrive with little notice or possessions, and long-term residents who return to the practice of their faith in later years no longer own rosaries,” Reidy explained.
The response to the ad was a “loaves and fishes” miracle as generous parishioners offered their rosaries, which were then cleaned, blessed and packaged as gifts. The first batch of more than 60 rosaries was distributed and depleted within a few months. St. Leo’s has kept the rosaries coming ever since.
Residents, family members and associates treasure their strong spiritual bond with St. Leo’s, whose members assist with end-of-life care, monthly mass, weekly communion and just about any other request that comes up.
When the daughter of one resident asked if her mom could be buried with the donated rosary, it was evident the relationship between St. Leo’s and Life Care extends beyond this world.