by Kathy Sinnott

My Aunt Ann was about 50 when she woke up to the fact that her older children were no longer Catholic.  A busy mother of nine, still making school lunches for the younger ones, she had not seen it coming.  She had done all the right things, baptism, confirmation, Sunday Mass, grace before meals, Catholic schools.

Taking stock Aunt Ann, found that half  of her children had succumbed to the culture and that the spiritual infection had spread even to her youngest still in primary school. 

She tried reasoning with them, giving them things to read and watch. They just laughed knowingly among themselves at her efforts. 

In desperation, she threw them a lifeline – Our Lady’s lifeline, the rosary.  Aunt Ann started praying a decade a day for each.  When she saw no results, she upped the dose praying a full rosary for each child.

She prayed the rosary while cooking, driving, and shopping.  Her beads dangled from her hand and her lips were always moving.  Nor would Aunt Ann sleep until she had thrown out the rosary lifeline to each one.  Often by the time she closed her eyes it was almost time to start again.

Her friends, even very religious ones, worried about her, told her to ease up, that God didn’t expect this of her.  They even warned her that she would have a breakdown.  She didn’t stop.  One by one in the years that followed, often in unusual ways, her children not only came back to the faith but embraced it fully.  For example, one daughter got a Job in an office of Catholic “bashers”.  She became the target even though she said she was longer Catholic. Their jokes and jibes were unrelenting.  Finally desperate to shut them up, she decided to answer them.  Reading Church history, she fell in love with the Church and became a woman of great faith.

After thirty years of rosaries, Aunt Ann’s eight children and their children were living committed Catholic lives.  However her youngest son, oblivious to the spiritual onslaught, remained comfortably entrenched in his disbelief.  Terminally ill with cancer with only weeks to live Aunt Ann continued her rosaries.  It took three painful, persevering years for her to die in the immense joy of seeing the fruit of her rosaries, all of her children living and loving their Catholic Faith.