by Catherine Halbmaier
Special to The Leaven
BUCYRUS — The Month of the Rosary came early at Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish here when parishioners gathered Aug. 22 to dedicate a new rosary path on the parish grounds.
The dedication ceremony included a Scripture passage, prayer and remarks by the women who started the rosary path project: Kathryn Sarnecki and Deb Heine. Both are parishioners of Holy Rosary and spearheaded the effort after noticing an area that was overgrown with weeds.
“Two years ago this past June, I started getting involved in taking care of some pots around the church, which led to a very bad area where a gazebo had been taken down,” said Sarnecki. “I wanted to clean it up.”
Heine offered to help pull weeds from the area. As the two worked, they quickly felt a call to do more.
“We started with the garden area, and as we were working, we both felt a tap on the shoulder or a whisper in our ear,” said Sarnecki. “We realized Mary was asking us to make her a rosary path. We were getting that message loud and clear.”
As the project progressed, Sarnecki and Heine put extra care into making the path safe for all who would want to enjoy it.
“We wanted to see if we could do it in this handicapped-accessible way,” said Heine.
Despite widespread support from other parishioners, the project was not without challenges.
“We had some setbacks because of grating and water issues,” said Heine. “Some of the parishioners felt like that should be addressed first. We got a landscape architect to help us draw up a plan, who was very eager to help out.”
For Sarnecki, another challenge came in the form of answering Mary’s call.
“I had a friend ask me what was the most difficult challenge,” said Sarnecki. “I think it’s that I wasn’t as good as Mary at saying ‘yes.’ I’m a worker bee; I’m not a planner and an organizer.”
Despite her concerns, Sarnecki gathered plenty of support from fellow parishioners.
“So many stepped up to help,” she said. “This was all donated time by parishioners. There were a lot of Mary’s helping hands out there. We got an offer to use Giving Tuesday donations, a very generous donation from the Bell family, and we got so much support and helping hands from our faithful parishioners.”
According to Heine, the garden portion of the project has more additions on the way.
“Mary’s Garden isn’t totally finished,” said Heine. “We have benches on order and additional plants. Those will probably get done in September or October.”
Heine and Sarnecki hope that the rosary path will be a place of peace and prayer for parishioners.
“It’s a place where you can go meditate with Mary, meditate on the joys in your life, or get consolation for the sorrows,” said Heine. “It’s quiet and peaceful. The plants that were chosen seem to represent what Mary means to us. There’s a lot of meaning in plants chosen for the garden.”
“For each leg of the journey, Mother Mary kept us moving forward,” said Sarnecki in her speech at the dedication. “We are now extremely pleased to give to her, our church’s patron, this garden and rosary path that she asked for. We hope it brings peace and serenity to those who visit. As you sit in her presence, may you feel the loving peace of her Son.”