by Joe Bollig
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Up at the crack of dawn (or before), Mary Pickering gets down to business — the business of prayer.
Setting her alarm a half-hour early for prayer is something she started five years ago after her husband died.
“It made me feel really at peace,” said Pickering, a member of St. Patrick Parish. “I thought this was a good idea, so I decided to do it every morning.”
Over the years she’s collected a stack of holy cards. Usually, there’s a prayer on the back, so she works her way through that, followed by the Divine Mercy chaplet.
“I pray for each one of my grandchildren individually,” she said.
In the daytime, while doing laundry at Arrowhead Middle School in Kansas City, Kansas, she finds odd bits of time to sneak in a prayer. She also works in the school cafeteria’s bread department and prays there, too.
When she gets home in the evening, she prays a rosary and says her night prayers.
“Praying was part of my grieving process,” said Pickering. “After a while, I said to myself, ‘Mary, this is a really good idea,’ so I prayed to Jesus to help me get through it. It makes me feel so much better, and I feel so much closer to God.
“It gives you a peace that you can’t explain,” she added.