Special Issue - Prayer

It’s all in the (prayer) cards

by Joe Bollig

MARYSVILLE — Mary Ellen Wetter knows how to deal a pretty good hand with her cards.

Not the ones with hearts, clubs, spades and diamonds. Her cards are prayer cards.

Clipped from holy cards, magazines, newspapers (including The Leaven), emails or bulletins, Wetter pastes them on note cards, punches a hole in them, and clips them on a ring.

“I pray for my family and friends, and priest friends — I thank God for sending them into my life when I really needed them,” said Wetter, a member of St. Gregory Parish in Marysville.

It’s hard to say who doesn’t get prayed for by Wetter: clergy, religious, the sick, the elderly, the poor, the addicted, expectant mothers — you get the idea.

It takes a half-hour to get through all the cards in the morning.

But it doesn’t stop there. Wetter cleans along with “Living Faith,” a book of Catholic devotions. She reads the daily readings and an accompanying commentary.

“It’s a tiny book,” she said. “My sister picks it up from her parish in Hanover.”

Her all-purpose go-to prayer is the Hail Mary.

“You can’t go wrong with a Hail Mary,” she said.

“I pray the Hail Mary when I can my vegetables,” said Wetter. “Every time I say a Hail Mary, my cans almost always seal.”

She’s worn out numerous rosary CDs in her car’s player, and never fails to pray a Hail Mary when leaving the farm. She and her husband prayed two Hail Marys while planting trees for a windbreak.

“We managed to save over half the trees in that hot Kansas summer,” said Wetter. “The trees were not planted in good ground, so it’s probably a miracle any survived.”

Before they built their newer home, the Wetters had an old farmhouse with a wood stove — and no homeowner’s insurance. Instead, she relied on 25 years’ worth of Hail Mary installments.

“I’ve always said Hail Mary was my home insurance,” she said. “I’m just a Hail Mary enthusiast.”

About the author

Joe Bollig

Joe has been with The Leaven since 1993. He has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in journalism. Before entering print journalism he worked in commercial radio. He has worked for the St. Joseph (Mo.) News-Press and Sun Publications in Overland Park. During his journalistic career he has covered beats including police, fire, business, features, general assignment and religion. While at The Leaven he has been a writer, photographer and videographer. He has won or shared several Catholic Press Association awards, as well as Archbishop Edward T. O’Meara awards for mission coverage. He graduated with a certification in catechesis from a two-year distance learning program offered by the Maryvale Institute for Catechesis, Theology, Philosophy and Religious Education at Old Oscott, Great Barr, in Birmingham, England.

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