The way Linda Benson sees it, there were several good reasons for recently hosting a special rosary recitation at her home.
For starters, she noted the Catholic Church’s emphasis on rosary devotion in October and that Oct. 13 was the 100th anniversary of the final apparition of the Blessed Mother in the Portuguese community of Fatima. On a personal level, she also wished to acknowledge the 10-year mark of a joyous occurrence — the healing of her daughter from cancer — that had led her family to erect an outdoor grotto of Mary on their farm’s property in 2008.
“Erika is cancer-free, and we’re grateful for that,” said Benson, a member of Groton’s St. Anthony Church.
Approximately 15 people from St. Anthony gathered at the grotto on the afternoon of Oct. 7, the feast day of Our Lady of the Rosary. Father Daniel Ruiz-Sierra, parochial administrator, blessed the statue of Mary and led participants in the rosary and other prayers.
“The sun came out and it was a very nice day,” Benson said.
Rosary-related events also occurred in October at the two other Tompkins County churches that are clustered with St. Anthony. Father Ruiz-Sierra guided participants through a contemplation rosary Oct. 2 at All Saints Church in Lansing, and faith-formation children and their families led a Living Rosary Oct. 15 at Holy Cross Church in Dryden.
Those events were among many Southern Tier activities noting October as a month devoted to Mary, as well as Respect Life Month. Among the other events:
• The pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima was on display Oct. 7-21 at St. Paul of the Cross Church in Honeoye Falls, with the rosary being prayed every weekday. The statue also was present at a rosary rally Oct. 14 that was dedicated to Kathleen Worboys, longtime rally organizer, who died July 5.
• Numerous other public rosary rallies took place Oct. 14 to honor the Fatima apparitions’ 100th anniversary. The rosaries were organized by St. John the Evangelist in Newark Valley, St. Casimir in Elmira, St. Mary Our Mother in Horseheads, Immaculate Conception in Ithaca and Our Lady of the Valley Parish in Hornell. In addition, a public rosary was held Oct. 15 at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Painted Post.
• An icon of the Blessed Virgin of the Immaculate Conception was presented to Ithaca’s Immaculate Conception Parish by the Knights of Columbus during a Holy Hour Oct. 7. Also at the parish, a rosary was prayed each Monday and Thursday of October and the Knights of Columbus held a rosary service Oct. 29 as well.
• A Living Rosary took place Oct. 11 at St. Patrick Church in Mount Morris, and all churches of Livingston County’s St. Luke the Evangelist Parish — of which St. Patrick is a part — held rosary recitation before Masses during October.
• The rosary was prayed before Masses in October at St. John Vianney Parish in Bath and Hammondsport.
• A novena to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, begun Oct. 9, is continuing each Monday through Dec. 4 at 6:30 p.m. at St. Mary Church, Corning.
• Staff members from Life Choice Center, a local pregnancy resource center, spoke with parishioners of Blessed Trinity/St. Patrick parishes in Tioga County after Masses Oct. 7-8. Also at the Tioga parishes, youth-group members did “spiritual adoptions” through which they prayed for babies in danger of being aborted; a Living Rosary was held Oct. 3 at St. James Church, Waverly; and rosaries for peace took place Oct. 22 and 29 at St. John the Evangelist, Newark Valley.
• The 40 Days for Life fall campaign in Ithaca began Sept. 27 and will conclude Nov. 5. Constant prayer to end abortion is taking place daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. across from Planned Parenthood at 620 W. Seneca St.