Every month is her month of the rosary

By Monica Sawyn | For The Compass | September 25, 2013

Since 1997, Renier makes at least 25 rosaries each week for Catholic missions

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]STURGEON BAY — Some people make an effort to say a rosary a day. Lucille Renier makes nearly half a dozen a day, by hand, bead by bead, and says it’s no effort at all.

Lucille Renier (Monica Sawyn | For The Compass)
Lucille Renier (Monica Sawyn | For The Compass)

Renier has been making rosaries for the missions since 1997, a year after her husband Roy died. She brings them to church before Mass each weekend, and they are forwarded to the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of Green Bay.

“I asked them how many they need, and they told me, ‘as many as you can make,’” Renier said. She makes at least 25 or 30 every week, working mornings and evenings.

“I never get tired of it,” she said.

Most of the rosaries end up heading for the missions.

“One lady from our church went on a mission trip and she took some of the rosaries I made,” Renier said. “She gave them to the mothers and the little kids — and right away the kids put them around their necks.” The woman took a photo for Renier, who said it was fun to see her rosaries in the hands of people so far away.

In her quiet way, Renier is giving witness to her Catholic faith. She buys the beads at a local pharmacy, where they’re aware of her hobby and have agreed to keep the beads in stock. She buys the other supplies through Our Lady’s Rosary Makers and the Autom church supply catalogue. She puts the rosaries together in the activity room of the apartment building where she lives, surrounded by other residents, many not Catholic, who are curious about this Catholic sacramental.

“One lady asked me to make her a special one — but she didn’t want a medal or a crucifix on it because she’s Lutheran,” Renier. Still, she wanted a rosary.

Renier makes rosaries in various colors out of plastic beads strung on white cord. She probably gets the most questions about the “world mission rosary,” which she learned about in an article that appeared in “The Compass” on Oct. 5, 2012.

Each decade is a different color, and the article explained the meaning: green for the forests and grasslands of Africa; blue for the oceans around the Pacific Islands; white for Europe, the seat of the Holy Father; red for the fire of faith that brought the missionaries to the Americas; and yellow for the morning light of the east, for the Asian countries. (For more information: www.worldmissionrosary.com)

“I studied the picture (that went with the article) and learned how to order the colors,” Renier said.

She also makes copies of the article and passes them out to whoever is interested.

Renier’s devotion to the rosary was something she learned from her parents, who prayed it together often. In fact, she’s not the first person in her family to make rosaries. Her father, the late Clarence Servais, carved large wooden beads and assembled two huge rosaries, perhaps five feet long, as gifts. One of them hangs over Renier’s bed.

It was after her husband’s death, “when I had nothing to do,” that Renier visited Holy Name of Mary in Maplewood and happened to meet the woman who taught her how to make rosaries. In turn, Renier teaches others. She has given demonstrations at her own parish, at Corpus Christi Parish and The Gathering, an assisted-living home, both in Sturgeon Bay.

Her most interesting student, however, is a Forestville woman who lost her sight in a car accident. Renier taught her how to make the rosaries, and the woman’s husband and children help her keep the beads sorted so she doesn’t mix the colors. Volunteers from Holy Name of Mary make sure she has a supply of beads, and get the rosaries to the Catholic Foundation for her.

“I really liked working with her,” Renier said.

Renier often prays while working on her rosaries, as long as there aren’t any distractions. If she works on them in her apartment, she leaves the television off. If she brings her supplies to the building’s community room, she prays if no one else is there.

Renier has given rosaries to friends and to pastors, but there’s one more person she hopes to share a rosary with.

“I want to send one to Pope Francis,” she said. A mission rosary, of course, for the spiritual father of all nations.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_message color=”alert-info”]Your Catholic Neightor

Name: Lucille Renier

Parish: St. Joseph, Sturgeon Bay

Age: 87

Favorite saint: Thérèse of Lisieux[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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