Maplewood women make jail rosaries
MAPLEWOOD - Members of Holy Name of Mary Parish in Maplewood are doing their best to put the rosary on the lips and into the hands of every prison inmate.
Their efforts began in September 1997, when women of the parish made and mailed 150 rosaries. The following month, they made and mailed 300 rosaries and the number has increased each month since then. Now, 4½ years later, they have made and mailed a total of 20,381 rosaries.
Their work began after Fr. Wilbert Buhl, pastor, urged the parish Spiritual Life Committee to get involved with prison ministry, so committee members decided to make rosaries and send them to prisoners.
Linda Soukup helped parishioners start the prison ministry. She also made the banner the rosary makers use.
The committee sends the rosaries to Charles Nichols at Houlton, who, in turn, sends them where they
are needed. Nichols, a former prison guard in the Minnesota State Prison System, started by giving
rosaries to eight prisons. He is now providing rosaries to more than 500 prisons in the United States and
other countries through what they call the "Prison Rosary Gang."
The Maplewood parishioners also collect and send Nichols scapulars, medals, prayer cards, booklets,
crucifixes, and Catholic readings. He sends them out free of charge, so several times the parish has sent
him money to meet his postal expenses.
From January until April, the committee mails their rosaries to Mother Angelica at EWTN in Alabama
because Nichols goes South for the winter because of his health.
Most recently, the committee sent 1,000 rosaries to the Shepherds of Christ at Clearwater, Fla.
The women who make the rosaries at Holy Name Parish are Virgil Doell, Agnes Engelbert, Sharon
Engelbert, Marie Euclide, Bea Guilette, Joyce Klaubauf, Bea Pavlik, Diane Renier, Lucille Renier, Jean
Schmitz and Marion Wery.