Submitted by Kathy Poupart | Pastoral Associate, St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish
What do karate, social media, piano, snowboarding, and crafting have to do with the Rosary? If you met sixth-grader Emilie Fancett of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish in Chadwicks, you would understand. Each of these skills, talents, and likes make up the fullness of Emilie’s life.
While growing in her faith, Emilie received a red rosary and a book of prayers at Vacation Bible School four years ago. This sparked Emilie’s curiosity, because she is new to the Catholic faith. With her mother’s help, she learned about the rosary and how to pray it. Emilie loved the idea of this prayer full of mysteries and a focus on Mary’s intercession with her Son. She loved it so much that she wanted to share it with others. Two years ago, Emilie began to think about various ideas for a rosary campaign. With the guidance of her grandfather and mother, Emilie enthusiastically developed the “God Gives A Rosary” campaign.
The main focus of the campaign is to encourage parishioners to donate extra rosaries that they are not using so that the rosaries can be distributed to others within her parish and throughout the community. In the vestibule of St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish, there is a newly renovated statue of Mary, a bowl for rosaries, and coloring sheets and booklets on how to pray the Rosary. Emilie posted on social media about her “God Gives A Rosary” campaign, and some of her classmates began to ask about the rosary or they requested a rosary. Emilie hopes to collect a multitude of rosaries so that she can also distribute them to chaplains in local hospitals, nursing homes, jail ministries, and possibly to international groups with a similar mission.
On Friday, March 8, the third-, fourth-, and ninth-graders of the parish led a rosary as a Lenten Reflection. The sanctuary was illuminated by tealights representing each bead and prayer. Emilie and her brother, Isaiah, participated. Emilie loved this parish event so much that she hopes that it will become a continued tradition involving more of the parish children.
There is a fullness to Emilie’s life that is rooted in prayer and faith. She serves as a model of what we can all accomplish in this world with faith in God, a willingness to say “Yes” when God calls, and the perseverance to develop an idea. There are times when we may think that we are not capable of doing great things for God, but we all can do small things for God in a very great way. The most surprised at the success of this effort is Emilie!
Editor’s note: If you have a rosary you’d like to donate to the campaign, you may send it to Emilie’s attention at St. Patrick – St. Anthony Parish, 3364 Oneida St., P. O. Box 429, Chadwicks, N.Y. 13319.