The St. Mary Rosary Garden was begun in the spring of 1998 by the volunteers from our parish gardening group, the Gardening Angels, whose mission is to beautify the parish grounds. The Gardening Angels dream was to create a quiet place of outdoor beauty for the enjoyment, prayer, and reflection of our parishioners as well as the enjoyment of visitors to our parish.
The custom walkway on the east side of the garden was created by pouring and stamping a design into the concrete. Our rosary walk was created by first pouring the main portion of the concrete, leaving openings for each "bead" of the rosary. A second color was them poured to symbolize each Hail Mary prayer bead of the rosary, and a third color "bead" to represent each Our Father prayer, was poured to complete the rosary.
The crucifix of the rosary was designed by a local artist. To achieve a stained-glass effect, different colors of concrete were used.
A Special Dedication The Gardening Angels felt it fitting to dedicate the garden to a group of woman who have given so much to our parish for so many years - the Sisters of Christian Charity (SCC). Since 1874, over 180 Sisters have dedicated their lives to teaching several generations of children in Westphalia.
The garden is located on the same land that the Sisters' previous convent stood for many years. Many of us can recall seeing the Sisters strolling, in morning or evening prayer, along the sidewalk that was directly in back of the old convent to the west.
The dedication of the garden took place on a picture-perfect day, Sunday, August 15, 1999 - the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Mother. Bishop Kenneth Povish, Fr. James Schmitt, Fr. Denis Spitzley, Monsignor Sylvester Fedewa, and Fr. William Ashbaugh concelebrated the Mass. Deacon Bernard Pohl assisted. Special guests were members of the SCC, Sisters Mary Helen Beck, Marina Bengal, Agnette Bengal, Caroline Schafer, Angelica Hengesbach, Myra Beltz, Pauline Schafer, and Carol Ghionzili.
Following the Mass, many parishioners took part in a rosary procession around the parish grounds, ending in the garden where Bishop Povish led prayers of dedication, and unveiled and blessed the statue of Blessed Pauline von Mallinckrodt foundress of the Sisters of Christian Charity. After the dedication ceremony, a luncheon was held in the parish activity center, where memories and history of the SCC were shared.
Without the donations of materials by area businesses, money from generous parishioners, and many, many hours of labor by volunteers, this project would not have been possible. May God bless you all for your generosity.