BY:  SHEA MCKEEFREY, GR. 6

ST. FRANCIS de SALES CATHOLIC ACADEMY

Jennifer Forrester, my aunt, has been a member of the Altar and Rosary Society for two years at Our Lady Blessed Sacrament Parish in Bayside, Queens.   She is one of the youngest members of this parish. She is an example to me of service and leadership. 

I have always wondered, what do members of an Altar Rosary Society do? The main purpose of this society is to spread devotion to Mary and recite the rosary. Forrester said, “We pray the rosary, pray for sick people in our community, and host hospitality events and fundraisers.” Once a month they meet at the church parish center, school auditorium, or cafeteria depending on the availability that week. They begin every meeting praying the rosary.  The officers on the rosary board each give a summary of any new or old business to be discussed. Their executive board includes Madelene Wrezec as president, Eileen Baginski as vice president, Peggy Devine as secretary and Pat Buchholz as the treasurer. They also discuss any upcoming events or new ideas to raise money. Forrester states, “I joined to get involved in my church, give back to the community and feel closer to God.”

To raise money, once a month they have a hospitality event or bake sale after the family mass. Many of their events have themes.  In October, they held an Italian night. At Christmas time they had an international food and entertainment night. They involved the youth of the community by inviting the cheerleaders and young Irish step dancers. They had a dance routine with older Rosarians and young girls from the parish.  Forrester’s daughter, Madeline, was a part of this event. Their parish priest, Father Bob, makes many guest appearances at these fun events. This past March they had a fashion show featuring wedding dresses through the years. Women donated their wedding dresses. Dresses dated back as old as the 1930’s to as new as 2018. The parish Communion girls also made a guest appearance at this event showing off their Communion dresses.  They raise money for the school and parish by having bake sales and selling raffle tickets at the many dinner events. Some money is also used to host events for the parish community.

She joined with four of her friends that she met through her children, Olivia, Madeline, and Steven Forrester. Her friends that she joined with are Pamela Long, Eileen Maloney, Nicole LeGuernic and Karen Brosi. Forrester’s grandmother was apart of the Altar Rosary Society at OLBS for many many years before her passing. This was a big reason that she decided to join the group.  Forrester enjoys listening to other people who knew her grandmother tell stories about her. She feels closer to her grandmother, my great-grandmother, Marie McKeefrey. Forrester said, “Praying the rosary helps her to feel calm when life can be so hectic.” Working full time and running around with three kids can sometimes make you lose sight of what is important. The few minutes it takes to pray can help calm you, reflect, and remember that God is always with us.