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By Carissa Sitki
On Saturday, at noon, a group of Catholics gathered at a gazebo in Hardin to pray an Our Lady of Fátima rosary for America. The America Needs Fatima rosary rally has been taking place since 2007 and is held across the country each year on the closest Saturday to Oct. 13, since that is the anniversary of the Virgin Mary’s Miracle of the Sun in Fátima, Portugal.
Saturday’s rallies took place all over the country, with the goal of having 20,000 rosaries prayed during the time. The participants asked God to continue to bless and give America many graces.
Rosaries were prayed throughout Calhoun County, in addition to Hardin, including Brussels, Kampsville, and Batchtown, according to local organizer, Mary Ann Bailey.
A banner was draped over the side of the gazebo that read, “Praying the Rosary for America. Please join us! As human efforts fail to solve America’s key problems, we turn to God, through His Holy Mother, asking his urgent help.”
The rosary in Hardin was led by Terese Gerson and the prayer participants included Ralph Becker, Margaret A. Ringhausen, Cecilia Mueller, Bill Gerson, and Bailey.
Some of the Hardin attendees are members of a local rosary group that formed July 14, 2020, in response to an accident suffered by Calhoun Unit #40 teacher, Mark Baalman, who has since passed away.
“We’ve been praying rosaries every Wednesday, around 7, or 7:15 p.m., [at St. Norbert’s] since that day,” said group member, Gerson. “Everyone is welcome to join us.”
The entire month of October is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary since the Church’s liturgical feast of Our Lady of the rosary falls on Oct. 7.