Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of January 29, 2007
Devout Catholics know prayer's power
Peace Prayer Group members celebrate its 25th anniversary
By BILL GLEN
A former board member of the WCR, Alf Garneau was 88 when he died in 1997.
And 95-year-old Marion Garneau still attends meetings when her health allows.
The group was originally named the Golden Age Group but changed the name hoping to attract younger members.
After 25 years, it now boasts some 40 members from about a half dozen parishes. Anywhere from 15 to 35 people attend each meeting.
The eldest member is Rita Buttiri, who will turn 99 in May. A former seamstress, Buttiri is an original member who still enjoys knitting and crocheting sweaters, caps and mittens with the Lions Club for schools, hospitals and the handicapped.
"I like to pray for my friends and for everybody," said Buttiri, who came to Canada from Italy in 1952.
The youngest is Zackary Best, 12. Best is home schooled by his mother Jocelyn. Because religious studies is part of the curriculum, the pair joined the group three years ago.
"Zackary loves all of the people here. When we get home, Zackary tells me how much he loves the group," Jocelyn said. "If I'm feeling kind of (down), sometimes he motivates me to come to a meeting."
Every week, the group prays the rosary with passages from the first two chapters of the Gospel of Luke.
Prayers are offered for the five joyful mysteries - annunciation, visitation, nativity, presentation and the finding of Jesus in the Temple.
Personal prayers are also said for the souls in purgatory and the health of friends and family; for those who do not pray or believe in God; for the homeless and those who do not have enough to eat.
They pray for vocations, peace and for the pope's intentions.
Margaret and Tony Senger have been members for 20 years. A retired salesman, Tony is a member of the Knights of Columbus. Margaret worked in the banking industry for 40 years. She is the group's archivist.
It was Tony's mother who invited the couple to join.
"We are determined to keep this group going," Margaret said.
Engley has a cousin who had given up hope that he would receive a new heart. The group prayed for him for almost 11 years when he got the call.
"He told me to forget it because twice they called him and the heart was no good. Once he was even prepared for surgery. It was very hard on him," Engley said.
"I told him he can do what he wants, but we will continue to pray. One morning, his wife called to say he had received a heart in the early morning hours. I started to cry."
Rosalie Haydak claims it was the group's prayers that saw her through an emergency heart operation while holidaying on a Mississippi River cruise.
She suddenly felt faint and became nauseous. Her heart was beating much too slowly, fewer than 30 beats per minute. She was rushed into surgery where a pacemaker was implanted to elevate her heart rate to normal.
"It was a miracle I made it through. It was because of their prayers," Haydak said.
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