Extern Adventures Part I: Trenton's 18th Annual Rosary Mass

For 18 years the Diocese of Trenton's Altar Rosary Societies have held an Annual Rosary Mass in October, the month of the Rosary. This year the chair of the event was a good friend of our community, Dorothy O'Reilly, and she invited our extern sisters to be a part of the event, bringing their experience as Dominican nuns of Rosary Shrine to enrich the Rosarians' own devotion to the rosary. Before Mass Sr. Maureen led the rosary, while Sr. Mary Cecilia gave a talk on the Rosary at the brunch following. Below is Sr. Maureen's reflection on her experience of the event. More information and pictures from the event can be found here.


For anyone who loves the Rosary, and especially for Dominicans,  October 7th is a beautiful day no matter the place or weather.  For Sister Mary Cecilia and I, Externs at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rosary in Summit, New Jersey, this year’s celebration of our Titular Feast will be long remembered as a particularly special  day.  We drove down on a beautiful,  sunny Wednesday morning to Point Pleasant in Ocean County, having been invited by Dorothy O’Reilly, President of the Rosary Altar Society at the parish of Saint Peter’s, and the coordinator of ten other area parishes united for their annual celebration of the Feast.  There were 250 women there to pray the Rosary together, followed by a beautiful Eucharistic liturgy, with the Bishop of Trenton, David O’Connell, C.M. presiding, assisted by several pastors of the cooperating parishes and Franciscan Friars from the Friary at Saint Peter’s.  Bishop O’Connell related his experience of being told last Christmas Eve, lying in a hospital, that he probably “would not make it”, but he credits his mother’s prayers and Mary’s intercession through her Rosary for the fact he was there with us that day.

The Mass ended with a glorious rendition of  Our Lady of Knock by the cantor Eris O’Mahoney (with a brogue as Irish as her name).  Only a few dry eyes after that one!

All of us then proceeded to a lovely restaurant, the Old Mill Inn, for a great dinner (first steak I have had in a long time!), a delightful talk on the Rosary in her life by Sister Mary Cecilia, and a program of various Mysteries of the Rosary acted out by  several of the Society members- very well done, and the result of much effort on the part of Mrs. O’Mahoney and her helpers.

 I prevailed upon Dorothy, since we were  so close, to lead us down to the shore so we could see the ocean - something I have not enjoyed for many, many years. And Sister Mary Cecilia, from Saskatchewan, Canada hasn’t had much opportunity to walk the beach either.  Dorothy was kind enough to take us there, and we did indeed walk the beach and I was able to get a few pictures of the surf and sand.  We watched the surfers awhile, enjoyed the sun, talked to some of the beach combers - and then headed back to Summit, to share our day with our sisters back home. 

Mary, Queen of  the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.