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10/14/2012 12:49:00 PM
Reader recalls giant rosary during pilgrimage
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Pilgrims walk past Holy Rosary Church in Crooked Finger.
Catholic Sentinel photo by Gerry Lewin
Pilgrims walk past Holy Rosary Church in Crooked Finger.

To the Catholic Sentinel:

It is always a delight to pick up the Catholic Sentinel and read it cover to cover. When I turned to the photograph of the Holy Rosary Mission, I thought, surely that could not be the same rosary I helped to place so long ago, around 1959-’60. I read down to “A former state senator made a 145-foot rosary of fishing floats that was posted in a grove near the church, which still hosts the annual August pilgrimage.”

Yes, indeed, it is the same rosary!

The state senator was Andrew Naterline.

As I recall, at the 8 a.m. Sunday Mass, a truck was parked on the front lawn at Sacred Heart, Newport, belonging to Dan Bonn. Spilling out of the back were fishing floats and a big float cross. Fr. L. Rodakowski blessed the rosary, and a group of people were going to deliver it to the Crooked Finger chapel. Esther Munk and I decided to join the group, so we picked up our camera and met somewhere in Scott Mills. Some of the group didn’t make it or changed their minds.

Mr. Bonn and Mr. Naterlin led, followed by Cal and Theresa Martin with twin teenage daughters, Rita and Rose. We were met at the chapel with a small gathering of people and Fr. Melchoir. The rosary was arranged, Father blessed it, and Andy led the rosary. We returned home.

Andy also made several other rosaries and one has a history to tell: stolen, recovered, restored, it came to light at our church picnic on Aug. 11.

Andy did all this with two glass eyes. Early in his youth an injury to his eyes blinded him He was a businessman, mayor of Newport and organizer of the first Knights of Columbus, Lincoln County Council.

Just a bit of history. I was happy to see the rosary is still in use.

Rose Troxel

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