Finding Healing through the Rosary

05-14-2017Encountering ChristJudy Dreher

I still have my rosary beads from 2nd grade. I learned to pray the rosary at an early age since I attended Catholic school. My mother was also very devoted to the rosary, praying it diligently after the death of my four-year old brother. She found peace and comfort amidst her heartache by reciting the prayers and through entrusting herself to Our Lady. I carried this awareness with me.

When I was in my early 20's I was a big partier. I was involved in a drunk driving accident which left me paralyzed from the neck-down. A few years later I realized it was alcoholism and have been sober for the last 24 years. I had always been very active so being paralyzed forced me to be still and to start thinking. My fiancé at the time could not deal with this tragedy and so broke off our engagement. Amidst my suffering, I went back to what I had known as a child—that Mary was my mother and that the rosary was a powerful prayer. I remembered how my mother had gone to Mary when she was in need and so I began to pray, hoping to receive peace and comfort. Eventually after much prayer and therapy, I was able to walk again and to return to work.

Slowly, the rosary began to transform my life. I worked on the New York Stock Exchange trading floor. Before work I would attend the 8am daily Mass at Our Lady of Victories. While at Mass, I recognized a few familiar faces from work. I formed a rosary group among my co-workers, which met every Tuesday. I felt drawn to bring God into this most unlikely of places—my work-place. Additionally, I felt inspired to start a rosary society at St. Ann's Parish in Hoboken.

I experienced a great deal of emotional pain from my accident and was closed off to the idea of marriage. After praying the rosary for some time, I felt an openness and even a desire to be married and to have a son. Shortly after making this prayer, I met my husband Frank, a widower with a 13--year old son named Matthew. We were engaged quickly and Matthew immediately started calling me Mom. Both Frank and I have always felt that God brought us together to bring our little family closer to God.

In 2004 Frank and I traveled to Lourdes, France with the parish. From this pilgrimage, my love of the rosary was deepened further. As a result of our pilgrimage I decided to start a rosary group. The group meets every Monday night at our house and still takes place to this day. There have been so many miracles because of the rosary group. God has used the rosary to bring healing, comfort, and peace to me and to my family. Through the rosary, I have experienced Mary as my Mother and she has taught me how to be a mother for my son Matthew.