Moline parishioners’ rosary group on Facebook Live draws hundreds to prayer
MOLINE — Deb Erickson would prefer that her name not be used in this story.
“Give God the glory,” she said.
But God has been active in her life. So perhaps he’ll understand if her name is used a few times to tell how she became a founding member of the CTK Rosary Group on Facebook, along with her friend Patty Scott, coordinator of religious education at Christ the King in Moline.
The rosary is live at 9:30 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and is recorded so people can view it later, if they wish. And they do — Erickson and Scott said it has drawn as many as 500 people, who watch it at all hours of the day and night.
“Especially now with the COVID crisis, we need people to feel — especially our elderly people — connected to the church and to have somebody to pray with.” — Patty Scott, coordinator of religious education at Christ the King Parish, Moline
Not bad for someone who had never used Facebook until April. A longtime member of Christ the King and former kindergarten teacher, Erickson said she felt called to join in order to watch Mass online when public Masses were suspended due to COVID-19.
Not long after that, Kim VanDeRostyne, facility coordinator at Christ the King, asked if she would help with a project to livestream a different family praying the rosary each day during the month of May. That was supposed to be the end of it, but the response was too great.
“I knew there was a need,” she told The Catholic Post. “I could see our country and our world hurting so badly.”
Erickson also talked to people who were considered high risk for the coronavirus and were afraid to come out of their house. In fact, they felt like they shouldn’t come back to church.
“So I asked my best friend, Patty, if she would help continue the rosary live,” she recalled.
“Absolutely,” Scott replied.
“Especially now with the COVID crisis, we need people to feel — especially our elderly people — connected to the church and to have somebody to pray with,” Scott said.
TOE IN THE DOOR
Both camera shy, Erickson and Scott focus their cellphones on a religious image of Mary, angels or a crucifix while they lead the rosary.
“As soon as I turn it on, people are tuning in,” Erickson said. “There are people waiting for it to come on, waiting to be able to pray, waiting for human contact.”
Viewers send prayer requests and tell of prayers answered.
“People I’ve talked to said, ‘I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, so I turned it on.’ That’s the neat thing about it being recorded and being on Facebook,” she said.
“People I’ve talked to said, ‘I couldn’t sleep in the middle of the night, so I turned it on.’ That’s the neat thing about it being recorded and being on Facebook.” — Deb Erickson
Scott, who lost her husband Tony, three years ago, said the rosary has been a source of consolation and peace for her, too.
“Mary held a lot in her heart. Mary pondered a lot of things,” she told The Post. “There’s not a day that goes by that I’m not pondering.”
As she raises her son alone, Scott said she leans heavily on Mary and the Lord for guidance. The rosary provides that.
“It’s a quiet time for me. It’s a time of reflection and pondering, being able to go to Mary without judgment,” she said. “It brings me a sense of peace.”
Erickson said leading the rosary on Facebook Live also calms her down as she spends that time with God.
Her goal is to give everyone that opportunity as they give glory to God and seek the intercession of Mary.
Erickson said she hopes it will connect and comfort people.
“I visualize it as a way for them to keep their big toe in the church door,” she said.
To find the rosary, visit CTK Rosary Group on Facebook.