He’s doing his bit at Bucklands Southern Cross Care at North Plympton where he started six rosary groups just eight weeks ago and has already involved 50 of the home’s 147 residents on a regular basis.
Al, who is “nearly 90”, said he had been saying the rosary with a small group of residents in the chapel every Monday but decided he needed to “take it to the people” and began setting up daily sessions in each of the aged care home’s six dining rooms.
Numbers vary from day to day but some groups attract up to 12 residents and there’s no shortage of rosary beads with the Knights of the Southern Cross Edwardstown/Plympton branch donating more than 140 sets for the project.
A widower and father of Paul and Damian, Al said he wanted the home to be “like a family”.
“These are my brothers and sisters here,” he explained.
“So when we’re in the dining room why wouldn’t we say the rosary, like our mums and dads used to in their homes at the end of a meal.
“I would love to see a rebirth of the rosary, it’s simple and peaceful and it’s good for all ages but especially the elderly.
“I think there should be a vocation for people to volunteer to lead the rosary in aged care homes.”
Al leads the recitation of the rosary decades and has been “blown away” at times when he sees residents who never speak mouthing the rosary.
Others have told him they can’t remember the words but Al said they soon picked them up again and he has printed a ‘Bucklands Family Rosary’ sheet for people to follow.
“They rarely say it in unison but at least they are saying it,” he said.
Al has long been a devotee of the rosary and Venerable Fr Patrick Peyton CSC, the Irish-American priest who became famous for championing the power of prayer with his mantra ‘the family that prays together stays together’ and for travelling the world with Family Rosary Crusades.
In fact, Al was present when Fr Peyton prayed the rosary at Adelaide Oval in 1953 on his Australian crusade.
“He’ll be a saint soon,” he said of Fr Peyton who was bestowed the title of venerable by Pope Francis in December 2017.Jump to next article