BEND, Ore. - The rosary might be one of the more well-known elements of Catholicism.
Many Catholics use the jewelry beads to recite prayers.
One group in Bend has made thousands of them.
The Queen of Angels Rosary Makers is made up of more than a dozen people who have made and shipped tens of thousands of rosaries to every continent.
The group's organizer began making rosaries nearly 25 years ago.
When the rosary makers met for their monthly meeting, Fr. Thomas Scanlan, a retired priest, gave a blessing for nearly 600 rosaries that will be shipped throughout the world.
"It's a wonderful prayer. You can hold it in your hand," Scanlan said.
The group's members say they hope many will be able to hold one in their hands.
"I get a lot of peace and satisfaction in making rosaries," said Betty Walker.
It takes about 15 minutes to make a rosary. More than 50 beads are strung on a rosary that make up five sections.
The group gets together once a month to talk about how to raise money for supplies.
Each rosary costs about $1 to make.
"There are a dozen members, and we try as hard as we can, but of course we need funds to keep us afloat," Walker said.
The group receives many letters praising the work they do, like this letter from the Philippines:
"It says for ‘Our dear friends Queen of Angels Rosary Makers, thank you so much for the 200 colorful rosaries we received the other day in good condition."
And they make the rosaries all on their own time.
"I have a family, and I have to fit it in around other activities," said Kristine McLean.
But members say spreading their mission across the world is worth it.
Besides shipping them off to other countries, the group also places rosaries inside the historic St. Francis Church in downtown Bend for members to take.
They've become so popular that they've had to replace them frequently.
The church does not fund the ministry, which relies totally on the donations from the public.
If you are interested in making a donation, you can send it to:
Queen of Angels Rosary Makers
P.O. Box 5052
Bend, OR. 97708
Or email Betty Walker at email@example.com