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Our Lady of the Holy Rosary: Bringing Together the Christian Community of Rochester

By Elisha Neubauer

Whether you are new to the Seacoast area of New Hampshire or are a long-time resident, you'll always find an open door at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. Together with its twinned parish, St. Leo's Parishes, the church serves approximately 1,800 families in the local community. The two parishes, combined under pastoral and administrative means, have become a source of spiritual and community support for their members. Parishioners of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary and St. Leo's parishes are strongly encouraged to bring the practice of their beliefs in love of God and of neighbor into the community through programs, missions, or other community activities.

The St. Leo's church is a quaint wooden structure- an ode to the churches of an earlier time period. The small, aged church houses the St. Leo's Catholic Children's Center in its basement, and also serves as a gathering space for pot-luck luncheons and other activities. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, however, is a modernized structure which offers many amenities for its parishioners' use; including a large function hall, teaching classrooms, a free-loan library, and a bookstore, as well as a perpetual Adoration Chapel where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks of the year except for the Triduum prior to Easter Sunday.

The combined parishes support and engage the community in many ways. They participate in the Share program and volunteer at the Homeless shelter. Parishioners visit the elderly or volunteer in local schools. "Recently, we began the program ALPHA, a twelve week program which explains the Christian faith," says Rita Pender, Pastoral Minister of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary. "We are also very involved in supporting Catholic Charities of New Hampshire, an organization which is called to help those in need whether it is through counseling or those encountering financial troubles."

Pender goes on, detailing several other exciting programs being instituted by the church. "Another wonderful program which has recently begun is 'Run for God,' a twelve week course which is offered in the summer to prepare people for the physical encounter with walking/running events that also trains the soul of the participant." The church also sponsors the Troop 186 Venturing Crew of the Boy Scouts of America. This crew is for men and women, ages 14-20, who wish to pursue growth in leadership and have fun- all while carrying out the belief in loving one's neighbor. This crew not only participates in usual scouting activities, but focuses on volunteering in the community.

"Our faith is based on the principle which Jesus left us: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation,'" says Pender. "As a Roman Catholic community, our first responsibility is to witness to the love of God for all people."

Stay tuned for an exciting new addition to their website--live streaming of weekend and daily Holy Masses!

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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