Living the Faith: Arthur St. Germain

SHARON -- Arthur St. Gemain has a mission.

That mission -- to make and give away 10,000 rosaries. So, every day the 86-year-old makes as many as ten rosaries.

“Some of them are plastic and some are crystal,” he explained

“Every Sunday I take some and put them in a box that Father Scott (Euvrard) has placed in the back of the church,” he continued. “Anyone who wants a rosary can take one from there.”

He also gives one to everyone who is baptized, confirmed or married at his parish, Our Lady of Sorrows in Sharon.

Beyond the parish, he sends rosaries to Regis College and Stonehill College and he occasionally makes special, oversized rosaries for people with arthritis at the Lahey Clinic. Whenever he visits his daughter in Florida, he also brings close to 100 rosaries for her parish in Northport, Fla.

His only stipulation: that they be given away, never sold.

“I’m leaving something behind for others,” the World War II veteran said pensively. “If you leave something behind, then maybe somebody will remember you.”

St. Germain first got the idea to make the rosaries when he was working at the Boston College library as a security guard.

“I had the incentive to do it, but didn’t actually start making them until after I retired,” he said.

St. Germain credits his love of the rosary to his father, who instilled in him a great devotion to the Virgin Mary.

By his estimates, he has given away about 4,100 rosaries to date, nearly half his goal. Most of the recipients are people St. Germain doesn’t even know, but he doesn’t mind.

“Sometimes kids will write me notes after they get a rosary and they ask, ‘How come you give rosaries for free to people you don’t even know?’ And the reason is, that I want everyone else to feel the way I feel about my faith,” he said. “I pray that everyone can feel the way I feel about my faith.”

St. Germain was born in 1923 into a Catholic family. One of six children, he first faced tragedy when he was only eight: his mother passed away. He and his wife first became parishioners at Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in 1951, where they raised three children. St. Germain lost his wife to cancer in 1976.

“It’s sad because I know she would have loved the grandchildren now,” he said wistfully.

Looking back on his life, he is grateful that he was raised in a family that nurtured his faith.

“I’ve really enjoyed being a Catholic,” he said.

Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Sharon

Year established -- 1906

Pastor -- Father Scott A. Euvrard

Deacon -- Michael Iwanowicz

Business Manager -- Christine Muldoon

Coordinator of Religious Education -- Tami Ellis

Director of Youth Ministry -- Kerry Payson

Director of Buildings and Grounds -- Walter Major

Staff Associate -- Claire Ramsbottom