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Dear Friends,
Our dear and holy Fr. Peter Rookey has gone to his eternal reward. Father passed away in his sleep last night at the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago. Father is the reason Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry was born. It's necessary to get a bit of background information to help you better understand. Everyone has a Fr. Rookey story; this one is ours.
Our reversion journey was ramped up considerably when we began to care for Fr. Rookey as he came to St. Louis every month for First Saturday. We had attended a couple of his healing masses when we were approached by his worker at the time and asked if we take over her job as it was too much for her. She was getting advanced in age and just knew that we were the ones to fulfill the role. 
Many people were not happy with us for assuming this role as we were newbies AND we lived 90 minutes away. There were many long standing faithful followers of Fr. Rookey who had been attending the services for years who lived right in St. Louis. Wouldn’t it make more sense to ask one of them...? But no, Our Lady and Her Spouse, the Holy Spirit, chose us through their servant, Geneva Davis. Every First Saturday Father would celebrate mass at the Basilica in Chicago in the morning and would then fly into St. Louis Saturday evening. He would then go to St. Norbert’s in north county and have another mass and healing service and then on Sunday go to Mary, Queen of the Universe in south county to celebrate another healing mass in the afternoon and then return back to Chicago. With that being said, we would go to St. Norbert’s on Saturday early evening and set up all of the items for sale from Father’s ministry; 7 Sorrows CDs, his books, rosaries, etc. We would be in the vestibule of the church greeting everyone who came for the healing mass and attending to their purchases and donations. Mass would be celebrated with a healing service and witnessing to the miracles that took place.  We would then try to protect Father from the throngs and whisk him off to south St. Louis to Seven Holy Founders Rectory for him to spend the night.  We would come home to Vandalia that night and then go back the next morning
and have coffee with him in the rectory.  From there, we started our rounds of the many people who had called to have Father come
and bless them, pray for them and hope for a miracle.  So off we would go to people's homes, hospitals & emergency rooms
for Father to anoint the many sick and suffering.  We would then take him to south St. Louis to pray the Servite Rosary and celebrate mass and have the healing service.  We would set up the same things in their vestibule to sell for Father’s ministry.  

After the healing service and witnessing was complete, we would scoop him up again and take him to the airport to fly back to Chicago Sunday night. Each time at the airport we would get out of the vehicle to say goodbye and afterward he would “tuck us in”(close the car doors for each of us)and then say to us, “You kids go straight home now!”  He would then stand at the drop off point at the departing flights and wave with two fingers until we were out of sight.
This was forever known as “Fr. Rookey Weekend”.  Our families knew that when the First Saturday of the month came, we were not going to be home.  In the years that we did this, we only missed one weekend due to a family emergency. 
This ministry that we did for Fr. Rookey’s ministry was the greatest grace we could imagine.  As the years have gone on, we came to realize more and more what a miracle this was for us.
The miracles we witnessed and the love that Fr. Rookey embodied taught us more about ministry than we could ever hope to know.
He had a relationship with the Blessed Mother that was so powerful and so strong you could feel it emanating from his very soul.
We have loved Fr. Rookey since the first time our eyes fell upon his holy face of Love.
Even after Father’s ministry ended in terms of public healing services and his phone ministry continued, we were always in contact.  We would visit him regularly at his office and he would come to some of our retreats and 
our annual conference every year.  We also kept in contact by phone and he went on pilgrimage with us to the Holy Land in 2009.
Several years ago Father gave us many of the relics of his priesthood right down to his original habit and traveling mass kit he had worn and used for fifty plus years all over the world. 
Father was 97 years old and a priest for 73 years.  He would have been 98 in October.  How special that he was taken in the month of Our Sorrowful Mother, but who would be surprised by that? 

Our prayer is that the Servite Order will commit his soul to Heaven on the Feast of Our Sorrowful Mother on Monday, September 15th.  Please pray for this intention with us.
Father loved the Sorrowful Mother and the Church more than anything in the world.  He was completely faithful and was an obedient servant to a fault. 

He was our father, grandfather, brother and dear friend, but most of all, he was just Love from head to foot inside and out.
Our ministry was borne out of his holy priesthood and we will be forever grateful and honored for this great grace that God chose to bestow upon us.
We love you Father now and always.  You go straight home now!
Dedicated to Father Peter Mary Rookey and the sacrifices and sufferings he bore for so many.
With abundant love and gratitude,
Debbie & Vanessa

Call or Email NOW!
Mariann Timmermann (618) 292-8039
Ann Stock (618) 267-3876
via email (Vanessa)
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List of 2014 Events

July 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014 - For a current list of upcoming retreats and other events scheduled for the remainder of 2014, please visit this page.


Mary's Perfect Faith-Feast Day of Our Lady of LaSalette and St. Januarius

September 19-20, 2014 - WE WILL BE HOSTING THIS RETREAT. It will be led Msgr. Stuart Swetland. He will be joined by members of the Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. of Penance of The Sorrowful Mother.


Come and experience the Joy and Love of the Betania Family at our 17th Annual Conference

October 31-November 2, 2014 - This conference will be one of our best ever! Register early to reserve a seat. We welcome Bishop Paprocki, Fr. Peter Prusakiewicz, Joseph Pearce and the Apostles of the Interior Life along with family members of Servant of God, Maria Esperanza.


Strengthening and Healing Souls

November 21-23, 2014 - We are thrilled to travel to the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau and hold a powerful 3-day conference. Come and renew your faith and restore your hope.