By Mary Huber
The Mother’s Day Rose Sale is a project that started over 20 years ago at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Chino Hills. The day before Mother’s Day, members of the Respect Life Ministry joined then Director of Pro Life Catholic Ministries, Marie Widmann, to assemble rose bouquets in her living room.
It was an opportunity to honor mothers with a beautiful rose, while raising funds to help moms, dads and babies in difficult circumstances. Over the years, this humble but innovative idea has grown into a labor of love that has raised thousands of dollars for Pregnancy Counseling Centers and Maternity Homes. “May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalms 90:17). Currently over 40 parishes throughout all six vicariates of the Diocese participate in what originated from an idea that first surfaced in a coffee table conversation.
It’s a simple concept. Hundreds of volunteers from parishes throughout San Bernardino and Riverside counties work together as One Body of Christ. The day before, the florist’s truck arrives at 4 a.m. with thousands of roses, ferns and baby’s breath and they are greeted by members of the Knights of Columbus Council 13403 who help unload the precious cargo. It is divided into six sites and transported by drivers to the various vicariate locations throughout the Diocese.
“We are proud to be a part of the Mother’s Day Rose Sale. This is an excellent opportunity for us to show just how much we value our wives and mothers, while directly supporting the sanctity of human life,” said Nick Ewell, who with his brother Knights stays throughout the day, moving the process along. “Some of the best work we can do as Knights is in supporting Pregnancy Resources Centers, who provide critical assistance to women in crisis pregnancies. It’s well worth the 4 am show-up.”
Once again this year, we will be collectively assembling and distributing over 14,000 rose bouquets. It’s a “Sea of Roses” in honor of all mothers. If you see volunteers selling roses at your parish this Mother’s Day, please pick up a bouquet and be part of our Sea of Roses that provides life-saving help for babies in their most vulnerable stage of life.
Mary Huber is the Director of Respect Life and Pastoral Care Programs for the Diocese of San Bernardino.