Rosary Group

 that he thought the group was “a little cheesy” when he began attending, but he was quickly won over. He said there’s a sense of a “common mission” among the teens who attend, which he described as enormously helpful during people’s formative years.

Member Clare Klostermann, who graduated from Beckman in May, said she thought prayer groups were a thing for “old ladies” before she became involved.

“But it’s so much more,” Klostermann said. “The more you participate, the more you get out of it.”

Beckman sophomore Carter Shaull said one reason he regularly attends the meetings is because Huberty is so willing to let the teens take charge — in a distinctly teenage way.

“For the Fourth of July, we said a patriotic rosary,” Shaull said, adding that some of his first friends in high school were ones he made in prayer group.

Huberty said she felt called to start the prayer group after completing a 1989 pilgrimage to Medjugorje in then-Yugoslavia. A small mountain village, Medjugorje is where six Herzegovinian youth began reporting apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the early 1980s.

Though the Catholic Church doesn’t officially recognize the reported apparitions, Catholics throughout the world have traveled to Medjugorje to pray at the site. Several of the original children who described apparitions still report them daily, and the site has spurred calls within the church for a renewal of the Catholic youth through prayer.

For Huberty, the call was sudden and urgent, and it initially unsettled her family.

“I went through a real conversion and a real awakening of my faith,” Huberty said. “It really shocked my family.”

Huberty described her “reawakening” as temporarily driving a wedge between her and her two grown children, though it eventually eased.

At Medjugorje, Huberty said pilgrims are urged to start prayer groups, and she felt particularly compelled to offer one for teenagers. With the help and encouragement of the Rev. Gabe Anderson, Huberty began the prayer group, news of which was spread by word-of-mouth.

“I stuck with the youth because I felt that’s where I was really called,” Huberty said. “It has really been fruitful. Those young kids are so eager and so hungry if they’re given the chance. They’re the cream of the crop.”

As the group celebrated 25 years last week, former members also remembered their prayer group days fondly.

“I think it was 1990 when I was ‘dropped off’ at prayer group,” remembered Sara Smith Kohl. “I was young, angry and obviously needing some Mary in my life.”

Through the prayer group, Kohl said she learned how to say the rosary, and how to pray in general.

“I finally found myself,” Kohl said.