Ann Winkle’s ministry Mary’s Way and her new book, “The Power of a Rose,” are bringing women together through their faith and prayer. Winkle said she witnessed a miracle when she was a young child. Now, decades later, she shares her family’s story with thousands of women across the nation.
“Thanks to my parents, I grew up with a deep faith in Jesus, and the Blessed Mother, and the Catholic church was instrumental in our lives. So, moving from state to state, I was blessed to be able to connect with a lot of different wonderful churches, ladies and retreats, but it wasn’t until I moved to Chicago in 2002, when my pastor asked me if I would go to a conference to represent our parish. It was there that I felt a strong call in my heart to start a women’s group for the Lord,” said Winkle.
She said she didn’t know what the ministry looked like, and she really had no interest in doing it at the time, but by the end of the day (during the retreat) she sensed a strong call to action, and she knew she had to do it. She went back to her parish and started Mary’s Way.
“I belonged to a parish of 800 families, and within the month, we had our first Mary’s Way, and about 100 women showed up. And, after that, by the grace of God, because I had no idea what was going to happen, or why I was starting the ministry, different women from different parishes would go home and say, ‘We need this in our parish.’ Then, it started spreading from state to state,” said Winkle.
She said women experienced a deepening of their faith and started praying more. They talked about it with their friends and in their parishes, and people started calling. So, Winkle established a website and offered to be the first speaker, each time a Mary’s Way is launched.
“I share a little more about how Mary’s Way got started, and tell the miraculous story of how God blessed my family when I was little, due to a miracle that He allowed in our family. Once I started telling that story,God has used it in beautiful ways. Eventually, people started saying,‘You’ve got to write a book.’ I did spend the past couple of years putting the book together, and it was just released this week,” said Winkle.
In 1966, pregnant with her 11th child, Rose Condit, Winkle’s mother, suffered a massive brain aneurism. The doctors at Mercy Hospital on the east side of Cincinnati warned Rose’s husband, James (Jim) that it was highly unlikely that his wife or the child would survive. Then,the widower in-waiting begged the doctor to save his wife, while close to 75 people kneeled in prayer in the hospital’s waiting room, praying The Rosary. Rose, who was 36 at the time, did survive and delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy, David, who also grew up to have 10 kids.
A newly formed Dayton chapter will join a second Ohio chapter that was established in 2016 in Willoughby, Ohio at Immaculate Conception Church. More than 80 women, from seven Dayton parishes will gather today for an inaugural Mary’s Way event, as Dayton becomes the 19th Mary’s Way chapter in the country, across four states. Winkle will be the featured speaker. Following the event, Winkle will host a book signing at 2 p.m., debuting her new book, “The Power of a Rose.”
“The Power of a Rose has a double meaning. My mother’s name was Rose, and the rose reflects The Rosary. So, it’s the power of The Rosary when we pray it, and then, the power of my mom’s life that impacted so many people, and brought so many people to God,” Winkle said.
Although the Mary’s Way luncheon event is at capacity, and tickets are no longer available, the public can meet Winkle at a book signing at The Golf Club at Yankee Trace at 10000 Yankee Street in Centerville, starting at 2 p.m.
More information on Winkle, Mary’s Way and The Power of a Rose can be found at www.mymarysway.com. Guidelines for starting a Mary’s Way chapter are also available on the site. Currently, there are Mary’s Way chapters in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and North Carolina. Eleven Mary’s Way chapters are located in the Indianapolis, Ind. area.