Can you describe your relationship with Jesus?
A big a-ha moment for me happened during RCIA in 2014. I started RCIA in preparation for my wedding, but I was still discerning if it was something I wanted to do or not. I remember them asking us, “Who do you say that Jesus is?” As I thought about it and listened to everyone’s thoughts, it dawned on me that if Jesus really was God, and the Catholic Church was the Church he started, then I want to do everything he says, and believe everything he says, no questions asked. I realized that I had “believed in God” all my life but wasn’t doing what he asked me to do. I wasn’t worshiping him and I wasn’t praying. I realized that I wanted to be “all in.” I wanted all of God’s grace and wanted to give him all of my love. How could I not after everything he had given me? Best decision of my life.
What are your biggest Catholic influences today?
Fr. Mike Schmitz. His podcasts and homilies inspire me and teach me so much. I’m grateful for his work. I’m about halfway through “The Bible in a Year” and just started “Catechism in a Year,” both podcasts hosted by Fr. Mike. This is thanks to my mother-in-law, Lynn. When she started “The Bible in a Year,” she kept insisting I start it. I’m glad she was persistent because it’s amazing.
Tell me about your Etsy store, Bay View Rosary. When and why did you start it?
My oldest son showed some interest in praying the Rosary with me a few years ago. He would frequently ask me, “What bead are we on?” To stop and count his beads was slow and frustrating for me. I’m a teacher and my teacher’s brain started to think of ways to help him stay on the right bead. I started searching online for “numbered rosaries” but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was surprised. I decided to make a prototype. I had no idea how to make a rosary and used string, which wasn’t the best choice. Through some YouTube tutorials, I taught myself how to make a chain-linked rosary and had so much fun I haven’t stopped. My Etsy shop was born, and I think I’ve made close to 100 rosaries since I started in 2021. https://www.etsy.com/shop/BayViewRosary
What is unique about your rosaries?
The original Bay View Rosary is numbered. I use numbered beads for the Hail Marys so young kids can count along. Additionally, each decade is a different color. The idea is you could say “yellow 5” and get all of your kids back to the same bead without having to fumble with everyone’s beads. I make non-numbered rosaries, too. I enjoy making custom requests. One young girl was admiring my rosaries and suggested I make a “mini rosary,” so now I make a lot of one-decade rosaries thanks to her idea!
What has the customer response/reaction been?
Customers have told me that they’ve thought of this idea. I think they must be moms, too, who have tried praying a rosary with their young kids. I’ve been able to help fix my friends’ broken rosaries and make custom rosaries for special occasions. One elderly woman received my rosary as a gift. In exchange for the rosary, she gave me a handwritten note of thanks and a hand-knotted rosary her mother had made for her. That was very special for me. I never imagined that my rosaries would mean so much to people. But I know, it’s not really my rosary it’s our Blessed Mother’s.
How are you involved with South Shore Parishes Respect Life?
It is a small group of just four of us from our cluster parishes who try to keep cultivating a culture of life in our parishes. In addition to other activities, we are implementing Walking With Moms in Need, an initiative started by the USCCB for parishes. Contact SouthShoreParishesRespectLife@gmail.com to contact us or get involved.
What do you like to do for fun?
I like to spend time with my dad. He was diagnosed with brain cancer last year, and we’ve been spending a lot of time together. It’s been an amazing blessing during a difficult time. I would appreciate all of your prayers for a miracle for my dad, Jeff.
What’s one way you’ll observe Lent and why?
I plan to attend daily adoration. I did this during Advent, per the suggestion of Fr. Mike Schmitz in one of his homilies. I really enjoyed it, but I missed some days. I’m hoping to try it again, with more consistency.
Favorite family time activity this dreary winter?
My favorite family activity is to eat dinner together. It’s a comfort to know that after all being apart for the day, doing our own activities, we all get to come together and tell about our day. I’m always thankful that we’re all together again.