Growing up Catholic in the 1950s meant we said the family rosary most nights and on every trip as we were driving to our destination. Sometimes it was drudgery other times it was sleep inducing. It was something we all participated in saying, even me, the youngest. Sometimes the 10 minutes seemed like an hour. I am very thankful we said each and every one.
My mother was one of nine children with six brothers and 2 sisters. All the families experienced the same tradition of saying the family rosary, with familiar stories. At the wakes of any of my aunts or uncles a family rosary story was always told. We would laugh, sometimes cry and remember.
How did this practice start in my family. I don’t know for sure but I believe it was grounded in the Catholic tradition and the faith and trust that my grandparents had in the power of the Blessed Mother. You see 5 of my uncles were scattered all across the globe in World War II. From northern Africa to the south pacific and they all came home.
At my uncle Jim’s wake we said a family rosary. It had been many years for most of us and I wasn’t alone in having forgot some of the words and struggled a bit with the mysteries.
Following this humbling event I tried to start saying the rosary again only to get frustrated by not being able to remember some of the prayers. I realized that the rosary beads were only a tool, it is the prayers that are the rosary. I also discovered that another set of mysteries were added. The only way for me to say the rosary was to have a prayer guide and the rosary beads.
I began to think there must be a better way. Some way to combine both, and if I could, this would be a help to others like myself and for beginners. After experimenting with various materials and designs the Renew Rosary was designed and produced. It is made of 10 “plastic cards” which can be described as large flat printed “beads”. Besides being used as counters like a traditional rosary they are printed with the instructions, prayers and mysteries. They are held together with a cord that holds 3 beads and a clasp so it can be worn as a pendant or attached to a set of rosary beads. It is light weight, durable and more practical than a traditional rosary.
The Renew Rosary was created to make the rosary easier to pray and renew the devotion to the Blessed Mother.