Friday, July 31, 2009

Saving Babies- one prayer at a time.

Here is a custom rosary I made for a woman who works for Catholic Charities Adoption Services. I also make a matching one for her co-worker. It's a Eucharistic Rosary with the baby feet for the first five beads. I love how it turned out. I was so happy to be able to make it for two special women who have such an important job.

If anyone would like a custom rosary, I am willing and happy to do it for you :)

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The rosary is not old fashioned!

I love this youttube video I found on the Faith and Family live website. The music is great too!

I hear that the rosary is one of those things that aren't taught any more in the Church, or it's one of those things that "my Grandma does, but I never learned," or that it's the old fashioned way to pray. I completely disagree. I don't remember first learning the rosary because I was too young to remember. My family always prayed it- especially during Lent, when someone died, or when we were in the car going on a trip. I often rode in the my Dad's work truck to go on a job with him, and he would pull out his rosary to pray along the way. He always said that his Dad carried a rosary in his pocket every day. This are wonderful traditions to pass, but it certainly doesn't mean that it's old fashioned! These two videos show young people who love to pray the rosary and why they do it.

See, young people pray the rosary! (especially in Spain ;)

p.s. I just couldn't wait until May to post these!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

St. Martha

Today is the feast of St. Martha, and upon reading the introductory hymn in my Magnificat, I have instantly fallen in love with this saint with whom I can identify so well. Here is the hymn/poem.

"Well I know your trouble,
Oh my servant true;
You are very weary-
I was weary too;
But that toil shall make you
Some day all my own-
and the end of sorrow
Shall be near my thrown.

I think this was meant just for me- especially after the rough couple days I've had with my husband being gone, and the kids testing my patience.

The magnificat goes on with this meditation: The Lord is most extravagant in his love for us, his sometimes most unreliable servants. How foolish to give our lives- our time, our attention, our obedience- to mere idols who can love no one. Martha was rebuked not for her work but for allowing her work to make her lose sight of love.

Wow, that was good!

St. Martha, pray for us!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Perfectly Prayed Rosary

Recently, I read an article in Faith and Family magazine (only the best Catholic magazine ever!) about praying the rosary. I was sincerely inspired by many of the author's points. First of all, I sometimes think that in order to pray the rosary, I have to set aside a half hour of completely quiet, uninterrupted pray time. I find that so hard to do in my busy life! While reading the article, I realized that every quiet moment can be a moment to start the rosary, and every other quiet moment after that can be an opportunity to continue the rosary, and so on, until it is finished, or not at the end of the day. For example, the article talks about prayer "toesaries" on the feet of a baby while breastfeeding. I never thought of that! I say Hail Mary's while stringing the rosaries together, but I never thought of starting a whole rosary. The author also quotes Kimberly Hahn saying the only bad rosary is the one that doesn't get prayed. This is so true! Instead of thinking I have to say a whole rosary start to finish without one stray thought, and then get frustrated when I fail miserably, and end the rosary half way through-mad at myself, I am going to start anew with a guilt free version. I start the rosary sometime in the day when I experience quiet time, stop when quiet time is interrupted, start again when I get some more quiet time and so on. This way I am talking to God more during the day too! And if I didn't get through a whole rosary-I don't worry about it. I am at peace with the fact that I spent my day talking to God. The perfectly prayed rosary- that's one with genuine effort and trust- finished or not!

Catholic Review

Here is a link to an article about my rosaries in the Catholic Review- the catholic newspaper for the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
Thanks, Matt Palmer and the Catholic Review!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Pro life feet

These are the actual feet of a baby just 10 weeks old.
My husband recently told me that his favorite beads on the clay rosary are the baby feet. The baby feet beads I made were inspired by the lapel pin of the pro life movement. The tiny feet represent the tiny feet of a baby 10 weeks old.  I added the pro life beads to the rosary as a gentle reminder to pray to the end of abortion.  I know I like to be reminded to pray for this important cause, and evidently, so does my husband. 

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Grandma Leukam

Today I remembered a special connection I have with my deceased grandmother on my mother's side.  Her name was Alice Leukam and she died when I was about 9  years old.  Many years later, after I started my rosary business, it was my mom who made the connection.  My grandmother was a  busy mother of six who lived off a meager income of a dairy farmer.   To help make ends meet, she had a very unique trade- I don't even know what you would call them- or if they had a name.  The were like embellished religious art.  One of her most famous ones was a picture of a Guardian Angel and a child. These were popular Baptism gifts.  Around the picture was a Guardian Angel prayer and the child's name, birthdate, birth weight, and length in beautiful calligraphy.  She actually had to write backwards onto the back of the glass. It was quite a skill- and she did it much of the time with a baby on her lap or by her side- which is one of the connections we share!  She also embellished the art with a bit of her own.  Behind the hand- frosted glass, she painted tinfoil to look like sparkly flowers. I wish I had one to take of a picture to show what it looks like.  She sold many of these to people far and wide, and made quite a name for herself in local newspapers.  She was a very special, devout woman and is missed dearly.

I like to think that she has blessed my business from heaven and is smiling down on me and my family. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Here are pics from my brother Tom's and my sister in law, JoAnn's wedding. It was in New Ulm, Minnesota.  The Archbishop of Minneapolis/St. Paul presided at their wedding (see middle picture) and my father was deacon.  A good friend of JoAnn's- Fr. Tim, said the best wedding homily I have ever heard. Even the Archbishop commented on how good it was. It seriously should be recorded and played at every wedding!  

The above picture is of the Schulzetenberg family- all my siblings, sister and brother in laws and kids. It's getting quite large, and it's only going to get bigger! I am so happy to welcome JoAnn in our family!

Analee's Baptism

Above: Godfather tracing the sign of the cross on Analee's forehead. 

My daughter, Analee Juliet Harkins was baptized on May 17 in Minnesota by my father, Deacon James Schulzetenberg. My sister, Julie and her husband were chosen as godparents.  It was so special to have the baptism with all my family in my hometown and it was very special to have my father to do the baptism. It was his second baptism since his ordination last year.  Analee wore a very special gown that was passed down on the Harkin's side. Eric's grandmother and her brother wore it in the early 1900's, Eric wore it, and so did my son, Liam. 

It was an unforgettable moment to see Analee being baptised.  I hope to raise her and teach her in the Catholic faith so that one day we can be together in heaven.