Friday, June 17, 2011

Making a rose garden, bead by bead

I got this article from Josie's post in Facebook. She was a participant in the rosary making project in their community and she was interviewed by OA On Line in Odessa ,Texas . Hurray to Josie ! JRI Orion Batch 1963 is so proud of you!

  • What: Rosary-making class.
  • When: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday.
  • Where: St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church, 7601 N. Grandview.
  • Call: 432-367-4657. For future classes, call Ave Maria Catholic Gifts and Books at 332-2833.

Holding a thin metal wire between her fingers, Theresa Arocha carefully tried to slip the wire through the tiny hole of a brightly colored bead.

The bead fell into place, but, when Arocha tried to bend and cut the other end of the wire, her miniature creation fell between her fingers and bounced onto the tabletop.

“The hardest part is cutting the wire,” Arocha said as she tried again. “This is not going to be a fast process.”

Arocha, along with nine other women, were at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church on June 9 to learn how to make a rosary. Taught by Ave Maria Catholic Gifts and Books store owner Julie Caballero, the class will meet a final time Thursday.

Caballero said she was asked by the church’s pastor, the Rev. Mark Woodruff, to teach the two-session class, but will teach more classes throughout the summer.

For more than seven centuries, Catholics have used rosary beads as a way to track a sequence of 10 Hail Mary prayers while contemplating the life of Jesus Christ through a different set of holy mysteries each night.

After sifting through piles of assorted beads, crucifixes and coils of wires, the women sat down and prepared to make their first rosaries. The task of making individual beaded links proved more difficult for the class than originally thought, but it’s one Caballero said is perfected through time.

Caballero has been making rosaries for 15 years and can make an individual rosary in two hours. Caballero learned from her mother, who was a member of a rosary-making group at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in the 1980s and 1990s.

Caballero has been teaching rosary-making classes for around eight years.

“It’s more special if it’s one you make yourself,” Caballero said. “In this day and age, there’s not much people make themselves any more. I love to pray the rosary my mom made me. She was very close to the Blessed Mother, and the rosary was made with a lot of love.”

While the act of making a rosary is special in itself, for Josephina Macalua, the materials are just as important. Through the piles of glass beads provided, Macalua chose to use Job’s Tears beads, the same type of beads used by Mother Teresa in her rosary.

“I just picked it up, and I loved it,” Macalua said. “Mother Teresa was a living saint when she was alive. Using a rosary like she was using, it will have some effect (during prayer).”

Macalua, a member of St. Elizabeth’s rosary group, will add her first self-made rosary to a notable collection, which includes a rosary from the Vatican and blessed by Pope Benedict XVI, one from Lourdes, France, and one from the Philippines, her native country.

Caballero said many of the self-made rosaries are usually kept by the makers with subsequent rosaries made given to family and friends.

“You can be doing this in the evening and say a prayer,” Arocha said. “And it would be just more intense if I give it to a friend. I prayed for them while I made it for them.”


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