I am a convert. My family didn’t go to any church, but my mom did teach me to pray before I went to sleep. When I was about 4 years old our neighbor invited my older brother to church. I asked if I could go along, too. We attended Sunday School at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. I loved it. But my brother, on the other hand, was a rascal. He soon was uninvited to go to church with the neighbors. That meant I couldn’t go either. As soon as I learned to cross the street by myself, I started going to Sunday School by myself. I knew I had to be there.
When I was in high school, we moved to the suburbs. I could no longer walk to any church so I started getting rides with whomever I was hanging around with that week. I went to every protestant church there was in the area. I began to have a question in the back of my mind… “upon this rock I will build my Church..”. Well, which one was it??
A couple of years later, in college, my world history professor said that for almost 1500 years there was only one Christian Church. I was normally extremely shy and never said a word in class, but on this day, my hand shot up and I asked “well, which one was it!? When she said the Roman Catholic Church, I was dumbfounded. (My mom told me that Catholics were all going to hell.)
A year or two later, I got a job just down the street from a priest with whom I had had a brief conversation about an investment he had made. One day, at lunch, I knocked on his door and told him I had questions. We had “lessons” (there was no operating RCIA in those days). Every day we had a tuna fish sandwich while he told me about Jesus and the Church. I was 20 years old. I was a sassy little thing — thinking I knew better than 2000 years of Church study, history and Tradition. Nothing much sunk in, I'm afraid, but he received me into the Church after about one year.
But it wasn’t until I was 33 years old before I came to the end of my “self”. I tried everything I knew to make myself happy, but failed miserably. One morning (January 1, 1977), while I was sitting by a dying fire, Jesus came into my family room and touched me. I didn’t see Him, but I heard His voice. I was given to know that I needed to surrender my will to His.
Since that day, I have sought the Lord every day through prayer and the Sacraments. He was my very personal teacher. Those were golden, wonderful times when it felt like we were walking and talking in the garden.
When I was 38 years old, our family moved to Hawaii. There was a man at daily Mass, who was always inviting me to say the rosary before Mass with the community. I teased him about it. I had no interest in Mary!! I had JESUS!! However, one day in prayer, I sensed that Lord was trying to introduce me to His Mother. So I asked a nun I knew to teach me how to pray it.
We knelt before the Blessed Sacrament and I prayed my first rosary. I went right home and got out my bible and found all the Joyful Mysteries. The rosary came alive. I got so much insight into those mysteries. I could go on forever. I know there are many of you who have stories attached to the rosary. I invite you to email me them and share them with the world..
How I came to make rosaries
My husband and I decided to begin to pray the rosary together every day. He got out a little old green plastic rosary that he got for First Holy Communion. No, I thought, we have to pray on beautiful rosaries. (After all, we have beautiful implements in Church.) I decided I’d make him one!!
Providentially, my brother-in-law got a rosary making kit when he was laid up. I asked to borrow it. I made my husband a rosary and my daughter surprised me with one she made and we presented them on Christmas morning. I really enjoyed making that rosary and felt that the Blessed Mother wanted to me to continue. Next thing you know, Catholic Online, asked me if they could make a website for me in order to host it on their site. Believe it or not, back in those days, when I searched for handmade rosaries, I was the only one that came up.