Ho Ho Ho, my Friends!
If you’re like me, you probably can’t get enough of Chris Stefanick’s one-to-two minute inspirational videos, every one of them a holy shot in the arm that can take a dull day and make it vibrant.
The past few months, Chris has been knocking it out of the park every Friday with bite-sized, powerhouse snippets called, “Real Life Minutes,” that truly put handles on some critically-important concepts to help you ramp up your life of faith.
And now, his wonderful team has made this delightful FREE series available for easy sharing!
Unwrap them slowly over time, or empty the whole thing on the floor and BINGE.
Why wait? Get started!
Merry Christmas, everyone!
My Friends, You haven’t lived ’til you’ve listened to Bear Wosnick describe what it is to surf a big wave and experience powerful connections with your spiritual life!
We’re also talking about romance, holy masculinity, and his new book, “Deep Adventure: The Way of Heroic Virtue”!
Just click the book cover to join our super-fun conversation!
BEAR WOZNICK is the Host of the Motorcycle-Based Reality TV show, “Long Ride Home with Bear Woznick,” which is distributed worldwide on EWTN and Armed Forces Network to more than two hundred million homes and Amazon Prime. He is also the Host of EWTN’s “The Bear Woznick Adventure” Radio Show heard by millions each week on over 500 radio stations in nearly all 50 states, as well as Sirius FM, and Video version on most podcast apps. Bear also Hosts the fifteen-minute Ocean Sunrise Catechism, seen weekdays on Facebook live. He is the author of the books, “Deep in the Wave – A Surfing Guide to the Soul” (an Amazon best seller) and “Deep Adventure – The Way of Heroic Virtue.” He leads pilgrimages to Europe, Greece, and Israel, and speaks globally, with an emphasis on Men’s Conferences. He’s a Benedictine Oblate at the Mary Spouse of the Holy Spirit Monastery on North Shore of O’ahu. Bear is Married to Cindy Woznick, lives in Waikiki, and has four adult children. He’s a CPA with a Masters Degree in Tax, and he’s pursuing a Masters of Theology from Franciscan University at Steubenville. Bear Wosnick is also a World Champion surfer.
Find Bear Wosnick and his books and other resources at https://www.bearschoolofmanliness.com
Check out his “Store” for books and more. Here’s the direct link! https://my-site-100622-104377.square.site
Feel free to change the names, add or subtract from the content, and share my free script in any way that helps you catechize and enjoy the season with your family, your students, or your parish. I recommend it be used as a puppet show for little ones or a skit to be performed by your confident readers!
NOTE: The only thing I ask is that you not sell the scripts. I own the copyrights and I’d like to keep them free for everyone. If you charge for performances, that’s fine. I know your ministries can use all the help they can get!
Some of my scripts, you will notice, were inspired (many years ago) by a Christian script writer by the name of Louise Ferry. I believe this is where you can currently find her wonderful work: https://puppetscripts.tripod.com/puppet.htm
Today, to mark the beginning of this holy Advent season, I’m sharing a sweet Advent puppet script, which I wrote years ago. It can be performed easily by any adult or teen. In fact, any child who reads well can perform them!
I have dozens of such scripts, some connected with the liturgical year, others with articles of our faith, others with virtues (which I created for our local YMCA nursery school), some created for VBS programs (for free, by request), and so on. I’ll be sharing them here at AmazingCatechists.com, in the coming weeks and months, and may eventually create an ebook, so you can acquire the whole “collection.”
How to perform the show
Simply sit with the script pages laid out on a desk or story rug and gather the children around you, or hand out copies and use it as a skit for older students to act out together in front of the class.
Use a different “voice” for each of the two characters, moving the one that is speaking, to make it clear for the children.
Some of them are wacky and silly, while others are more reverent. Be sensitive to mood, and have fun!
Please read my “Note on Reverence” before using any of my scripts. It’s important, truly.
And, without further ado, here is The Empty Manger, to start off your Advent season with the children:
A little history, if you have a minute more…
Between 2003 and 2008, I wrote dozens of puppet scripts for use in a YMCA nursery-school (virtue) program, then for Catholic and Christian children’s events, library programs, parties, scout troops, and finally my own religious education classroom. I was a volunteer mom teaching elementary-aged kids, but I was also a writer and a former actress, so–along with the Holy Rosary and our parish curriculum–I incorporated singing and creative dramatics, every week.
I almost always capped my lessons with a puppet show (hastily created beforehand), and the children adored them. It was a reward for good behavior, I told the children, but it was also a way to emphasize a point from that day’s lesson, break open a difficult concept, or make a dry subject fun and intriguing. If we had time and the children were clamoring to see it again, I would do an encore performance. Each lasts only a few minutes, and I figured, “Hey, they’re asking for another lesson in their faith. How can I say no?” They wanted to touch and talk with the puppets, so I often held a brief, extremely silly, improvised Q&A with the characters, after the show.
My religious education credo
To ignite their imaginations is extremely important to me, and I sincerely believe that it is a crying shame, if not actually sinful because it’s so dishonest, to make our amazing, transformative Catholic faith a dull and ordinary business. So I gave it my all, each week, begging the Holy Spirit to “light me up” and make the lessons impactful. He never let me down.
A little more about how to use them…
At the end of the day’s teaching, using whatever hand puppets I had at the time, I sat on the story rug, placed the scripts on the floor in front of me, and gathered the eager children around me. I started out using some old, neglected puppets they had at the YMCA, when I volunteered for a summer program with nursery-school-aged children. I also incorporated sock puppets, which were a scream and easy to make (and I am the least crafty person I know). But eventually, I bought an adorable, racially-diverse collection of “kid” puppets that Oriental Trading used to sell cheap. I added some animal puppets my daughter had been given (and never used), and a few oddball ones I borrowed from some enthusiastic neighbor kids (who were not using their’s, either).
A couple of important insights
As I branched out into children’s parties and library programs, I noticed a couple of amazing things:
- all kids enjoyed the shows–even kids as old as 14 wanted to try them on after the show and make up their own stories,
- and special needs children who normally could not attend long to a regular lesson were spell-bound by the puppets.
The puppets excited them like nothing else–like animated characters sprung into 3-D before their eyes!
Then, in 2007 (or thereabouts), I was on a Catholic writers’ email group, and offered to share my scripts for free to anyone who wanted them. Another member, the lovely Lisa Hendey, invited me to share them with the world at her popular site, CatholicMom.com. They had a home there, as a “puppet ministry” until 2019, when the site went through an overhaul and all PDF content was lost. (I just found out about it because someone tracked me down, asking for the scripts, and I made inquiries.)
The upshot is that I’m now sharing them here, so stay tuned!
Next up will be a Christmas show about a disgruntled kid feeling lost in the busyness of the season, who learns a lesson about service and sacrifice. Coming soon!
I pray these little lessons bless you and the children you care about, pray for, and teach. I would love to hear from you about how you use them, and I pray they will inspire you to create and share scripts of your own! I’d be happy to post them, here.
Feel free to write to me: email@example.com
A very sweet and holy Advent to you and yours!
Have you ever thought about writing for AmazingCatechists.com?
If so, I’d love to hear from you!
Even though we are still blessed with thousands of visitors to this site, every single month, and the site is packed with over a thousand incredibly varied free resources, I have to admit, I haven’t been doing much with the site lately.
For the last several years, I’ve been building a Catholic coaching business, teaching online, podcasting for homeschoolers, and—just lately–creating a brand-new video-cast about the intersection of faith and talent, called Wonderfully Made. (I’ve already started production and will be launching in the near future. I’ll tell you more about that, soon!)
But back to my need for contributors to this wonderful little site.
There was a time when this site was “my baby”! We had a group of a dozen or so regular contributors, and I tended the site with daily care. Over a short period, I and my volunteers watched joyfully as AmazingCatechists.com grew by leaps and bounds!
What started out as a totally unknown start-up site in 2008, soon became well-known in catechetical circles. With a thriving audience reading their work, the site helped some get the attention of Catholic book publishers. It became a platform for many new and up-and-coming writers and speakers to get noticed and then to leap-frog out to other bigger, more established sites and events.
Because I’ve been a best-selling writer and speaker in the Catholic world for over ten years, I would talk with many of these publishers at Catholic conferences, and they would tell me,
“You’ve got some very good writers, there. We’re keeping an eye on AmazingCatechists.com!”
However, because I got so very busy writing, speaking, traveling around the country, teaching, and publishing…I inadvertently allowed the site to fall into disuse. It’s bothered me for quite a while, but I was busier than I’d ever been, spinning plates and trying not to let any hit the floor, as I freelanced my head off and paid for my daughter’s college. I felt the Lord saying, “It’s okay. Just keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll tell you when to get back to AmazingCatechists.com.”
Well, my daughter graduated in June of this year–with honors and no debt–and her very tired, very proud mom heaved a HUGE sigh of relief.
So, guess what?
It’s time to breathe new life into this beautiful “baby,” with the help of dedicated catechists, educators, parents, and ministry heroes like you!
If you’re intrigued, please drop me a line with some ideas about the kind of work you’re interested in doing, and tell me a little about yourself! I’m listing some possibilities at the end of this post, to jumpstart your thinking, but I’m open to suggestions!
For instance, I’m always open to students with a passion for the Church, retirees finally getting to devote time to ministry, and any of the thousands of unsung heroes giving of themselves so generously out in the vineyards of the Lord.
What that means is that you don’t have to have any publishing experience at all! And you can start building your own publishing and speaking platform right here!
All you really need to get started is a love of God, faithfulness to the authentic teachings of the Church, and a desire to serve.
There’s no money in it, but believe me, God will pay you back in full—and then some. He is incredibly generous.
And He will use your work to touch the lives of others, lifting their spirits with your generous contributions, and providing them with practical, free support when they need it most.
I’m praying that, if you’re getting that little Holy Spirit nudge right about now, you’ll reach out to me and start a conversation.
I’d love to hear from you!
Write to me here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I can’t wait to meet you.
In Jesus through Mary,
A little brainstorming…
- Are you a Catholic catechist, homeschooler, parent, grandparent, Catholic educator or student, ministry leader, evangelist, or apologist with experiences to share or tips that might be helpful to others?
- Do you enjoy reviewing books, art, music, apps, or media that our niche Catholic readers would enjoy?
- Do you have a knack for turning lessons and concepts into graphic resources that help parents and catechists hand on the faith to the children in their care?
- Are you experienced in running retreats, conferences, and other faith-based events—in person or online—that have taught you valuable, sharable lessons?
- Are you creative and eager to share your teaching techniques, classroom management strategies, and innovative ideas for handing on the Faith?
- Would you like to try your hand at interviewing Catholics about their walk of faith, their original programs, or their successes in bringing new Catholics into the Church?
- Do you create art, videos, music, fiction, or anything else out-of-the-box designed to help draw others closer to God?
“Okay wait, let me try.”
I clear my throat and try again.
“Lilly, let me try.”
I watch as Lilly, my roommate, struggles fruitlessly with the lock. She and I are on the third floor of some random storage building, trying to retrieve the stuff from our unit so we can haul it back to our dorm and get it set up for Sophomore year. Unfortunately, our key isn’t working. Considering the unprecedented disaster this whole trip has been, our unit’s refusal to unlock is something I should have expected. It took us a half hour just to get inside the building, since neither of us had ever rented a unit before, and Lilly didn’t know we needed a security code.
“I don’t get it.” Lilly mutters, removing the key and reinserting it for the fifth time. She jiggles the lock, turns the key left, then pulls at the door.
“Oh come on.”
She gives the door a frustrated yank. Still nothing.
“Do you think we should call somebody?” I ask, wanting to be helpful. I realize at this point that the best I can do is offer advice and moral support, since Lilly seems uninterested in giving me a shot at unlocking the door.
Lilly, knowing this situation is absurd, laughs in an exasperated kind of way. “I would feel bad calling somebody because we just can’t use their key.”
“But it’s designed so terribly!” I say indignantly.
“Maybe I’ll try the other key,” Lilly pulls out her keychain.
“Oh! Why didn’t you that be—”
“It’s a duplicate key.”
I watch hopefully as Lilly fiddles with the duplicate key. I’m so absorbed that I don’t realize the ceiling lights snapping off one by one. Not until the overhead light turns off with a foreboding *click* do I realize what’s happening.
“Hey!” As I take a step back and look up, the bulb flashes on again with a happy *pop*!
The stupid lights are motion sensitive.
This is a predicament whose solution will require teamwork. So, while Lilly kicks the door to our unit and picks at it with the key, I run up and down the corridor so that the lights stay on. Whenever I jog past Lilly, I call out either an insightful comment like “Maybe this isn’t actually our unit” or an enlightening statement like “I’ll have to use the bathroom soon.”
I pause for a moment, leaning against the unit and watching Lilly struggle with the key. “Would it help to get an employee?” I suggest it like it’s a novel idea, and not something I’ve mentioned a million times already.
“It would help me if you let me concentrate.”
“Well I think it would help everyone if I get an employee.”
Lilly looks at me for a few seconds. “Okay,” she says finally. “I’ll call someone.”
“Nice.” It’s been an exciting adventure at the storage unit, but it’s starting to give me the heebie-jeebies. There aren’t any windows and the dumb lights keep turning off.
Once the employee arrives, she unlocks our storage unit in five seconds flat. Maybe we ought to feel embarrassed, but Lilly and I are too busy laughing about it. Having finally gained access to our stuff, Lilly and I load up a trolley and shut the door to our unit. I don’t remember how to get out of the maze of units and corridors, but thankfully Lilly is better at directions than I am. I realize that if it weren’t for Lilly, I’d have gotten hopelessly lost— assuming I’d have been able to locate our unit in the first place. But I also know that if it weren’t for me, Lilly would still be wrestling with the lock and complaining.
I wait in the parking lot while Lilly goes to check out at the office. A few minutes later, she shuffles over to the car.
“Soo..” she laughs uncomfortably. “We were supposed to have left the door to our unit open.”
“Don’t tell me we have to go back up there and close it.”
“Yep! Haha. Isn’t this an adventure?”
I wish the adventure weren’t happening on a 90 degree day, or when I’d only slept for five hours the night before. But I do have Lilly with me, and that makes all the difference.
In the end, we managed to close the unit door without incident, though we did have to go back one more time to retrieve the lock and key we’d accidentally left behind. Lilly kept the key and I kept the lock. They’re a good reminder that, when life gives you lemons, you can turn them into lemonade faster if two sets of hands are working together.
Team work makes the dream work.
“Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
The evening is off to a great start, especially for a Monday. Swing Dance Club is an event I’d rather eat my hat than miss, and it’s awesome to start off the week with a good time with my friends. But a short time later, I find myself sitting in my dorm room clutching a left foot that’s radiating pain from here to Mexico. I’m wishing that my friends Milo and Lilly were with me, but they’re at Walmart buying me a compression wrap. Milo and Lilly are the dance partners whose overenthusiastic swing move had resulted in my falling and hurting my foot, but our friendship is so far withstanding this setback.
Suddenly, Milo bangs open the door to my dorm and sweeps in with Lilly close behind him.
“Hey hey, how’re you feeling?” he asks brightly.
“I’m fine,” I reply, even though I’m not. Since Milo and Lilly already feel responsible for my foot sprain, I don’t want to make them feel any worse than they already do. I give what I hope is a convincing smile.
Without warning, Milo dumps an armful of candies on my lap. “I remembered that you like Milky Way bars. I also got some Snickers and Reese’s, Lilly mentioned that you liked those. I wanted to get 100 Grand bars too, since they’re your favorite, but I couldn’t find any. I also was thinking of—”
“Hey Helen,” Lilly cuts off Milo. “Want me to put on some music? You can pick anything you want, even… even Taylor Swift.”
I look at the both of them, not sure who to thank first. Milo had returned with candy I didn’t ask for. Lilly had offered to play Taylor Swift, which for her is the ultimate sacrifice.
I address Lilly first.
“Aw thanks Lilly! Yeah, turn on ‘London Boy’.”
Perhaps Lilly is regretting her offer, but she plays the requested song anyway. I’m instructed by Lilly to stick out my leg, which I do with as much dignity as I can muster, and Milo tries to compression wrap my foot. While my two friends begin arguing over how to use the wrap, I eat a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Sure, my foot is hurting like crazy at this point, but the rest of me is feeling pretty good. I only met Lilly and Milo two months ago, but they’re taking care of me like my family would.
The adventure continues for several hours, with Milo entertaining me with stories and Lilly Googling my symptoms. Eventually, I fall asleep with Ibuprofen by my bed and instructions from Lilly ringing in my ears. (“Make sure you wake me up if you need anything, okay? Anything at all!”) The next morning, I find out that my foot is broken in two places. Although I had never broken a bone before, I knew instinctively that having a fractured foot wouldn’t entitle me to days filled with Milky Ways and Taylor Swift. As it turned out, I spent six weeks shuffling around on crutches, which necessitated my getting up at the ungodly hour of 7:20 AM to make it to my early classes. My foot needed to be iced for several hours every day. I wasn’t even able to get my own food at the cafeteria. But my broken foot opened my eyes to the kindness that surrounded me. From the night of the ill-starred October swing dance session to the December day that I discarded my boot and crutches, my college friends showed me what true Catholic compassion was.
For Lilly, letting me listen to Taylor Swift in the dorm was only the beginning of her honorable sacrifices. Even when my cumbersome walking boot made us both late for class, or she had to carry me to the Wellness Center, Lilly wouldn’t complain. And Milo had a way of materializing every time I found myself looking down a staircase and wondering how I could possibly navigate it. Had he not been there to help me, I promise I would have faceplanted on the landing every time. At night, when I had to stay in and ice my foot instead of going out, Catherine and Lucy made sure I never got lonely. We’d drink tea and talk about everything under the sun. Catherine, who was a lacrosse player and had plenty of experience with injuries, would always help me elevate my foot properly. To chase away the winter blues, Megan would visit my dorm and sing songs while playing the ukulele. Kieran reminded me that I was “a champ,” Justin carried my backpack for me, and I could always count on Thomas to pick up my meal from the cafeteria. There were so many people who helped me constantly— some who I barely knew.
I can’t say that I’m glad that I broke my foot, but I can say that many good things happened as a result. Those weeks spent on crutches gave me so many opportunities to witness the self-sacrifice and compassion, not only of friends, but of strangers. And I was reminded time and again that acts of kindness don’t need to be dramatic in order to have an impact. Always act with compassion. You never know the difference you can make— or to whom you can make a difference.
“Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, you do unto me” (Matthew 25:40).
As I sit down on my bed, I receive a non-committal text from my friend Maya saying that she might drop by my dorm later that night. Not that I would say it to her face, or to her phone I guess, but I’d rather she not come. I’m stuck in the doldrums and I don’t feel like summoning the energy to pull myself out of them. I’d rather that Disney+ pull me out. I guarantee that The Mandalorian would do so more gently than Maya. I grab a granola bar, get under the blankets, and open up my laptop. I’m feeling more than a little anxious. I have a week’s worth of homework to do, and a paper to write for Professor Adorno. My train of thought is chuffing down an unhappy track.
It’s 9:30 PM. I’m on my third episode of The Mandalorian, trying to take my mind off homework for a while, when out of the blue someone slams on my window with terrific enthusiasm. I suddenly remember Maya’s text about visiting me that night. A moment later I hear what sounds like a mob banging on my door. Thoroughly annoyed and ready to give Maya a piece of my mind, I march to the door and throw it open.
Yes, Maya is there. Yes, Maya is dropping by like she said she would. But Maya has brought with her five other people who now enter my dorm room and wander about like visitors touring a museum.
“Maya, what—? Oh, hey Joey. Maya, why did you…? Nico, could you please be careful with that? Hi Milo, yeah, just don’t spill any, please. Maya, I thought you said – “
“Hey Helen!” Catherine emerges from the group. “Can I have a Pop Tart?”
“What? Oh yeah, yeah of course.” I give Catherine the Pop Tart before getting Maya’s attention. “What’s going on?”
Even though she can hear the note of annoyance in my voice, Maya refuses to answer my question until I put on my shoes.
“We’re all going out to McDonald’s,” Maya finally replies as I tie up my laces, “and we’re taking you with us.” The second part of her sentence is delivered as a fact rather than a suggestion.
“But…” I look longingly over at my dimming laptop screen, which is about to shut itself off. “I’ve got to…” I trail off. I can’t say I’m doing homework; The Mandalorian is still on my laptop for the world to see. But I’m just not in the mood to go out. I’m still in the doldrums.
“Oh come on, stop being such a lump on a log.” Maya begins pushing me out the door.
I hastily grab my room key, Joey puts the spyglass he was fiddling with back on my desk, Catherine happily finishes eating my last Pop Tart, and Milo shuts the door behind us as the parade marches to the parking lot.
Adorno’s paper, which had been my biggest source of anxiety, gets dumped for a more pressing concern, as Nico announces that all seven of us are riding in a car designed to seat five. I’m a big fan of personal space and try shooting down this plan.
“Guys, I’m not sure if we should…”
“I’ve got shotgun!” Nico jumps into the front seat as Maya starts up her Honda. The rest of the gang piles into the backseat.
The last thing I want to do is to squish into this sardine can.
“Helen, are you getting in?” Lucy looks at me encouragingly from over Milo’s knee. “You can get in on the right side, there’s some room here!” She wiggles her foot an inch to the left in a valiant effort to create more space for me.
Behind me is the road leading back to my dorm and The Mandalorian. In front of me is a carful of my friends, all happy to see me and wanting to cheer me up. My decision is made.
Treading on Catherine’s feet in the process, I sit down next to Lucy. Everyone whoops excitedly, Joey launches into a funny story, and Maya peels out for McDonald’s. In that moment, I’m the happiest person on campus.
During my time at college, I’ve learned that the presence of community is not to be ignored or taken for granted. It’s tempting to push people away when you’re stressed, or to cling to the mentality that you don’t need support and are able to power through rough patches on your own. But when you’re at your lowest is when you need your community the most. While the ride to McDonald’s didn’t win any awards for comfort, it provided me with the encouragement I didn’t even realize I needed. The time spent with my friends made it easier to face my responsibilities. As Catholics, we understand that ‘it is not good for man to be alone’. The Mandalorian is an awesome show, but that’s not what will drag me out of my dorm to buy ice cream at 10:00 PM. When you’re feeling low, don’t close the door to your community. It won’t do you any good anyway. They’ll just bang on your window instead.
UPDATE: Comments were turned off by accident but are now ON. Feel free to enter! So sorry for any inconvenience!–Lisa
Beloved Readers, we have an exciting and unusual giveaway: an Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary bracelet that diffuses essential oils, as you pray!!! Talk about awesome!
TO ENTER, please tell us in the comments why you would like to win!
The popular Our Lady of Guadalupe aromaRosary Bracelet will be awarded on December 12th, on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, so enter right away!
And start praying the Novena to Our Lady, which starts today (December 4th)!
Now, meet aromaRosary’s inventor, Chantal Howard!
Welcome, Chantal! Please give us just a few glimpses into your world so that we can get to know you a bit more personally.
I am a Byzantine Catholic by birth, giving me a great love for icons, chant, and the Divine Liturgy. I am an oblate of the Community of St. John and, therefore, identify myself as Eucharistic, Marian, Seeker of Truth, and devotee of all things truly Catholic. I have a charismatic side, a traditional Latin-loving, veil-wearing side. Above all, I want to live a life of prayer, holiness, and heroic virtue. The New Evangelization is knit into who I am.
Chantal HowardI have been married for nearly 15 years to the man of my Jane-Austin-like dreams. I can truthfully say Peter and I are a work in progress. But I rejoice in the Mercy of God that is helping us to put lofty ideas of love into practice with greater gratitude and tenderness. I love that I get to share life with a man of such conviction, passion, and fidelity – to me, to Our Lady, and to Our Lord.
My five children are the pure light of my life. We homeschool. I admit, though, that our homeschool has been interdependent with much family collaboration and even part-time school going opportunities to help round out our family dynamic, allowing for me to be as active in work as I am. This is the nature of the “School of the Family,” as it has developed for us. The desire to nurture them in health, in mind, in spirit, and in creativity and joy is foundational and much of that I can give to them, but I also realize that I am not fully sufficient alone. I laugh when I hear the not so popular expression, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and yet can we really deny the fact? So, we had better choose our villages carefully. In our case, our family is our village, and so we have recently relocated to Northern Idaho to be near all my siblings and my mother so that we can foster our kids in the context of family, faith, farming, good food, and adventure.
Tell us about the nature of your work.
My Grandaddy began the entrepreneurial streak in our family as an inventor. My mom and dad firmed it up by building a family business. I grew up helping to answer phone calls, strategize marketing plans and work in the field. As my mom homeschooled me, this practical work in business became second nature. Since then, I have not ceased drumming up new ventures. Ministry, writing, dōTERRA, and my family have offered platforms to launch entrepreneurial dreams in more directions than I ever imagined – Catholicpreneur style. In addition, as a young person I was a highly competitive gymnast and high-level athlete, in several arenas. This promoted a lifestyle of fitness and wholesomeness that has been a steady undercurrent in my life. Together, these life experiences have brought me to where I am today as a “natural solution coach.” I help families find health and happiness through an essential oil-inspired wellness lifestyle, without New Age overtones.
Where did your passion for the rosary begin, and why do you see it as such an important mission to bring to the world?
As a young person my parents rested all their hope of us remaining a faithful family on the prayer of the Holy Rosary. Through their inspiration, we began early chanting the rosary in a Byzantine style, and I have never turned back from loving the rosary and wanting to bring it to life as—not just a prayer but—an experience that helps us traverse from our earthly dimension to the spiritual plain of contemplation. (You can check out the audio CD in the Byzantine style that we produced as a family, here.)
How did your passion for essential oils and the rosary together take shape?
The Rosary is a gift that has been given to all of humanity to heal our wounded nature. It offers us a way to ascend to the heights of our calling as children of God by tethering our fidgeting hands, our wandering minds, and our wayward souls to the life of Christ. In light of my work coaching so many people who are wounded physically and emotionally, the support of essential oils tied to the rosary struck me as a natural bridge.
A few years ago, Immaculée Ilibagiza spoke to my heart, as she shared her story of suffering and triumph through the power of the rosary with 30,000 other individuals. It just so happened that she was the keynote speaker at a large, global essential oil summit I was attending. As she shared, I marveled at her passion and unhindered dedication to sharing the rosary with the world. Here, in one moment, two of my greatest loves in life were colliding before my eyes—essential oils and the rosary! As I drove across the county, I reflected on my personal visit with Immaculee, her powerful gesture of throwing her rosary to someone in the crowd, and all I had just learned about the movement of essential oils in health care. My heart overflowed with inspiration and the desire to bring to our hurting world the solace and rich blessings of essential oils and the rosary. Thus this effort was born.
Describe an aromaRosary.
Every aromaRosary is hand-crafted to hold and diffuse essential oils, to expand the prayer experience. Using natural stones and lava rock and other ceramic, metal, or wood beads, we have designed rosaries that can withstand the intensity of therapeutic grade essential oils that have been chosen carefully to reflect the mysteries of the rosary. These blends are symbolic and calming, to help promote an atmosphere of prayer. Together with fingering the beads, chanting the prayers, and smelling the aromas of sanctity, we can more fully engage our senses and focus our prayers.
We use four unique blends. The Joyful Blend is comprised of frankincense and other oils that help create an aroma reminiscent of the Nativity. The Luminous Blend is a blend of citrus oils that reflect the light and miraculous nature of the Luminous mysteries. The Sorrowful Blend is woody and earthy, with Myrrh and other wood oils that are an aromatic encounter with the cross and the mysteries of Christ’s suffering. The Glorious Blend offers floral notes and Easteresque aromas that are gentle, soft, and Marian.
Do you have resources that would help others to learn about aromaRosary and your work as a coach and speaker?
Please visit us at aromaRosary.com. We’re having our Advent sale, right now! I would welcome your comments, your reviews, your support of our efforts, and of course I would love to work with you. I offer coaching and essential oil training. We have a dynamic Catholic team of essential oils coaches throughout the country and we want you to be a part of what we are doing to heal families and evangelize in the process.
Thank you, Chantal!
Leave a comment below about why you’d like to win the Guadalupe aromaRosary Bracelet! A random drawing will take place on the evening of Wednesday, December 12th.
NOTE: you must have access to a mailing address in the United States, to win!