For 17 years, Katie Donahue of Kalispell, MT, has worked at her table, alongside her children as they’ve grown, teaching and sharing with them the art of rosary-making.
Each handcrafted piece the family makes, according to Donahue, begins with a prayer over its future recipient and, when finished, symbolizes the family’s devotion to their Catholic faith.
A mother of seven, Donahue has taught each of her children how to count and string the beads, aiming to pass along her faith through the powerful imagery they represent.
She sells both rosaries and other smaller jewelry, including bracelets and purse charms, through her online Etsy shop, Facebook, at conventions and at a stand at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in Kalispell.
Donahue’s second-youngest daughter, 9-year-old Reghan, made her first rosary at 5 years old and now helps teach her youngest sibling, 7-year-old Camryn, the art of counting and stringing the beads.
Kara, 14, said she can whip one up in around 15 minutes before handing it over to her mother to finish, as she does for every rosary they make.
According to Reghan, the money she and her siblings raise by selling their rosaries goes toward their summer camp funds or other activities they enjoy, but Donahue works to make sure they all understand the deeper meaning behind their creations.
Katie and her husband Kevin have been married over 28 years, and have been educating their children at home for 17 years. They have 7 children ages 26 through 7 (and they are all still in school at some level, from a PhD student on down!).
The Donahue’s have been using Aquinas Learning curriculum at home for three years with students Camryn (7, in Prima I), Reghan (9, in Prima II), and Kara (14, in Schola Alta II).
--Story adapted from KALISPELL FAMILY SHARES FAITH THROUGH HANDMADE ROSARIES, Daily Inter Lake. Photos courtesy of the Daily Inter Lake.