“Linking Your Beads,” a 123-page soft-cover book, celebrates the history of the rosary, along with its mysteries and prayers. Priced at $9.95, it can be found on the Our Sunday Visitor Web site (www.osv.com), Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com as well as at local Catholic bookstores and soon at the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion.
“I never remember praying the rosary as a kid,” said Kasten. But the family always had rosaries around. Occasionally her mother would stop by St. Joseph Church in Appleton to pray the rosary at the chapel there, and for her grandmother, “Nana”, a rosary was a constant friend.
During challenging times in her life, Kasten went to the Catholic Bible in her family home and found the directions on how to pray the rosary. She typed them up and put the directions by her bedside. Slowly she taught herself about its prayers and mysteries.
This small start would have a long-lasting and profound impact on Kasten’s life. In all these years, not a day goes by when the rosary is not a part of it — whether it be at home, in church or perhaps said in a quiet moment waiting for an appointment.
While some of the material for her book comes from research she’s done for Foundations of Faith, over half of it is new research, she said.
The book is written for a wide audience, she said, from those with a long devout passion for the rosary and novice beginners to this form of prayer to people of other faiths who perhaps share a similar faith tradition or simply want a tutorial on what the rosary is all about. Individuals in RCIA will find it of interest, she said, and young people who perhaps only think of the rosary as a piece of jewelry will learn why it goes ever so much deeper than that.
“Anybody can get something out of this book,” she said.
Kasten said it was fun writing the book and said her editor at Our Sunday Visitor “really thought this had a potential to be a bestseller.” She noted that Our Sunday Visitor accepted the book for publication on Aug. 25 of last year (which just happens to be the feast of St. Patricia).
The book is broken into 23 short chapters, each no more than five to seven pages. It tells readers not only the mechanics of how to pray the rosary, but also answers questions of why it is prayed the way it is while putting all the information into historical context.
With a growing interest in the rosary, “Linking Your Beads” seems to have been published at the right time. For nearly six centuries, the rosary has fit the times: it seems to find a person “where you are,” she said.
While the book is a good place to start to explore the rosary, Kasten noted there are other ways, such as joining others at local parishes as they pray before Mass. Relevant Radio offers recitation of the rosary as does the Eternal World Television Network (EWTN). There are also web sites which guide individuals through the rosary, she added.
There is a routine to praying the rosary, but Kasten said a person simply can’t make a mistake. “It’s more the meditation on Christ that I think is the most important part,” she said.