Hi, let me re-introduce myself! My name is Madeline Pierce and I am the Product Specialist for The Catholic Woodworker. In 2021, I decided to make a career change, went out on a whim, and reached out to Jonathan to ask if he needed help making rosaries. Little did I know that this would become my new career, far beyond rosary making. In the last year, I’ve spent my time learning website technology, customer service, and doing order fulfillment—alongside making our famous rosaries of course! It has been a great experience and I have grown so much as an employee and an individual in this position.
Last July, about a month into this new job, I became pregnant with my first child, and my husband and I welcomed our sweet son in April. We named our son Benedict after Saint Benedict of Nursia, one of our favorite saints. He has been a very important and significant saint in our marriage and relationships, but especially in work. I mean his motto is "ora et labora" ("pray and work"). However, if I’m being honest, sometimes it’s more like having to work at prayer. It isn’t always natural or easy.
Before I went on maternity leave and before the birth of my son, I said the rosary daily, read the gospel, and diligently listened each morning on my way to work The Bible In A Year podcast. I can honestly say that this adjustment period to parenthood and shift in schedule has landed me in spiritual limbo. And I can’t think of a good reason why. Even with just having one child, I found it increasingly more difficult to say a full rosary. My mind is constantly prioritizing something else… I’m worried about my baby, thinking about my to-do list, what errands I need to run, planning for what’s next, and frankly, I’m just tired. Add to that, my newborn's schedule isn’t exactly consistent. I have a running list of excuses that cause me to leave prayer on the back burner.
Because of this, the single-decade rosary has become my new best friend. On my time off from work, I received a St. Benedict crucifix and with my rosary-making know-how, I turned it into a pocket rosary! Well… more like a diaper bag rosary. It’s a visual and physical reminder of prayer attached to me wherever I go. It’s an easy way to get in a few Hail Mary's and re-center myself during the day if need be. It’s not perfect, but life isn’t. I’m working at prayer right now.
Thankfully, I was graciously given over two months of maternity leave, and our rosary makers, Jonathan, and our Operations Director Eric have all stepped up to help when I was gone. You can thank them if you received a rosary or home altar here in the last few months. I’m happy to say that with my return in July I hope I will be better able to meet the needs of our customers again! I have been given a generous amount of help as I have begun to dip my toes back into the workforce after I became a mom. I am blessed to have such a great team behind me. So, in preparation for returning back to work, I wanted to create a pocket rosary in honor of my son, especially for anyone who is struggling with prayer as I have.