Welcome to The Catholic Woodworker, Armor up with our Spiritual Weapons Built for Battle!

About the Team

About The Team

Jonathan Conrad

I’m Jonathan Conrad, the Catholic Woodworker. I grew up Catholic, and when I wasn’t at church I was building things with my dad, my grandfather, or just me. I’m married to my high-school sweetheart, and we’ve been blessed with three boys. I always thought it was my job to teach them how to be a man, but I think I learn more from them than they do from me. It wasn’t until we had kids that I realized how much I needed daily prayer, the rosary, and especially the sacraments. This zeal for daily prayer and the rosary is the inspiration behind the handmade wooden rosaries I create, our in-home alter sets, and all the devotional items we offer.

My wife, Carey, is responsible for inventory and order fulfillment — so when your handmade wooden rosary arrives quickly, it's all thanks to her. She is the most organized, thoughtful, funny, and beautiful person I know and has supported this crazy mission to create a Catholic online store dedicated to helping arm people for spiritual battle from day one.

Thank you for the opportunity to be part of your faith journey. We hope and pray these spiritual weapons are a blessing for you and your loved ones in the battles you face each day. To Jesus through Mary!

Brian Laspisa

My name is Brian Laspisa. I am a Catholic father and husband living in Phoenix, AZ. I grew up going to church on and off at different denominations but never really established a faith identity. It was in my senior year at Arizona State University everything changed. ASU is blessed to have a Newman Center on campus. I started attending RCIA and was initiated into the Catholic Church on the Easter Vigil of 2010.

This process not only brought me into the church but it introduced me to my future brother in law. We went through RCIA together, and he and his wife (fiancé at that point) introduced me to his sister Janis who is now my wife. She went through RCIA and we were married in the church in February 2013This was just the beginning. We were blessed with our first child, Elizabeth in December 2013. Then William in February 2016, Margaret in October 2017 and Jonathan in January 2020.

My journey with the rosary started before I was Catholic. I was going through a rough time in my life and came home to my apartment and saw a rosary just sitting on the steps. I knew what it was but that was about it. I ignored it for a long time but looking back I think that was the seed planted in my heart. For a while I prayed the rosary every now and then. I wanted to pray it daily but for one reason or another I would give it up. I have consecrated my life to Jesus through Mary and strive to pray the rosary everyday.

Viva Cristo Rey y Madre Maria.

Katie Kuchar

Hi. Katie Kuchar here. Let me tell you about my love affair with Our Lady. It has been one wild and exciting adventure. I live the little town of Payette, Idaho. I was basically born and raised here. I have been a Catholic all my life. My parents instilled in me, at a very young age, a love for the Blessed Mother and we prayed the rosary often. I took up the practice of praying on the beads personally at age 16, when I bought my first rosary from a religious hermit who was selling her handmade wares after mass. I still remember the color; turquoise beads, the face of our crucified lord etched into the centerpiece, and the crucifix with a corpus surrounded by stars. I carried it with me everywhere. In my pocket.

Fast forward to college. I was a scared freshmen diving into a very large ocean of people and philosophies I didn't know or understand. I prayed my rosary, and held the hand of my Blessed Mother each morning. Despite all the anxiety I felt, I had my mother with me. Fast forward again. I found my husband in a quiet adoration chapel (yes this is a true story) on the feast of St. Joseph. We married and now have going on 6 children and 1 in heaven. I struggled to hold onto the hand of my mother through a myriad of intense trials. But she never let go of my hand. She has been with me in all my joys and sorrows.

Let's back up a bit. At age 18 I went to daily mass with an elderly woman from my parish. She gave me my first rosary supplies. You know those little plastic beads and parts? Yeah, those. I was hooked. I soon started making them from wood beads. I eventually learned to make wire-wrapped rosaries. (Making those is so hard on the hands!) I loved giving handmade rosaries away as gifts. Then I found Jonathan's Catholic online store. I read his mission statement. Someone who sells handmade rosaries because they want people to experience the priceless relationship with Jesus through Mary. Wow. I bought a few of these from him. I studied them, and now, here I am, on the team, doing what I love. Building swords for people to win their battles. If you ask me what I do, I'll tell you that I grow people and I forge weapons.

T.J. and Annmarie Schwarz

Hello! We are T.J. and Annmarie Schwarz. We are humbled and honored to be a part of the rosary-making team here at The Catholic Woodworker. God sure works in wonderful and mysterious ways and one of those has been leading us to our friendship with the Conrad family and then being added to this beautiful ministry.

We have been married for 8.5 years. We met at a wedding back in 2008. Based on the events of the weekend, neither of us would have guessed we would now be married. Actually, we would never have guessed we would have even talked again. But, God had a plan and we are forever grateful. We have been gifted and entrusted with the care of 3 rambunctious little boys that keep us active, humbled, always learning, and often a little crazy.

T.J. works as a CPA for a tax consulting firm in Indianapolis. He had dreams of being an architect/developer but graduated the same year as the housing market crash, so he was led in a different direction. Annmarie is an occupational therapist with a passion for pediatric patients. But at this time she has been called to currently spend her days at home nurturing and raising those 3 boys.

We have both grown to have a deep love and appreciation for the gift of the rosary. Annmarie's started at the age of 9 when she found the immense power and peace it provided to her when she started battling fear and anxiety. It helped her to be able to fall asleep at night and became a nightly ritual for many years. T.J. is a convert to the faith, who joined the church in 2009 so his love for the rosary has been more recent. His love has grown from random learning of it as well as fascination with stories he had heard of the power behind it and the fruits that come from praying it. We find ourselves praying it together in our times of deepest need, a decade here and there with the whole crew, separately as T.J. drives to work, or Annmarie randomly pieces together the prayers amidst the juggling of the daily grind. No matter when, how often, whether it is spread out or completed in one sitting, we find the graces it provides are immeasurable.

We both vividly recall and often reminisce about our trip to Rome back in 2012. A part of our trip that was so special to us was when we stood in the Sistine Chapel staring and studying the alter wall covered in the fresco of Michelangelo's The Last Judgment. One part of the painting particularly stuck out to us- 2 souls being hauled up to heaven by a soul already there, with the mechanism in between being the rosary. Our number one goal that we strive for every day is working towards getting each other and our children to heaven. Man, do we struggle and fall short every day. But what an incredible gift we have been given in the rosary- a spiritual weapon to help us in this difficult life battle- a force to be reckoned with. And we are beyond grateful to now be able to help create them for all of you. Know that as we use our hands to make them, that we are praying for yours that will hold them. And we pray by God's grace, through Mary, we one day will all be hand-in-hand in heaven.

Benjamin Musil

Hi! I'm Ben and I help manage the website and the behind-the-scenes product management and workflow. My family and I are in Austin, Texas with our son, Thomas. I am a native of Austin (one of the few!) though both my wife and I graduated from Texas A&M. I am now pursuing a career working in software/web development in which I have a few years of random experience through undergrad and graduate school, previous work, and other side projects.

Fun fact: I am a "reverted" Catholic who started to take his faith seriously when I met my now wife in college. I am a big fan of Bishop Barron and the Word on Fire movement and attribute some of his work to my reversion. Thus, I also love St. Thomas Aquinas and discussing philosophy and theology. I enjoy arguing that faith is entirely reasonable! I also play video games and have a substantial collection of board games from Catan to Elder Sign to Terraforming Mars. I'm into craft beers as well which plays well with the several breweries at our disposal in Austin.

Gig 'em!

To learn more about The Catholic Woodwork and our mission, visit our About Us page.