New rosary app could be answer to parents’ prayers

| Anne Fredrickson | May 21, 2018 | 0 Comments
Rosary app

Sandy Rosetter, a parishioner of St. Mary in Waverly, designed the Bead by Bead rosary app to help children stay focused while praying the rosary. Jessica Trygstad / The Catholic Spirit

For parents who want to engage their children more fully in family devotions, the Bead by Bead Rosary app just might be the answer to their prayers.

The application, created by Sandy Rosetter, a parishioner of St. Mary in Waverly, is designed to help children stay focused while praying the rosary by displaying an illustration of scriptural events with each bead.

Each decade is introduced by a Scripture verse that corresponds with that mystery of the rosary, and the illustrations tell the story with each bead. The child may tap the image of the bead for the next illustration, helping him or her to contemplate the events of the Bible and remain focused in prayer.

Rosetter and her husband, Bob, have two adult children, so while the idea came too late for her own family to use, she hopes it encourages other parents and children.

“I hope that this helps children to be engaged in the rosary when they pray as a family, and to learn the Scripture and Bible stories at the same time,” said Rosetter, 54, who was inspired to create the app as she used a prayer aid for adults. “I want it to help children come to a deeper understanding and develop a love for the rosary while they stay focused in a joyful way. I thought about how hard it can be for me as an adult to stay focused while praying, and I thought about how I could get this to work for kids.”

In order to encourage families to use the app to pray together rather than to have children use it independently, it doesn’t have audio.

“It’s not a game or entertainment,” Rosetter said of the app, which is geared toward children ages 4 and older. “It’s a prayer tool.”

Kate Fasching, 51, also a parishioner of St. Mary, finds it to be a useful tool for introducing the rosary to her 3-year-old granddaughter, Maddie.

“My granddaughter loves being able to touch the bead to switch the picture,” Fasching said. “The pictures are simple and get to the heart of what we want kids to know. Kids will remember images more than words, and talking about the pictures was a great introduction to the rosary. Anytime we can share our values and traditions with our children, we should use those tools.”

It’s a tool that has been helpful to adults as well as children. Fasching has used the app on her iPad during eucharistic adoration to help focus her prayer. And Rosetter has heard from parents who purchased the app to use with their children but found the added benefit of introducing the rosary to a non-Catholic parent.

While both Rosetter and Fasching share parents’ concerns about screen time for children, they agree that the app is designed to be used in relationship rather than as a substitute for personal interaction.

“This doesn’t have a ton of bells and whistles,” said Fasching, who is an early intervention teacher. “It’s good for kids’ brains in that it doesn’t move quickly and has no sound. It’s just a real way for kids and parents or teachers to connect over teaching the rosary. You have to be involved; it’s not just entertaining the child.”

Rosetter, who works as the administrative assistant at St. Joseph in Waconia, originally developed her idea in print form in 2006 by publishing a book on the joyful mysteries. Illustrated with simple art created by her sister, Stacey LeNeave, the book was intended to be the first in a series of four volumes about the joyful, sorrowful, glorious and luminous mysteries of the rosary. But the amount of work and expense made her reconsider traditional publishing, and instead she published the other three volumes simultaneously in the form of the app. Although Rosetter doesn’t have a technical background, her friend offered his skills as an anonymous donor to support the project.

Available in English and Spanish, the Bead by Bead Rosary app can be purchased at the iTunes store for iPhone or iPad for $3.99.

For more information about Rosetter’s books and the app, visit beadbybeadrosarybooks.com.

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