"Coronae Rosarum" is Latin for "Crowns of Roses," and it is meant to suggest the Holy Rosary, which is a garden of prayers given to the Blessed Mother, who in turn is the secret garden of God's delight. The name was suggested by my son Nathan. It is especially fitting not just because of the rosaries and religious jewelry that I have hand-crafted for almost 30 years, but also for the crowns of flowers that honor the Blessed Mother at May Processions; I have cherished my childhood memories of these processions all my life and promoted them in The Week of Graces.
Over twenty five years ago, Carol Anne Jones and another mother Mary Wallington decided they would create a thoroughly Catholic Summer Program called The Week of Graces for the children at St. Catherine of Siena Parish in Great Falls, VA, with the encouragement of the Pastor Father Jerome Fasano. Every summer they created fun crafts, skits, activities, songs, and events that not only gave the children a wonderful week together but did much more--it opened a door to the graces God wants to shower on children by teaching them to love the Faith. After three years, Mary went on to other apostolates, but Carol continued to write, teach, and administer The Week of Graces, preparing new programs every summer, writing over 15 different programs over the years for St. Catherine, St. Theresa, and St. Louis Parishes. Four of these programs are available for sale today.
A great contribution to these efforts has been made by two artists, Catherine Pacheco and Kathleen Lowell, who have provided both The Week of Graces and Heroes of Grace with original coloring pages that offer children much delight as they experience the stories and virtues with several senses--sight, touch, and sound--it is recommended that, especially with younger students, the stories are read or talked about as the children color the pictures. Cathy and Kathy's pictures capture the meaning of each story with simple charm while maintaining the dignity of the subject matter. Cathy and Kathy are members of our Rosary Group, founded over twenty years ago by Inta Funk, which meets weekly to pray for our children and each other's intentions.
Despite her career was as a editorial and production manager, managing editor, and associate editor for various scholarly periodicals, she found herself in 2002 serving as the Director of Religious Education at St. Theresa Parish in Ashburn, VA, for six years (with 2,000 students, 100 classes, and 300 catechists a week), then St. Louis Parish in Alexandria, VA, and at her home parish St. Catherine of Siena. When she began at St. Theresa's, she quickly realized that the CCD Program had barely enough time to teach basic doctrinal truths, let alone Saints, Virtues, Feasts, and Devotions--so she created her own weekly inserts on these important subjects to use in the classroom or as a family activity--to not only enrich students' understanding of their Catholic heritage but to inspire them with the beauty of Catholic art and culture. She continued this practice throughout her tenures as DRE and saw so much fruit from these inserts that after she retired, she decided to continue creating weekly and monthly inserts for each school year, September to May, and to offer them to CCD and Catholic School programs as Heroes of Grace. Every year for the last seven years, she has prepared a new Heroes of Grace program of weekly inserts geared specifically to that year's liturgical calendar. These programs have been used in CCD Programs and Catholic Schools all over the country, including Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Alabama, and Hawaii.
When homeschoolers and interested parents asked for the program, she created spiral-bound books with the same materials for individual use. The first three years of Heroes of Grace are compiled in two compendia entitled Saints and Virtues, one for Primary grades, the other for older students and adults, both with the same content. Summertime Saints completes the year with Saints for June, July, and August with both Primary and In-Depth treatments in one book. She has written other books about Catholic Devotions; a book about the "Sevens" of the Catholic Faith for Confirmation and RCIA Candidates; and a little book entitled Saints Who Saw with Their Heart for children with special challenges. A published author, her articles on Catholic issues have appeared in Crisis, Sacred Architecture, Voices, Catholic Faith, Celebrate Life, and St. Austin Review.
About 30 years ago, when her sons attended St. James Catholic School in Falls Church, VA, Carol was part of a PTO Catholic Enridhment Committee apostolate to help all the children in the school make their own rosaries. This began a hobby of hers--handcrafting rosaries, rosary bracelets, Irish penal rosaries, chaplets, lasso rosaries, and religious jewelry--that flowered into a business called Coronae Rosarum Creations. To explore these items, go to Etsy.com to the store named "CoronaeRosarum" for a current selection. Custom orders are always welcomed.
Carol's background includes 12 years of Catholic education at St. Ann's School and Bishop D.J. O'Connell High School in Arlington, VA, BA with Honors in English from The College of William and Mary, a MA in Medieval and Renaissance English Literature from the University of Virginia, and continuing courses toward a MA in Systematic Theology from the Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College.
Carol Anne Jones