Archive for the 'Dominican Rosary' Category


Finding Time During School

Getting back into the swing of school has been tough. Numerous papers, projects, and even a few speeches fill my time when I’m not committed to house matters or my ministry. People have still been asking about rosaries, but it takes a lot longer for me to finish them these days.

Most recently I finished this 15-decade rosary for a Dominican Friar in Ireland. I used onyx agate this time instead of wood, and used an 18 gauge tarnish-resistant wire for the wire-work. Dominican rosaries are a lot of work, but they look very nice when they’re finished. Living in Chicago has given me access to so much more supplies, I’m able to start experimenting with new materials while getting the things I need faster.

Continue reading ‘Finding Time During School’


15 Decade Dominican Habit Rosary

Br. John Nguyen holds up the long Dominican Rosary for a picture.

Last week I agreed to start working on a 15-decade habit rosary, also known as the Dominican Rosary. I was asked by someone who knew my Spiritual Director. I gave him one as a gift, and when he was asked about it, he passed on my name.  A few calls later, I was being asked to make 1, then 2 Dominican habit rosaries.

Rosary Parts from the mail.

I started by ordering everything I knew I’d need. Dominican rosaries differ from Franciscan rosaries. All my beads are a shade of brown, all my crosses/crucifixes are made of wood, and I usually work with the same materials. This time I needed different supplies, and I switched to a different metal for the eye pins.

That's not really my toothbrush there. I use it to clean medals...seriously!

I estimated the “job” would take 7 hours at the most, but as I started working with the new metal, I realized it would take a while longer. I’ve used the Rhodium plated 17 guage eye pins from Lewis and Company previously, but most of the repairs I’ve made to habit rosaries have been with the eye pins. Recently another Capuchin rosary maker sent me some of his parts, and all of his eye pins were very strong. So for this project, I used instead 18 gauge galvanized steel wire from Ace Hardware. It’s tougher to work with, I needed to cut out 1 1/4″ lengths of wire, then bend them into eye pins before even starting the process. It added an extra hour to the project, but in the end I think it was well worth it.

The pin on the left is thicker and much sturdier than the one on the right.

After fastening the eye pins, next came the task of beading a full Dominican rosary. Usually this is the time my prayer experience sets in. Either I pray the rosary as I make it, or I do something like the “Examen” and look at my day to see where I experienced God. This proved difficult with the Dominican Rosary because it was a new project and I was using new materials. But after 2 hours of work, I realized I was frustrated with my rate of progress.

At hour 2 1/2, I have only 6 decades done.

Eventually I got all the beads completed and then attached the chain. The more and more I spent time working, the easier the rosary was to make. And when I was done, the chain was extra strong. I added a few medals and it was complete!

Br. Erik wearing the Dominican habit rosary.

A closer look at the rosary

One more to go.

Blog Patron Saint

St. Seraphino of Montegranaro


April 2018
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Questions or comments?

Feel free to leave any comments. If you have questions or would like to inquire about obtaining a habit rosary, please email me: vito[AT]