5th week of the month means I get to make up a topic.  As promised, this month I’m putting together my sidebar of links to reputable catholic vendors.  Short list for now, but I’ll fill in more as we go on.  Though I’m un-sticking the bleg, feel free to recommend links whenever you like.  (This goes not only for the catholic vendors project, but for any other sites you think fit with the content of this or the other blog.)  Fortunately for me, starting small means less linking-work for me to do today.

So what have we got to start with?

Rosary Mania:  Two longtime internet friends both have rosary-making businesses, and a third will make you a box to put it in.

Alexis at Divine Rosaries is a new mom with a regular job in addition to baby-tending and rosary making.  She told me, “I pretty much only do custom orders right now, but I am still taking them.”    My friends who have ordered in the past from her have been very happy — jewelry-quality work appropriate for heirloom type gifts, think wedding, major anniversary, first communion, confirmation, etc.  Plan ahead because custom work takes time.

Jenni at www.preciousprayer.com explained last month, “I don’t have any rosaries listed on it right now because they are all in storage and I can’t get to them, but they will be back up soon.”  She’s in the process of moving – currently is moved but still unpacking.  Her business website is very spare; take a look at Jenni’s blog: http://groftzoo.blogspot.com/ to get an idea of who she is and all that.  Super nice person.  And she is planning to have the website re-stocked in time to order for Christmas.

And for a box to store to your rosary, of course you need to call The Rosary Box Maker.  One of Jim Curley’s six-bazillion interesting projects he seems to have going on at any time, say when he isn’t raising pigs, running a catholic publishing house (see below), overseeing a local non-profit,   patent consulting . . . SuperHusband worked with him years ago, and reports that the over-achieving is a chronic condition.  (With which I can sympathize.  So many hobbies, so little time.)

Other Catholic Paraphernalia: Nelson Woodcraft has expanded into all different types of catholic stuff; I’ve seen an example of one of their wood items, and it was good.  You can find their products carried by a wide variety of catholic retailers, including the two listed below.

Bookstores: I want more.  Here’s what I’ve got so far:

St. Francis Catholic Shop Is a friendly local catholic bookstore in Columbia, SC.  The owners also have a little blog.  I would like more entries like this.  If you have a real live catholic bookstore in your town, please recommend for the sidebar.  On-the-ground catholic bookstores provide an invaluable service, and deserve your support. Remember they can special order for you, too, so just because it isn’t in stock, doesn’t mean they can’t get it in stock.

Not everyone, of course, lives in a town with a real live catholic book store.  And if you are one of the unfortunates, The Catholic Company is ready to rescue you from perdition.  They also have an affiliate program whereby you can earn a 10% commission on any sales generated through your website.  And of course they have the lovely book-reviewer program (still accepting new reviewers), whereby I find myself reading books that are better for me than what I would choose on my own.

Oh and a cute story: Chris Cash, the reviewer-supervisor-guy, e-mailed me saying:

Not feeling like I should post something on your blog saying “Hey, Catholic Company is reputable”, but just hoping that you will make sure to include us on your own experience.

To which I answered: Uh, you were the one who gave me the idea.  So yeah, they get a listing.  (Note: No one else on this post has been sending me free stuff.  They got listed anyway.  But extra points for Catholic Company.)

And of course, you can always go straight to the publisher:

Requiem Press – A small publisher specializing in the kind of titles you just can’t get from bigger houses.  Eclectic mix on the surface, but with an underlying theme: solidly catholic, thoughtful, edifying.  I need to start reviewing a few of these.  Will see what I can get my hands on.

Ignatius Press– a powerhouse of the catholic publishing world, I’ve gotten in the habit of browsing through my local public library’s religion section just looking for the trademark spine on IP books, because I know they’ll be good.  Publishes the Faith & Life curriculum, with which we’ve been happy. (F&L is very old school, but I like old school).

St. Catherine of Sienna Press where you can order a copy of Bishop Baker’s fun and historically-interesting novel Cacique, which I highly recommend.  Good gift for you favorite catholic history buff who also likes action-adventure books.

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That’s all I’m putting up this month.  Will see what else I can find over the months ahead — leave a comment anywhere on this blog if you have a recommendation.  I won’t wait until the next 5th Wednesday to post it, the odd link or two can go up any week.

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