The 20 mysteries of the rosary are not a game — up until a few months ago, that is.
Last spring, Auburn native Bonnie Cromer and her daughter, Bridget Little, began selling Prayer Path, a board game they developed based on the rosary. The Spiritual Life and Evangelization Committee at St. Hyacinth Parish in Auburn soon began selling the game as a fundraiser, and Prayer Path has proven quite popular in the Auburn area, said Theresa Dec, committee chairperson.
“The Spiritual Life and Evangelization Committee took on this project … because it does help evangelize and get people working on praying the rosary as a family. It’s well done, and it’s a beautiful game,” Dec said.
Prayer Path is for children and adults of all ages. The object of the game is to be the first person to make it to the end of the path of multicolored rosary-bead spots on the board. A player advances by drawing a card, answering a question about one of the rosary’s mysteries, and moving to a colored bead that corresponds to the color printed on the card. One of the cards might ask, for example, what town Jesus was born in, Cromer said.
“The whole idea of the game was to memorize the mysteries of the rosary and learn questions and stories about the rosary. It’s hard to get the family to pray the rosary together, and we really wanted to promote that because it’s such a beautiful devotion,” Cromer said.
Their Catholic faith has always been very important to Cromer and Little, who teach religious education at St. Mary Parish in Amsterdam and own The Promise, a small religious bookstore in Gloversville. They’d never really entertained the thought of creating a religious board game until about two years ago, Cromer said.
At that time, Cromer was trying to think of creative ways to make her faith-formation classes more fun and interesting for her students. She wasn’t necessarily planning on making a board game about the rosary, but she soon realized she could picture such a game in her mind.
“It was just really a Holy Spirit thing,” Cromer said. “I kept waking up thinking about this game. I don’t know how, but it just came into my head that it would have to be (about) the rosary.”
After realizing — much to her surprise — that she even knew what the rules of this game should be, Cromer gave in to the Holy Spirit’s nudging and told her daughter, “I think we’re supposed to do this game.”
“I just really felt so compelled to do it, so we started doing it,” Cromer said.
Making the decision to create the game, however, turned out to be the easy part.
Once they began seriously working on Prayer Path, Cromer and Little realized creating a board game involved much more work than they’d originally thought.
“It took us two years. There was so much involved in it. It was a huge process,” Cromer said. “I’ll never look at a board game the same in my life again.”
Cromer and Little first formed their own small company called Trinity Teachers, which holds the copyright for Prayer Path. They were then faced with the challenge of actually creating the game board. Cromer knew she wanted the game board to include a rosary-shaped path and drawings depicting the 20 mysteries of the rosary. A friend of Little’s husband agreed to draw the pictures.
Cromer and Little then began looking for a company to produce and manufacture the game. They eventually decided to work with GameBuilders USA, and Prayer Path finally was produced last spring.
“It was so exciting to see it finished,” Cromer said.
Cromer’s mother, Jane Guarnieri, still belongs to St. Hyacinth Parish, and when she told Dec about Prayer Path, Dec thought the game might make a good fundraiser for the Spiritual Life and Evangelization Committee. The committee tested the game at one of its meetings and members were very impressed, Dec said.
The game would be a useful addition to most classrooms and homes, and “it’s even very good for adults on committees to play it,” she added.
Children and adults alike have responded favorably to the game, in part because it’s a new and different idea, she added. The parish committee has already sold quite a few games, and plans to continue selling them for at least a few more months.
“A lot of people have said that they were planning on purchasing it for Christmas for their children,” Dec said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Spiritual Life and Evangelization Committee is selling the Prayer Path games for $20 each, and the committee will earn a $5 profit from each sale. To purchase the game, contact St. Hyacinth Parish at 315/252-7297.