February 3, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – In the forested countryside of northern Idaho, a company that has the daily practice of the Catholic faith at its heart is creating and selling “self-care products.”
Glory and Shine is a rare business where the profession of faith is so prominently positioned and its Catholic identity is visible in every product. This is no accident, though, as founder and co-owner Richard Gratzinger explained to LifeSiteNews.
“Our faith is such a big part of our lives, so we really wanted to focus on creating products that did some good, and that were a break, away from the secular world,” he said.
The Catholic ethos underpinning the endeavor is to bring the divine into the normal aspects of daily life.
“We decided in 2016 to start creating products that really helped people focus on the holy and the divine during normal acts of life, and again had our faith at the forefront – had a Catholic identity,” Gratzinger said.
“The focus is to get people to focus on the holy and the divine while just using ordinary products,” Gratzinger explained.
Every detail of the products is designed with this in mind, including the packing, which is also used a way to promote prayer.
However, while Glory and Shine is relatively young, its creators are by no means inexperienced. Gratzinger has been involved in manufacturing for 13 years and is using his experience to make healthy, alternative personal care products that also become a tool for evangelization.
Among Glory and Shine's products are lotions, creams, soaps, and beard oils. Each item is designed in such a way to point the user to God. A prayer is printed on every label, turning a bottle of lotion into a prayer card of sorts.
Then there are the product names. “Benedictus,” “Chrisma,” and “Vigil” are titles of beard balms, and soaps include “Grace,” “Hope,” and “Joy.”
The balms have a picture of a saint on the lid accompanied by a quotation from that saint. “Benedictus” beard balm is in the scent of frankincense and myrrh and under the patronage of Blessed Solanus Casey, whose quotation is “Don’t pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger.”
Another example is the “Charity Mist,” which has a Scripture verse on the front and a prayer to the Holy Spirit on the side. “Made with Faith, Hope, Love and Prayer by Glory and Shine,” an inscription reads.
The same attention to detail and Catholic ethos is found across the entire range, as the soap bars are “hand-crafted with natural, supernatural, organic and high-quality ingredients,” before being combined with water for the grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes in France “to enhance spirituality, meditation, and contemplation.”
Gratzinger made reference to the Lourdes water, which is found in every product, saying it is specially shipped by a friend so that each item Glory and Shine produces can be dedicated to Our Lady and “spark reflection” in everyone who uses it.
“Knowing that it contains water from Lourdes, that brings it to a tangible sense,” he said. “We wanted to bring it back to Our Lady too, so we’re using these products to pray, to meditate and to reflect on Scripture, and knowing that they contain a supernatural element that Our Lady left us … to put that actual tangible, physical element within the products itself, it brings the user in contact with Our Lady.”
“At Glory and Shine, we put our passion and love for Jesus Christ and His Universal Church into action by creating natural and supernatural self-care products with a Catholic purpose. We first begin with Faith, Prayer, Love and Hope. We then always combine Catholic Truth, Inspiration, Identity, Belief, and Devotion. Every item is crafted with deep intention while holding a vision of sharing the Gospel through the ordinary acts of everyday life. Our products are good for the Body, Mind, and Soul!”
The faith-centric approach in the products stems from the homeschooling family behind Glory and Shine.
“We have bravely and trustingly dedicated our lives and business to serving our Lord Jesus Christ in all areas,” the website reads.
Every member of the family plays a part in the company, and when the children have finished their homeschooling, they will often join their father in the warehouse.
A few months before Christmas, Glory and Shine moved in order to be close to a parish run by the traditional Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP). They were joined by a number of other families all eager to be close to a parish where they could be fed the constant, traditional teaching of the Church, and all “willing to sacrifice for the sake of faith, and for the sake of solid Catholic doctrine.”
The desire to be close to strong, faithful communities, as found in the traditional parishes, is a key part of Glory and Shine’s spirituality. They take the future of the Church seriously, which is why they support vocations for two groups, FSSP and the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Church.
“A portion of every order goes to the new seminarian fund to support new priests,” Gratzinger mentioned.
There is also a page on Glory and Shine's website where people can send their prayer intentions to the team, who will join their customers in their “prayer petitions.” It is this promotion of a whole culture of life, the Catholic faith, and community that sets Glory and Shine apart.
Gratzinger is well aware of the need for a renewal of Catholic life on every level, and by crafting products under the motivation of “a vision of sharing the Gospel through the ordinary acts of everyday life,” Glory and Shine seeks to bring about a culture of life and faith.