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Home : Community : Customer Gallery : St. Anthony's Prayer Shawl Ministry

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St. Anthony's Prayer Shawl Ministry
Created By: Geri Rogers

I am co-facilitator of St. Anthony's Prayer Shawl Ministry here in Manteca, CA. My partner, Peggy, started this ministry at our church. Peggy, herself, is a cancer survivor for 10 years.

Peggy was inspired to begin this ministry when witnessing a very spiritual person going through a 2nd bout of cancer. Peggy researched a Prayer Shawl Ministry in action in the San Francisco Bay Area. She felt the love, prayers and hugs that went into each Prayer Shawl and felt it could surely be applied to our own church community. Peggy took action with the cooperation of the Pastor and the first Prayer Shawl was presented at Mass on June 9, 2006.

Peggy put a notice in our church bulletin for anyone interested in joining her. I was inspired and offered to help Peggy in this worth while ministry. The first formal meeting of ladies interested and willing to knit or crochet for this ministry was held on June 30,2006 in a meeting room in the church office building sitting around a conference table. Later we voted to meet monthly alternating between Peggy's home and mine for a more homey and relaxed atmosphere. Our meetings open with prayer for all those knitting/crocheting the shawls and those receiving the shawls. Our meetings take place monthly for 10am to noon. Names of persons in need, usually received by referral of members of staff of our church are then given to those in attendance. The ministry member will then use a color and type of yarn they feel would be fitting for this person, male, female, young or mature. Color and texture of the yarn is very important part of making the shawl. We try to use yarns that are very soft and will make one feel like they are being hugged with love and prayers when wrapped in it. We make lap robes for the men who need or deserve a prayer shawl. Prayer shawls are not only given to those ill but to those who are celebrating a special occasion such as a birth of a baby, adoption or to someone who has given of oneself in outstanding volunteer work. Patterns are usually taken from "THE PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY" book which most of us own and treaure. A copy was also purchased by our ministry to share with those unable to own their own copy. HOMESPUN yarn is a favorite by our knitters for its soft feel, beautiful colors and warmth.

The completed shawls that are brought to our meeting are prayed over by Peggy and all members in attendance with hands on the shawls.

We have grown to 21 women who knit or crochet for this ministry. We have presented over 250 shawls/lap robes thus far. Each of the ladies feels they receive much more than they give.

Our prayer shawls are made without the recipient knowing. They are presented at Mass in our church on the 2nd Sunday of the month. A member of our ministry is called forward by the Priest along with the recipient. The shawls are blessed by the Priest and presented by a member. This takes a bit of coordinating but the surprise and the emotions felt by all in attendance is well worth it.

November, 2007 Peggy and I took a blessed prayer shawl to the home of a young mother of stage 4 cancer. Later on when this mother was able she attended one of our meetings wearing her shawl to express her appreciation. She shared with us how the shawl warmed her during her 6 hour long Chemo treatments. "It really makes a's God protecting me". Those words make every stitch created so worthwhile!

Our ministry also makes "Prayer Pockets". These are small pockets with a laminated Guardian Angel prayer on one side and our Ministry name and address on the other. One of our members knits these for us as her hands do not allow her to knit for any long period of time. These prayer pockets are sent to men and women serving in Iraq, and to others who are serving in harm's way such as our police and fire fighters. Many are requested by those traveling or just want them in their pocket or purse feeling our prayers are with them.

I would greatly recommend this ministry to anyone. The rewards received are so much greater than what is given.

Happy Knitting/Crocheting

Geri Rogers, Co facilitator

St. Anthony Prayer Shawl Ministy

St. Anthony Catholic Church

Manteca, CA 95337

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