Four years ago, I introduced to our parish, the idea of the Knitting Ministry. My sister had begun a prayer shawl ministry in her parish in Connecticut (where the whole idea began)and after hearing about the details, I knew I'd need to begin this at our church. I was, at the time, a non-knitter, but that did not stop me.
My sister, Sue, came to St. Mary's and 'kicked off' our ministry, and it has served many, many people since. The knitting group itself feels very blessed to gather in community and prayer each month, and we know that we serve the greater community with our love and what we consider to be 'tangible prayer'. We have received many letters of gratitude and thanks for our shawls and prayers. At this time, we figure that about 200 people have been 'wrapped' in prayer.
The beautiful thing about this ministry is that ALL people can be involved; young, old, infirmed, moms and daughters, expert knitters and new knitters. I had never knit in my life but have now made 17 shawls. Last year our ministry offered a shawl to a man in intensive care in our community. He was a member of the Congregational church of our local town and was very moved by the fact that the Catholic church had 'wrapped' him. Unfortuately, that man died, but his wife has joined our ministry. You might call her the "mad knitter" or the "knitting machine" as she offers 6 to 9 shawls EVERY MONTH! She is a gift to us, and the ministry is a gift to her.
I've gone to several parishes to help them begin their ministries, convinced of the inherent goodness of this work. When people hear of it, they are immediately impressed and want to be involved or begin it themselves. I feel as though I have knit every color you have, so I am ready for you to create some NEW colors!! If, in the future, we have pictures or stories of interest, I will be happy to send them along.
St. Mary's Parish