Franciscan Friars - Holy Name Province Today newsletter

January 23, 2008
Vol. 42, No. 2





Wood-Ridge Parish Reaches Out to the Needy With Needle-Work

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WOOD-RIDGE, N.J. — Inspired by the prayer shawl ministry at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church in Hartford, Conn., Cassian Miles, OFM, organized a similar program in October at Assumption Church here.

"The initial response was very encouraging," Cassian said. "Before long, we had more than 20 women interested in knitting and crocheting shawls.

The prayer aspect is a personal matter, with some women praying while their fingers work the needles and yarn into distinctive patterns of shawls.

Madeline Spies, Jean Zoch and Marie Ward volunteered to get our group started. They reached out to parishioners they knew who would be interested in this ministry, and we also invited others through our parish bulletin."

The very first shawl from Spies’ nimble fingers was presented personally by her and Cassian during their visit to Mabel, mother, of Paul Sinnema, OFM, at St. Vincent’s Nursing Home in Cedar Grove, N.J., early last month.

Homebound members of the parish and residents of other area nursing homes and rehabilitation facilities also received shawls. A prayer card and Christmas greeting accompanied each shawl donation.

"Our group now meets once a month in the early afternoon at Fr. Patrick Morris Hall in the basement of our church," Cassian said. "Instruction is offered to newcomers to needle-work. Usually by the end of our meeting, our skilled ladies have turned out either finalized beautiful products or sections of yard on their way to becoming completed shawls.”

“Those who have welcomed the shawls tell me that there’s nothing like the cozy feeling of this knitted piece around their shoulders or placed over their laps.  And they are grateful for the prayer that goes with each shawl,” Cassian said, adding, “At the end of our meeting, we pray over the shawls made there, as well as others we have received from parishioners who made them at home. Yes, a blessing has done with each of the 41 shawls created so far.”



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