2016 Update (Feb. 2017)
The twenty-two members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry ended 2016 on a very high note. In the total of the six years that the girls have been a ministry of St. Pat’s Church, they have given away 665 beautifully knitted and crocheted shawls – to people who were very lonely, and just needed the warmth of a cozy shawl and felt the prayers that are knitted and crocheted into each and every shawl, also to the many who were ill in our community, also to those who had lost a loved one and were in need of some warmth and comfort.
Along with the shawls, the girls had many other projects that they put their talents towards. They gave 339 toques to nine schools in the Medicine Hat area. Two of the girls took on a project of their own and made 49 sets consisting of a toque, a scarf, and a pair of gloves. These were distributed between the schools, the library, and the Tigers Teddy Bear Toss before Christmas. 30 toques and 13 pairs of slippers were given to the Women’s Shelter, 22 toques and 1 pair of slippers were given to the library for their yearly Christmas Tree project, 8 baby blankets were donated to the Pregnancy Support Centre to aid their very worthwhile cause of helping the young people of Medicine Hat, 20 shawls and ponchos were delivered to Ronald McDonald House in Calgary for the very children in their care. And with all the smaller bits of wool that are left after each project, we have a member who gathers them up and knits very warm and colourful blankets and takes them to APARC, and animal rescue establishment, for use as bedding mats for the animals – to date she has made 15. What an awesome project she has undertaken!
All in all, the girls keep very busy and love every minute spent with their different projects. As the projects are completed, a member has taken on the task of bringing all the items to Fr. Tomy to be blessed.
A cute story arose during the time that a member was delivering items to the schools. This story comes from a teacher: Each school was given their allotted number of items, and the next day a little girl came to school without her mittens, toque, and scarf. The teacher asked her where they were, and the tearful reply was, “My sister took them!” Within a couple of days, our member returned to the school, and not only did she replace all the items, but added a pair of slippers just to make her feel better. As the story goes, the little girl was full of “Thank yous” and big smiles!
We also have a Guardian Angel in our ministry, who neither knits nor crochets, but loves to shop for bargains with handfuls of sale coupons and a big smile on her face. She literally keeps us supplied with wool and won’t accept anything in return. We keep telling her that she’s paving her way to heaven, one ball of wool at a time.
Please, if you know anyone deserving of a shawl or some other such article, get in touch with the Parish Office and they will steer you in the right direction. Unfortunately, we do not give these articles out as gifts, they are blessed and we only give them out to someone in need.
Anyone that can knit or crochet is more than welcome to join our merry bunch. We have 10-15 minutes of business once a month at our meetings, we look over all the new items that have been made by our members since our last meeting, and then it’s coffee and dainty time – the dainties are brought on a voluntary basis, by some of the best bakers in Medicine Hat! All of our knitting and crocheting is done at home in our spare time.
A very touching part of our meetings is when the Thank-you Cards are read out. Most of the girls have tears in their eyes, when we realize just how appreciative the recipients of our shawls and other items really are. One of our favourites is, “Now I know that there are Angels on earth.” How sweet is that!
-The girls of the Prayer Shawl Ministry