Saint Mary's Parish
Wrapped in Prayer
Handmade with Prayer
Despite the frigid weather this past Saturday, sounds of clicking needles and warm conversation amongst the
Prayer Shawl Ministry
filled Mary’s room in the Pastoral Center. The purpose of this ministry is to offer a symbol of God's love for those who are ill or others who are in need of comfort and prayer through the gift of a prayer shawl. From the first moment a new shawl is started, the knitter begins praying for the recipient. Once completed, they are blessed and placed in a bag with a beautiful tag and prayers of comfort. Recipients are then wrapped in the prayer shawls that are created with love and intended to give its wearer a big hug from God through their hands. Msgr. Mike joined the group during their meeting this month to provide a blessing.
shared that hundreds of shawls have been distributed since the ministry started in 2001. Every prayer shawl that has ever been knitted and distributed is recorded in a book. Susan and her husband, Ray, were recipients of a prayer shawl after the death of their son. She still remembers the day both she and Ray were wrapped in a shawl together in their home by our parish nurse
, and were provided with a great source of comfort. Susan was invited to join the Prayer Shawl ministry shortly after and has been a member since
first experienced this ministry while her mother, who found peace by being wrapped in a prayer shawl, was battling lung cancer.
Susan Cote & Deb Koziara
Knowing how much it comforted her during her illness, Deborah buried her mother with it after her passing. Inspired by this experience, Deborah wanted to give back to the Prayer Shawl Ministry so others could benefit from and receive the same comfort her mother did. She decided to knit a shawl at home and donated it to replace the one her mother was given. Soon after, Deborah joined the ministry, and together she and Susan now lead it.
Many have participated in this ministry since its origination in 2001, and it has even spread beyond St. Mary’s to include members of other parishes and churches in town.
, from The First Congregational Church in Shrewsbury, joined the ministry after her husband, Jim, passed away. He encouraged her to use her knitting skills to give others the same comfort he had found in a prayer shawl. In early 2012, Barbara knitted her 500th shawl!
, who is one of the founding members of the Prayer Shawl Ministry, was wrapped in that beautiful shawl in celebration and thanksgiving for all of her contributions to the group
This ministry continues to grow and welcome new members, such as longtime St. Mary’s parishioner
. Rosemary attained her knitting and crocheting skills by learning from her mother. A few years ago, while working at the Christopher Heights, her boss was diagnosed with breast cancer. Knowing about the ministry, she requested a prayer shawl and wrapped her. At her wake it was draped over her casket and her husband shared with Rosemary how much his wife appreciated and treasured the shawl and all the prayers that were stitched in.
was also joining the ministry for the first time this month. She shares her love of knitting with her longtime friend Deb. Mary too was once a recipient of a prayer blanket from co-workers, who each knitted a square and sewed them together to create a prayer blanket. She shared her appreciation for the blanket, and upon learning about Deb’s involvement in the ministry, she thought this would be a great way to do something similar for others.
It was great to spend time with this group, and through the stories they shared, it was clear that this ministry touches not only those that receive the shawls but also the knitters and those who distribute them. These women are a blessing and testimony of how our community of faith loves, comforts, prays for, and accompanies each other through life in good times and difficult times.
Currently, there are 10 members: Rosemarie Morana, Melina Ducheneau, Joan Patchell, Natalie Lozoski, Phyllis Graham, Adeline Bujnowski , Susan Cote, Deborah Koziara, Mary Codyer, and Rosemary Grant.
Mary Codyer, Deb Koziara, Sue Cote, Rosemary Grant
How to request a prayer shawl?
Prayer Shawls are free. If you would like to request one for a loved one or friend, email Deb Koziara at
or Sue Cote at
. Along with a shawl, you will receive suggested prayers to use when wrapping a recipient.
How you can help
The Prayer Shawl Ministry is a great way for people who love to knit or crochet to use their talents to bring comfort to people in our community who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. If you are not a knitter or crocheter, you can still help by donating yarn. To learn more about this ministry or if you have any questions,
please email Deb Koziara at
or Susan Cote at
Photos through the years
Check out a few photos of this ministry in action over the years by clicking
Prayer of Comfort
May this prayer shawl surround you with the Love of God.
May you feel the embrace of God, who though unseen, is with you now.
May you be shielded from all that causes you worry and anxiety.
Rest in the knowledge that you are loved and cared for by a God whose gentle touch caresses your soul.
May you be strengthened by the prayers of those who knit this shawl.
Though they do not know you personally.
It is their intention to bring you comfort through the symbol of this shawl.
Together, they join with you in the hope that your journey will be more peaceful.
May this prayer shawl be of comfort to your family also.
May they draw courage from its beauty, trusting that when they are not able to be here, God remains and is present with you.
May God bless you with love beyond measure.
May God’s face shine upon you and give you peace.
By Mary Kay Kusner
Sent by Kelly Paulina on Tuesday, January 9 at 6:00PM