Prayer Shawl Ministry
Sisters pray over a completed shawl.
The weavers display their works of love.
Ethel Delaney wraps herself in the prayers of the weavers.
Completed prayer shawls await their new owners.
Kay Noonan feels the warmth of the prayers.
The Carondelet Weavers continue their ministry.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry was actually passed on to the Sisters of St. Joseph from two Sisters of Mercy who were among many involved in the ministry in Rochester, NY. The concept was a new one in our area and one that seemed custom-made to us because so many sisters are knitters and crocheters. In October of 2004, a group of us came together calling ourselves The Carondelet Weavers, and we began in earnest to weave garments as we prayed to be given to those in need of our spiritual support.
Slowly, sisters began requesting a shawl for a relative or friend, and then many of the individuals who received the shawls requested one for someone they knew. As word began to spread that the sisters were “gifting” those in need of prayers, the number of requests continued to increase, so that many times we have a waiting list. In the last three years since we began the prayer shawl ministry, we have given out nearly 6,500 prayer shawls, lap robes and baby blankets.
There are sisters who weave these garments, but we have several lay persons, including our associates, who join with us in making these shawls. This ministry is active in Binghamton, Syracuse, Utica, Amsterdam, Schenectady and Albany.
Many times after a person receives the gift, we are honored with a wonderful thank-you note, expressing how much the individual appreciates the prayers that accompany the blanket or lap robe. Also, we receive many donations which enable us to purchase yarn to keep weaving.
We, as Sisters of St. Joseph, have undertaken an awesome responsibility to pray daily for those involved in our prayer shawl ministry. We have promised to pray not only for those who have received a garment but also for those who have contributed time, talent or treasure to the cause.
If you would like to know more about the prayer shawl ministry, would like to knit or crochet with us, or would like to order a shawl, lap robe or baby blanket, please e-mail Sister Mary Lou Delaney, CSJ, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Rd., Latham, NY 12110-4799 or call 518-322-5998 or 518-435-1757.
The garment is given free of charge, but we do ask for a $10.00 shipping-and-handling fee if it needs to be mailed. Of course, we would never refuse a friendly donation to purchase more yarn to carry on the ministry!