By Renee Villa, Campus Director of Spiritual Care at Brothers of Mercy
Many local parishes provide outreach to the sick through the prayer shawl ministry. Knitters gather once a week to knit shawls that are blessed and given to those who are in need of comfort for any number of reasons, such as illness or bereavement.
BOM’s Montabaur Heights resident Mary Swanz is an avid knitter and has over sixty shawls that she has kept in storage to donate for this purpose. She offered to give them to the residents of Sacred Heart Home for distribution. In the beginning of January, staff at Sacred Heart Home were thrilled to give each resident a blessed prayer shawl with the following prayer:
“When you wrap yourself in this shawl,
Bless yourself in the name of the Father, who loves you,
and of the Son who is your brother and your friend,
and of the Holy Spirit who guides your every step.
When I knit this shawl, I prayed many prayers into every stitch:
That this shawl would keep you warm,
Make you feel strong,
Help you feel better.
May this shawl calm you when you are upset,
remind you that you are loved, and
remind you that your guardian angel
is always watching over you.
When you wear this shawl, believe with all your heart that:
God is with you every minute of every hour of every day,
Jesus loves you no matter what, and
The Holy Spirit rests upon your shoulder
Especially when you are sad or lonely.
May this shawl bring you sweet dreams when you are sleeping.
What a wonderful way to provide comfort during these challenging times. During this season of hope in the midst of darkness, this is certainly one of the kindnesses that help to light our journeys. Peace, Renee