UP Catholic 03 18 2016 E Edition Page 2

2 March 18, 2016 THE U.P. CATHOLIC YEAR OF MERCY www.upcatholic.org R If you are a Physician, health & fitness professional or an organization that specializes in one or more of these areas... Join us! For rate information contact: Deacon Steve 1-866-452-5112 Email: upc@new.rr.com AD SPACE DEADLINE: APRIL 18TH. In our May 6th Health & Fitness Issue! e-claim Your Health! Senior Citizens Retreat May 10 - 12 Mary, Queen of Heaven Retreat April 29 - May 1 Devotion to Mary gives a sense of unwavering hope and boundless joy for every Christian. Spend three days with guest director Fr. Corey Litzner as he examines the many facets of the Blessed Mother's care for us. (Cost $120.00 for single, $200.00 for a married couple) Our Senior Citizens retreat emphasizes the value of age and wisdom, often not appreciated in society today. This retreat is open to both singles and couples. Director: Fr. Tim Ferguson (Cost: $90.00 for single, $160.00 for a married couple) Mercy Corner: Knitting provides prayers for the living and the dead BY JAMIE CARTER THE U.P. CATHOLIC I love to knit and do things to help people along when theyre ill, stated Bonnie Wanska as she reflected on why she got involved in the prayer shawl ministry at St. Louis the King Parish in Marquette. I was retired and testing the waters of what I could do to get involved at church. As a retired nurse, Wanska knew that the prayer shawl ministry would be the right fit to pair her joy of knitting with helping those who are ill. Prayer shawl ministries are well-known to not just our Catholic parishes, but also protestant churches. The ministry allows parishioners to come together and join in on a hobby, while at the same time practicing in a spiritual work of mercy of praying for the living and the dead. For more than 10 years, the prayer shawl ministry at St. Louis the King has been a labor of love and prayers. The group of about a doz- en parishioners meet once a month to make prayer and baptismal shawls, while offering prayers for a variety of intentions. The shawls are made with prayer for the eventual recipient in mind, who includes those in mourning and those who are ill. We also pray for those making these shawls as well as any intentions they may have, stated Jean Darcy, a member of the ministry. The prayer shawls are distributed to those who are sick, and often times to a spouse or family member of a deceased person. Over the past five years, the ministry has presented more than 90 adult prayer shawls to those in need. Though the focus of the ministry has been prayer shawls since its inception, anoth- er project was added in 2011. At the request of Deacon Gregg St. John, assigned to St. Louis the King, baptismal shawls are now being made for infants and children, along with adults who are baptized at the parish. It has been an absolute joy to see those baptismal shawls being used during the litur- gy, said Darcy. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church states, The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessi- ties. (CCC 2447) Through the spiritual and corporal works of mercy that the Church has given us, there are countless opportunities to help our neighbors in need. The prayer shawl ministry has not only done this by praying for the living and the dead through their work, but they have also incorporated clothing the naked, another work of mercy. Last summer, the ministry added yet an- other project, this time it is making hats. The hats are given to participants at Room at the Inn, or sold during the women's club bazaar at the parish. In just a few months, more than 30 hats had been made to assist in clothing the naked. The prayer shawl ministry is always wel- come to new members, as Darcy stated, You don't have to come to our meetings, you can knit and pray from home! Throughout this Holy Year, The U.P. Cath- olic will be highlighting the works of mercy taking place in our parishes and communi- ties across the Upper Peninsula. If you have a story and pictures of a person or group of people who are actively engaging in works of mercy, email your suggestion to The U.P. Catholic at news@dioceseofmarquette.org. JAMIE CARTER THE U.P. CATHOLIC Bonnie Wanska and Jean Darcy work on knitting shawls during a prayer shawl ministry meeting earlier this month at St. Louis the King Parish in Marquette.

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