Losing a loved one or nearing the end of life is difficult for anyone. Our Catholic Charities Bereavement Services offers various ways to ease the pain, including group talks, individual consultations, spiritual talks and prayer shawls.
In the tradition of crocheting family “blankets or wraps,” prayer shawls are knitted by individuals or a group who add different colors or patterns to complete the blankets or shawls. Knitting itself is said to be therapeutic to the knitter, but when the knitter(s) pray on behalf of specific individuals or for all who are suffering, the shawls represent shared suffering to lessen the pain as well as a community of caring. The colorful shawls help to brighten the atmosphere for the suffering and also help them to be seen. What’s more, the bereaved have an opportunity to be heard because the shawls open up dialogue and invite conversations.
Prayer shawls are knitted at our Brooklyn Community Center and by the Crochet Club at our Ozone Park Senior Center in Queens.
Our Grandmothers As Mothers Again (GAMA) group at the Catholic Charities Ozone Park Senior Center previously established a crocheting club. When they learned about prayer shawls, they also began to pray for the suffering while knitting.
For more information on bereavement services, please contact 718-722-6113.