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Prayer Shawl Ministry

Mission Statement

Our mission is to knit or crochet items to be given to anyone who needs a "hug from God". Each item made is prayed into and then blessed by our very supportive parish Priests.


What is a Prayer/Healing Shawl?

Throughout the ages, shawls have come to symbolize shelter, peace and spiritual sustenance. In this ministry, they have become symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, GOD. We use the term “A HUG FROM GOD”…who do you know who can use a hug from God? They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, and beautify.

Since the inception of the Prayer/ Healing Shawl Ministry in 1998, the members of this ecumenical organization have lovingly donated their time and talents by creating hand-knitted and crocheted shawls for those in need. What started as a grass-roots movement has quickly grown into an international cause, with countless numbers of shawls being given to grateful recipients around the globe.


A bit of history...

In 1998, Janet Bristow & Victoria Galo, two graduates of the 1997 Women’s Leadership Institute at the Hartford Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut gave birth to a ministry as a result of their experience in a program of applied Feminist Spirituality.


Compassion and the love of knitting & crocheting have been combined into a prayerful ministry and spiritual practice which reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace, as well as in celebration and joy. Many blessings are prayed into every shawl.


The Ministry’s message of caring is simple, universal and enduring. And we have seen time and again that the creation and presentation of a prayer / healing shawl, like all acts of generosity, enriches the giver as well as the recipient.


The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Made in prayer, as prayer, for prayer, the shawls are passed on hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart.
These shawls are meant to be given away UNCONDITION-ALLY and NOT to be sold for profit. Putting a price on a
shawl defeats the purpose of this ministry. But, if someone wishes to "buy" a shawl, or “order” a shawl, lap robe, baby blanket or any other article in special colors, in order to protect and honor the integrity of the ministry, we tell them that, "although the shawls aren't sold, a respectable donation to our ministry is gratefully accepted in whatever dollar amount you feel comfortable in giving". These donations will allow our ministry to purchase more yarns and continue the 'ripple effect' of unconditional love!


In June 2006, we started with 4 of us…we grew to 14 of us, now we have 8 core committed gals Begin to knit, and God will show you the pattern and give you the yarn. If you know how to knit or crochet, we invite you to join us…if you want to learn, we have some very capable gals who would love to teach you. We are waiting for our first “guy” to join us.


We pay out of our own pockets, so whatever donations come in help us to “PAY IT FORWARD”. Donations appreciated! Special requests, please call Ann at 818-5162 or Norma at 586-8746.



If you thought knitting & crocheting was for “little old ladies” let me share some awareness with you: Research at the Harvard Medical School Mind/Body Institute has found that when an individual is knitting or crocheting, her heart rate can drop 11 beats a minute and her blood pressure drops as well. This ancient art benefits ones emotional and physical health by reducing stress in trying to manage the severity of chronic illness…and those of us who lead very hectic lifestyles…it is offered in many family cancer support centers to help with the emotional upheaval of dealing with cancer. Grade schools from Oregon to New Jersey have incorporated knitting & crocheting into their curriculum, not only for the health benefits, but to help build creativity and improve math skills. A quote from Gary Scholar, Health & Wellness Consultant to the employees of the American Hospital Association: “I would like to see implemented at Children’s hospitals a program to teach sick children how to knit so they have something to keep their minds occupied and be proud of what they have made if they are in the hospital for an extended time”.

We have increased our recipients to: Memorial Hospital… York Hospital (Oncology)…Pregnancy Resource Center at Catholic Charities…PALM (Post Abortion, love & life mission)…VNA Home Health-Well Span…Misericordia Convalescent Home…Sisters at Mercy Residence …Voorhees Cancer Center, Voorhees, NJ…NeoNatal Center, West Chester Hospital, West Chester, PA… Christmas Bazaar St. Joseph’s Church, Aston…& most recently New Life for Girls…and, of course, personal recipients. Just recently, our own Deacon Neil Crispo told us how moved to tears he was at Rachel’s Vineyard as he watched these prayer shawls being wrapped around those seeking healing.


Meeting Times


We meet every other Tuesday night from 6:30 to 9:30PM in one of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church meeting rooms There is no commitment to time or finished projects. Some come for the whole evening & some anywhere from ½ hour to what ever makes your heart sing. 


Who Can Join?

The criteria for joining us is a love of knitting or crocheting and a care and desire to reach out to others in a very special way. Each stitch is prayed into, blessed, and a prayer card for the specific need is attached to inform the recipient of the breadth & depth of our dedication to this special ministry.


Contact Information


If any of this information on the PSM has “tripped your trigger”, please contact Ann Cedrone via email or
call 717-818-5162.





•  St. Joseph Parish, York  •  2935 Kingston Road  •  York, Pennsylvania  •  17402  • 

•  Phone: (717) 755-7503  •  Fax: (717) 757-1900  • •

Part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg