Knitting a pattern of love

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Dina Mananquil-Delfino

Dina Delfino Colours of Life

As we ushered in 2010, I looked back at 2009 with much thanksgiving and reverie. The many blessings I have received, along with the trials and tribulations are gifts I needed to nurture and learn from. The birth of my grand-daughter Eva Marie is one of the most wonderful events for 2009 for us as a family.

In my quiet moments with the Lord, I asked how I can serve Him better this year. Certainly, I have enough on my plate, but once a person is touched by the Lord, the journey is continuous and an uphill climb. There is a lot of work to be done in His kingdom and more people to tell the Good News.

Thus it was no surprise to me that one Sunday I was approached by a parishioner who was asking help to enlarge their ministry. She had been asking the Lord for direction as there is so much her group can offer but it is not bearing great fruit as desired.

She told me of the prayer shawl ministry. I was touched by its concept. I too was yearning to be re-filled with the Holy Spirit’s gifts of healing, miracles, compassion and service. The last 10 years of my spiritual life were spent in leadership roles and building foundations in the Lord. This time I desire to give back more to the Lord through individuals He would bring to my path.

I was advised by Lila that there is a committed knitting group in our parish. Among all other valuable items they knit, they create shawls that are used to pray with people who are in need of special prayers (particularly the isolated, house-bound, disabled, the sick , dying or someone waiting for an operation). Over the centuries, shawls have come to symbolise shelter, peace and spiritual sustenance. Since the inception of prayer shawls in 1998 by Janet Bristow and Victoria Galo, many shawls have been created by loving and generous hands and given away to grateful recipients around the world. Prayers are said once a shawl is knitted and continue on until it is given to a recipient. Many shawls were knitted and given away during the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

This ministry has opened a lot of possibilities for me and I am filled with excitement about what we can create to touch one another deeply.

I invite anyone who may be interested to join and try it.

What can you do?

  • YOU CAN JOIN THE KNITTING TEAM IF YOU HAVE THE TALENT FOR IT. (in this case please call Lila on 9704 6939 for Narre Warren and surrounding residents ) or knit them at home and deliver them to Estelle’s office in Springvale or send to us by mail. (my address: 19 Sarton Link, Pakenham VIC 3810)
  • · JOIN THE PRAYING MINISTRY TEAM – this team will visit and hand the shawl to the person who is in need of prayers and join them for prayer. For areas difficult to reach or those who are not comfortable to be prayed over, we can send the shawl with a prayer attached to it, which you can pray anytime , alone or with family members
  • · PROVIDE THE NAME OF THE PERSON whom you think can benefit from this prayer shawl ministry. Please email the name, the need and details of the recipient and when is the best time to visit and pray for them or their address so we can mail the shawl to them. (email Dina Delfino on edelfino@superpartners.com.au or text her mobile on 0430 214 917).

PRAYERS SAID OVER THESE SHAWLS

Prayer of the person knitting the shawl:

Bless these needles and hands of mine, that I may make a shawl of faith, strength, health, comfort and love. Give this shawl the ability to comfort, the ability to give strength where it is needed and if it be Your will, the ability to heal in body, mind and spirit. May the recipient know You are with them and they are not alone; that they are cared for and prayed for and Your loving arms are around them whenever they put this shawl on.

Prayer of the recipient:

Lord I want to thank you for the person who knitted this shawl- their kindness, their prayers and compassion. I am blessed to receive it.

During these difficult times, I am comforted by the thought that people care and that I am supported by loving prayers. I can find strength and hope for recovery, transformation or learning new ways of loving You and others through my trial. May this shawl continue to give me peace, joy and the serenity of knowing that you are embracing me at these times of my great need. AMEN.

Already I am seeing a personal miracle. My daughter Jessica, who has never been interested in religious activities is keen to join me in this ministry. She said it is a beautiful way of giving something back to the community. It is wonderful to see that prayers of these committed knitters are already bearing fruit.

“those who have received these prayer shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles.”

Come join us and make a difference to someone’s life this year…

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Dina Mananquil-Delfino
Dina was a former editor-in-chief of The Philippine Times and has been its columnist for over 20 years. She has written two books, "Colours of Life" and "Under His Wings".Dina has been in the helping field for 40 years in the various roles she had fulfilled- teacher, employee in different organisations, volunteer, pastoral care worker. She is a member of Australian Counsellors of Australia (ACA) and Counsellors Victoria (CV). She brings into her practice her unique style of helping and understanding, having been exposed to various roles involving different cultures. She can relate to the challenges change brings. In her published book Colours of Life, she shares the angst and joy of being a migrant. As a Pastoral Care worker, she has helped many individuals and families empower themselves and encourage them to achieve order in their otherwise chaotic life. She also facilitates/conducts regular workshops/teachings in personal development.Dina’s strength is in pastoral care, assisting people journey through the difficult moments of serious illness, loss and bereavement, helping newly-arrived migrants, and emotionally embracing the elderly and senior members of the community, moving them to work towards a new vision of settlement, hope and comfort.Dina is available for private counselling by booking an appointment. For comments or feedback, email evamarie09@bigpond.com.

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