Prayer Shawl Ministry

Keeping with the Ignatian tradition of being people for others, our ministries are an opportunity to put our faith into action while building community. We invite you to discern how to share your gifts with others!

Your St. Ignatius Prayer Shawl Ministry celebrated its 10th anniversary in October 2016.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry (PSM) originated in Hartford, Connecticut in 1998. PSM is a copyrighted program and we were given the blessing of the co-founders, as well as the Stewardship and Parish Pastoral Council and our Pastor at the time, Fr. Brian Massie, to begin our own ministry at St. Ignatius.

“Shawls…made for centuries, universal and embracing, symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally-loving God. They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace, mother, hug, shelter and beautify. Those who have received these shawls have been uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to fly above their troubles…” (Janet Bristow, 1998).

Special care, along with the love of knitting or crocheting, is combined into a prayerful ministry that reaches out to those in need of comfort and solace. The pattern is very easy to follow: knit three, pearl three and prayer. The three is symbolic of the trinity. Prayers and blessings are knit into each shawl. The knitter begins each shawl with prayers for the intended recipient. The intentions are continued throughout the creation of the shawl. Once completed, the prayer shawl is blessed and then gifted with a letter expressing care and concern, and explaining the shawl ministry.

To date, shawls have been gifted for health, bereavement, thanks, confirmation, baptism, birthdays, new babies, retirements, and to let the recipient know they are being thought about and prayed for. Shawls have been made for individuals within the parish and to friends of the parish. They've been sent to many places throughout Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, the U.S.A., Europe, India and Africa. The PSM has also provided outreach and support to other churches in Manitoba; Winnipeg, Winkler, Brandon, as well as a senior centre, all of whom have started their own PSM.

Since 2006, your small but dedicated group of PSM knitters have made an astounding 415 shawls!

For those who would like the opportunity to knit as a group, we usually meet on the first Thursday of the month, from 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. in the Education Centre. If you prefer to knit from home, please call for the pattern and discuss the plan for delivery of the shawl to the administration centre. We're always very happy to accept monetary donations for the purchase of wool, as well as the donation of full balls/skeins of wool.

For more information, contact Joanne.


Joanne van Dyck
(204) 261-6461