by Antonina Zielinska
The Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará Sisters, who reside in the contemplative monastery of St. Edith Stein, Flatlands, stitched 25 stoles that have already been shipped to Madrid as part of the “Just a Stitch Away” World Youth Day campaign. It took them half a year to complete the project, while maintaining their already busy work and prayer schedules. Four sisters did the majority of the stitching before their mother superior came with another sister from Argentina.
“We took this as an extra sacrifice offered freely in order to help World Youth Day,” said Sister Annunciation, S.S.V.M., who worked on the project from the beginning. “We saw it as a little way, in addition to our prayers, to participate with our work to give praise and glory to God.”
Mother Superior Maria Del Redentor said the sisters will not be able to partake in the pilgrimage because they are a closed cloister but they already are keeping the pilgrims in their prayers.
“We know this will be an opportunity for young people to come in close contact with God,” she said. “Some may be inspired to give their life completely to God. So we pray that they may have the strength to hear their calling.”
It is the sisters’ concern for all the people of the world that brought them to this project. During Lent, the sisters have a tradition of sewing the baby Jesus a vestment related to a special intention they choose to pray for. This year they dressed him in traditional Spanish garments in honor of World Youth Day.
The sisters sent the World Youth Day committee a photo of their work. In turn, they received information about the “Cozer y Cantar.” The project became part of the sisters’ celebration of the 25th anniversary of their community.
“We think this will be good to give as an offering to the Church in gratitude for being in this institute,” said Mother Superior Maria.
When the sisters sent their offering to Spain, they included a letter to Pope Benedict XVI. The mother superior said the sisters are excited to have had this opportunity. She pointed out that the pope will donate the stoles to new missions in poor regions of the world.