Threads tie modern workshop to 17th century France

August 13, 2009 by

Sister Loretta Clare Flax works on a piece of bobbin lace at this weeks Manna House of Prayer retreat.

Sister Loretta Clare Flax works on a piece of bobbin lace at this week's Manna House of Prayer retreat.

The lace makers focus on their projects Thursday morning.

The lace makers focus on their projects Thursday morning.

Seventeen women gathered at Manna House of Prayer this week to continue a tradition that the earliest Sisters of St Joseph practiced more than 350 years ago.

Sisters Ramona Medina and Janet Lander, both members of the Concordia congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, are leading a retreat titled “Weaving Threads of Love,” designed to give participants the opportunity to experience and integrate the spirituality and practice of making bobbin lace in a contemplative setting.

Participants came from across Kansas and six other states to learn bobbin-lace making. In addition to the Concordia congregations, other Sisters of St. Joseph in attendance are from the Boston, St. Augustine (Fla.), Springfield (Mass.), Orange (Calif.) and Philadelphia congregations. There are also two laywomen taking part.

The Sisters of St. Joseph was founded in Le Puy, France, in 1650, and members of that early congregation made bobbin lace as a way to support themselves and their works.

Today, Sisters Ramona and Janet lead the retreats at Manna House to share the craft as a contemplative practice that “creates in us heart-space where the connections with God and the dear neighbor may be woven in prayer, as surely as the design of threads and spaces evolves on the lace pillow before our eyes.”

The workshop ends at noon Saturday.

For information on upcoming retreats at Manna House of Prayer, click HERE.

Sister Kathleen Berube of Brighton, Mass., works on a red, white and blue lace piece.

Sister Kathleen Berube of Brighton, Mass., works on a red, white and blue lace piece.

Sister Ramona Medina, right, helps Sister Catherine Morin of Springfield, Mass., Thursday morning.

When it comes to learning bobbin-lace techniques, sometimes four hands are better than two.

When it comes to learning bobbin-lace techniques, sometimes four hands are better than two.

Sister Loretta Jasper of Concordia finishes up a lace piece.

Sister Loretta Jasper of Concordia finishes up a lace piece.

Sister Lorettas next challenge in selecting the colors of thread for to begin another piece.

Sister Loretta's next challenge in selecting the colors of thread for to begin another piece.

Sister Veronica Ann Baxa shows off her completed bobbin-lace heart.

Sister Veronica Ann Baxa shows off her completed bobbin-lace heart.

Sister Janet Lander, left, offers guidance to Sister Ann Marie Ghiloni of Milton, Mass.

Sister Janet Lander, left, offers guidance to Sister Ann Marie Ghiloni of Milton, Mass.

The participants in this weeks retreat gather Thursday for a group portrait.

The participants in this week's retreat gather Thursday for a group portrait.

Comments

7 Responses to “Threads tie modern workshop to 17th century France”

  1. Christine Doman,CSJ on September 8th, 2009 11:23 am

    The giftedness of minds and hands of each one is to be admired and congrats are in order. Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures and completed works of art and beauty.
    Christine

  2. Carm Thibault on August 17th, 2009 7:46 pm

    These are great photos showing the lace making retreat! I enjoyed seeing everyone so busy at their art work! Thanks, Ramona and Janet, for teaching so many this ancient craft!
    I hear you had good helpers, too…such as Cese Green.

  3. Christine Overkamp on August 17th, 2009 9:12 am

    Sr. Vivian shared her projects with me this morning! Loved it. What a great retreat for the seventeen women who participated. Wish I lived closer the entire atmosphere sounded wonderful. Thanks for all the work your ministry does for God’s people. You will be remembered in prayer always. Chris Overkamp, Principal, St. Columbkille School, Papillion, NE 68046

  4. Anne M. Reinert on August 16th, 2009 5:47 pm

    Thani You, Beautiful work and beautiful prayer. Anne

  5. Joannecsj on August 16th, 2009 3:13 pm

    It’s great to see these pictures…not only for the memories of Concordia…but also to see familar faces in the midst of it all.

  6. Bette Moslander on August 15th, 2009 5:25 pm

    I wasn’t personally involved in making lace but I was in my office most of the time. It was truly a contemplative spirit. THe only sound one could hear was the low murmur of voices as one passed the conference room. In the morning and evening the lovely music being sung when the lacemakers were at prayer wafted through the house.

  7. Jenny on August 13th, 2009 9:08 pm

    Great to see this craft being kept alive.

Feel free to leave a comment...