Modern lacemakers perfect 17th-century art

August 3, 2012 by

The 17th-century art of bobbin lacemaking is in no danger of being lost to history, if 22 women gathered at the Manna House of Prayer in Concordia this week have anything to say about it.

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Women from as far north as the Canadian cities of Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,  and as far south as El Paso, Texas, gathered to learn — and, in some cases, perfect —  the meticulous threadwork to create delicate bookmarks, angels and other decorations. Most of the participants are Sisters of St. Joseph and represent congregations in Ontario, Canada; Wichita; Rochester, N.Y.; Detroit, Mich.; La Grange Park, Ill.; and Philadelphia. And a handful are laywomen just interested in learning to create the delicate lace.

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

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 annual workshop ends at noon Saturday. It is held at Manna House each year and is open to anyone who wants to learn bobbin lacemaking. Previous experience is not required.

Participants in the 2012 bobbin lacemaking retreat at Manna House of Prayer pose for a group photo Friday morning.

 

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

 

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