Our knitting circle began in the Fall of 2010 in Assumption Center, located in the Columbus Park neighborhood of Worcester, Massachusetts, USA. Its original impetus came from the need of families on the Border between the U.S. and Mexico, where our Sisters live in Chaparral, New Mexico. Although on most winter days the sun is warm in Chaparral, winter nights are cold and windy.
We put a notice in the parish bulletin of St. Peter's Church (where our AMAs work) asking for volunteers to knit or crochet items for the families in Chaparral. The result was the knitting circle. It meets every Friday from 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. at the Center. We have about 10 members who come regularly, and also some members who knit at home and bring their work in.
When I think of the educational values of this small group, I do think that it is working its own transformation of its members.
The women are discovering more and more about life on the Border through the messages and photos received on the Internet. "What a joy to see the scarf I knitted on the neck of a teen-ager in Chaparral!" "What a pleasure to read an account of how the knitted things were distributed to the children!" I think this exchange does put a human face on the whole question of immigration. It's no longer simply political and theoretical but it is personal...this child...that mother...that family...
Another transformation is that some of the families of Main South who are struggling themselves have given their winter gifts to help others in the Southwest. Women who are themselves newly arrived in this country are knitting for their compatriots across the Border.
The knitting group also provides community, friendship and support in an inter-generational and inter-cultural way. Its members are retired women, college students, working mothers and grand-mothers from different parts of the city of Worcester. All are welcome to come and add to making our motto come true : From Warm Hearts to Warm Hands !
Sr. Therese Margaret Duross, R.A.