Blankets of love

| December 16, 2015 | 0 Comments
Karen Anthony, right, of St. Joseph in Miesville works on a blanket Dec. 1 at an event put on by a group called Women Inspiring Women at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings. Women from SEAS and neighboring parishes made a total of 16 blankets, which will be given to the needy. Parishioner Jeanne Loesch collects these blankets and others for distribution through a program she started called Covered By His Love. Also working on the blanket are Amy Gapp, left, and her mother, Christina. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Karen Anthony, right, of St. Joseph in Miesville works on a blanket Dec. 1 at an event put on by a group called Women Inspiring Women at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings. Women from SEAS and neighboring parishes made a total of 16 blankets, which will be given to the needy. Parishioner Jeanne Loesch collects these blankets and others for distribution through a program she started called Covered By His Love. Also working on the blanket are Amy Gapp, left, and her mother, Christina. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Women gather at Hastings parish to bring warmth to those in need

Jeanne Loesch was praying during her weekly eucharistic adoration hour last spring at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Hastings when a burst of inspiration came to her.

She happened to read about a church in Florida that collected blankets for the needy, and she felt a voice inside give her a simple message:

“Do this.”

Chris Spinler, Dell Medcraft and Jean Bauer, all members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, talk as they work on a blanket. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Chris Spinler, Dell Medcraft and Jean Bauer, all members of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, talk as they work on a blanket. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Believing it was God speaking to her, she started pondering ways she could do this at her parish. Within a matter of days, she had a name for her new apostolate: Covered By His Love. Not long after that, she started collecting blankets at her parish one Sunday a month for charities including Sharing and Caring Hands in Minneapolis and Union Gospel Mission in St. Paul.

Her program was given a shot in the arm Dec. 1 when another parish group, Women Inspiring Women, devoted their monthly meeting to making blankets for the collection. About two dozen women made 15 blankets, the number Loesch estimates she collects on a given Sunday.

The event drew people like Christina Gapp and her 12-year-old  daughter Amy. Christina attends Women Inspiring Women regularly, and she especially liked the idea of doing something for charity.

Christina Gapp, left, and her daughter Amy work to finish a blanket corner. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

Christina Gapp, left, and her daughter Amy work to finish a blanket corner. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

“Why we came tonight has a lot to do with charity and picking projects to do for giving purposes,” Christina said. “Every year, we try to do something as a family to give instead of just thinking about receiving during the holiday season. . . . This year, when we heard about the blanket ministry, I thought, ‘Wow, this is a terrific opportunity to give of our time and talent.’”

Blanketdetail

The mother and daughter team assembled a blanket alongside St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioner Dell Medcraft and Karen Anthony of St. Joseph in Miesville. Amy handled the scissors and all four assembled the fleece tie blankets under the patronage of Mary, Undoer of Knots, a devotion receiving new attention because it’s among Pope Francis’ favorites.

“This is a wonderful activity,” Medcraft said. “It’s wonderful for us doing it and for the recipients.”

Christina Gapp thought the timing of the blanket-making event coincided beautifully with her consecration to Mary, which took place Nov. 21 at the parish.

“This ministry has so much to do with Mary and her sacred heart and her mercy toward us,” she said. “I just felt called to come here.”

For more information about Covered By His Love or to donate a blanket, contact Loesch at 651-437-1591 or jeanneloesch@yahoo.com.

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