Women Pray, Socialize, Work Together in Service
By Amanda Hudson, News Editor
December 8, 2022
OCKFORD—There was a lot of catching up to be done at the annual Blanket Workshop sponsored by the Catholic Women’s League on Dec. 1 at St. Bernadette Parish.
The CWL missed at least two years of the annual event due to the pandemic, and the 60-70 attendees filled the parish hall with chatter and laughter before and during the brunch prior to diving in to tie some 220 blankets for people served by five area agencies.
The event began with a Mass for deceased bishops, priests and religious celebrated by Msgr. Gerald Kobbeman, the new spiritual director for the CWL. Petitions at the Mass included that deceased bishops, priests and religious be enfolded “in the arms of (God’s) mercy.”
Msgr. Kobbeman reflected on the life of the Blessed Mother in his homily, pointing to the many challenges that came to her and her response of faith with humility and much pondering of the events in her life. He asked the group to remember all mothers who have had to bury a child, noting that his own mother had five of her children die before she did.
“Life isn’t easy,” Msgr. Kobbeman said, encouraging the women to ponder Mary’s and Joseph’s life, also calling on the Blessed Mother for assistance.
Once plates were cleared following the brunch after the Mass, fleece blankets with fringe already cut by the CWL sewing guild were distributed to the tables and instructions for knotting the fringe were shared by table leaders. “Say prayers over your blankets as you tie them,” said one organizer. “They’re going to wonderful people.”
Recipients of the blankets made include Amberwood Nursing Home, Rockford Family Peace Center, Rock River Rehab, St. Elizabeth Catholic Community Center, and Victory Outreach.
Additionally, gloves and mittens were collected for school-aged children served by Catholic Charities, and stuffed animals filled a few tables to go to Carrie Lynn Children’s Center.
Throughout its long history, Catholic Women’s League has incorporated prayer into its service to others.
“During Advent,” said the invitation to the event, “please keep the children and families 
of those served by these agencies and all who suffer from domestic abuse and violence in your prayers.”
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