Creating crafts is a special ministry of church women

For thirty-five years, a group of women in the St. Raphael Catholic Parish have been creating fancywork and craft items.

Their work has been a ministry in itself. While it gathered women of the parish together for fellowship, they created a variety of beautiful handcrafted items that raised money for parish and mission work. 

Creating a craft group was Mary Ann Ochs’ idea in 1980 while serving as president of St. Anne’s Altar Society.  She wanted to get more women of the parish involved in the organization.  She felt that working together would create a stronger church community. 

“In the beginning we had 40-50 ladies join in,” said Ochs. They came with a variety of interests, talents and skills. They turned out all sorts of products from dishcloths and towels to big beautiful quilts, braided rugs, holiday ornaments and gift items.  Some women worked on projects in their homes. Now the group is down to six women. “We need help,” Ochs said. “If we don’t get help, we’ll have to disband.”

The women meet every Monday at the church from 1:00 to 3:00.  “Sometimes longer when the coffee, cake and conversation is good,” Ochs commented. “Anyone from any church is welcome to join us. They don’t have to come every week to participate. They can come whenever.”

The group welcomes contributions of fabric, yarn, threat, buttons other decorative sewing materials. “If we can’t use it, we donate it to a rummage sale or give to Good Neighbor Thrift store,” she commented.