Sister Dorothy with Prayer Shawl

Valley City, ND   CHI Mercy Health is reaching out to the community to request Prayer Shawl donations that we can provide to our patients to support our ministry of healing.  Prayer Shawls have been used throughout history–our ancient Israeli ancestors used them to pray and to remind them of God’s constant love and presence in their lives.

The symbolism is that the shawl carries the prayer of the person making it and the original design was an over-the-shoulder, decorative cloth that could wrap around the person.  Today, shawls 2 ft. wide and 8-10 ft. long are the most comforting to our patients.  We also give the patient a card, when the shawls are presented, which speaks to the early Jewish tradition of the use of the prayer shawl and how the seamstress prays, with every stitch that is made, for the person who will receive the shawl.

The making of a prayer shawl is a spiritual practice which embodies our thoughts and prayers for the receiver. It is a gift freely given with no strings attached. Made in prayer, the shawls are passed on hand-to-hand and heart-to-heart.

“Shawls, made for centuries, are universal and embracing.

Symbolic of an inclusive, unconditionally loving, God.

They wrap, enfold, comfort, cover, give solace,

mother, hug, shelter and beautify.

Those who have received these shawls have been

uplifted and affirmed, as if given wings to

fly above their troubles…”

Written in 1998 by: Janet Severi Bristow

Please contact Stephanie Mayfield in the CHI Mercy Health Foundation/Mission office (direct #845-6557 or with any questions you have regarding the prayer shawls.