What a noble work! How did it all start? Did you begin with the Summer School children? What goals do the girls (the older group) have through learning the needlework? Do you think the needlework actually helps them to be more Catholic?
For me it definitely started with the summer school, which has been tremendous fun and really useful to the girls who often have no experience of needlework at all. Some of the homeschooling mothers had asked me to start a local sewing group, and this seemed like a good moment to start one.The aim of the guild, ultimately, is to provide a service of making and maintaining vestments for traditional priests. It will be a while before we can get that properly established, and in the meantime I am trying to make sure that the children get as wide an experience as possible of different sewing techniques. At the moment they are making things for their Hope Chests, which is the trunk which contains all the linens you need when you start married life: tablecloths, napkins, bedlinen, christening gown etc. It's a very old-fashioned project but they love it! The baby bonnets are the first item they are putting together for that.I think that needlework helps them indirectly in their practice of the Faith. It equips them to lead a life at the centre of the household, something which the enemies of the Church are keen to prevent. And, of course, it can be put to practical use for the Church's benefit, and that is helpful to their own souls as well as to the priests they are assisting.
Thank you so much for your reply, Lucy! It was very helpful to understand the guild of St Clare. I was so excited just by reading about your project. "Hope chests" sound just . . so heart warming and I hope that my girls can make one of their own some day. I can't wait to see the finished Hope Chests that the girls in the guild of St Clare are making!! Come to think of it, "Indirectly" is a humble expression, Lucy! The girls are doing THE Catholic work which prepares them for their Catholic future, and prevents them from being distracted with other materialistic habits which are harmful to their souls - all thanks to your charitable work for them. GREAT WORK, Lucy!!