Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Time to fire up the sewing machine

Blessing Mother Amber's new stoles 9/25/05

I had forgotten how scary the date on a photograph can be. It has been over three years now. Wow.

The photo above was from the day St Cuthbert's presented gifts to the newly priested Reverend Amber Sturgess. You can see my hand, rather like that of the off-camera Padre Mickey in the grand Friday productions, blessing the stoles. They, the chasuble I was wearing, and the superfrontal were all cobbled together on my sewing machine.

Tonight I did the measuring and cutting of various pieces of Dupioni silk: violet, deep turquoise, dark smoky green and sage, deep plum, an indigo that is almost black, and red and black iridescent - all with a touch of emerald satin and a cool, pale metallic blue. These are to be ironed and sewn and ironed and assembled and turned right side out and ironed once more to form a two-sided stole for my friend Daniel George P. Gutierrez.

God willing, in the power of the Holy Spirit and the people consenting, he will be ordained a priest this Friday evening by Bishop Mathes of San Diego and Bishop Frey of the Rio Grande.

When I was purchasing a home in Albuquerque so I could move here, I visited St Michael and All Angels Church and heard Daniel preach. It was passionate, learned, eloquent, understandable, and filled with devotion. In him I saw the future of Hispanic ministry in this diocese and someone I was certain should be ordained. He was a postulant at the time. When I met him at the door I told him something like "tengo ganas de verte ordenado sacerdote" (I am eager to see you ordained a priest). At that time I promised myself I would make a stole for the occasion.

Well, never one to do today what I can put off until tomorrow, here I am, two and a half years later, scrambling to make good on my inner vow.

I asked him what color he needed and he said he wanted purple and no one seemed interested, so purple it is. With a reverse side in deep reds and that almost-black indigo for Holy Week.

I know from experience that I can make a stole in one evening, so doing this one in two should not be hard. When it is finished I will smudge it (and maybe even use a little liturgical incense), sprinkle it with a bit of holy water, and let it rest overnight with some ikons, my oil stock, and a pyx with the Blessed Sacrament. Then I will wrap it in tissue and ribbon and get ready for the big night.

Your prayers and best thoughts for Daniel, his wife and son, and his future ministry are requested.

Photos to follow this weekend.
--the BB


FranIAm said...

What gorgeous cloth! And your hand is cute too. (can you see me smiling?)

What a beautiful - in all senses of the word - gift.

God bless your work.

Speaking of which, who has time to blog, now I must go get ready for my own job!


Jane R said...

How gorgeous! And it is good to remember Amber and her ministry. Blessings to Daniel and his family.

I love the way you bless the stole and pray with your work.

Enjoy the ordination.

susan s. said...

Yet another gift from God to you and then others.
It is gorgeous!

susankay said...

Paul -- I, too, have been impressed by Daniel. Only sorry that we headed home to Colorado before his ordination.

Prayers for Daniel and his family.

The Cunning Runt said...

Paul, your description of the fabrics in the stole sound exquisite!

I bet God digs you!

And I too used to sew quite a bit, I still have two machines, a heavy duty one I used to sew winter mountaineering clothes with and a nicer one which I inherited from my Mom. These days I mostly use them for repairs (us poor folk don't throw torn things away!) but you're inspiring me to think of a project!

Congrats to Daniel, sounds like we need more like him!

Paul said...

Thanks, all! I will let Daniel know that strangers are rejoicing with him.