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Some say they are the helping hands of God

If you take a look at St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish on a Thursday night — it looks– well empty.

But if you listen close and look beyond the stained glass you’ll find a group of women crocheting their hearts out.

“This ministry started in May of 2010,” Marylou Aguilar said.

For Aguilar it was a sort of calling.

“They announced it at church and I showed up and a majority of us like myself didn’t even know how to crochet,” Aguilar said.

Aguilar is part of a group called the Prayer Shawl Ministry of St. Stephen Deacon and Martyr Parish.

The women’s hands almost look like machines working but the women aren’t just crocheting.

“We start off our meetings in prayer and we end our meetings in prayer,” Aguilar said.

They pray for those who have fallen ill with cancer.

The group has donated the shawls to El Paso Children’s Hospital, Candelighters and the Texas Oncology Center.

“We also give them within our community when we have family friends, anybody that’s ill, going through an illness or that’s grieving,” Aguilar said.

As the yarn is unwound the women also find comfort in each other.

“It is therapeutic, especially after a hard day at work you just want to sit down and relax,” Aguilar said.

“We’re a group of sisters basically and we are here for each other … we know we are doing something positive,” Patricia Avillar said.

Avillar tells ABC-7 many times patients undergoing chemotherapy get cold and this is where the shawls become a sense of security.

“We feel that these shawls provide comfort…they can feel the arms of God hugging them giving them comfort, solace and healing. That’s what we hope these shawls provide,” Aguilar said.

The group of about 10 to 15 women have donated more than 1,000 blankets to date and every shawl is blessed.

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