We asked Sister Florence Maier what she could offer to others who may be searching for a new or re-emerged skill.
First, a little about Sister Florence. As a young child, she learned crocheting from her mother and from her paternal grandmother. She took her "less than perfect" crocheting to a Show and Tell session in second grade. Her talk included the comment: "If it doesn't turn out the way you want it, just change it to something else". Thus, the beginning of her creativity.
After entering a religious congregation and becoming a nurse, her crocheting took a back seat until she realized some of her long-term patients needed something to occupy their hands and their minds. So, after they received their nursing care and were made comfortable, she gave lessons to a few patients who were interested in learning crochet.
As her roles as a registered nurse changed through the years from skilled care, home health, acute care, hospice, administration, director, infection control, quality improvement, and her crochet skills dwindled.
It was only after retirement, that Sister Florence was able to resume an almost lost skill. She picked up her crochet hook again, found some very old patterns for amigurumi toys, and much to her delight, found she still had her finger dexterity. She also joined her parish prayer shawl group so that parishioners would have prayer shawls to gift to their sick family members. Along with this, Nancy, a volunteer at the Villa Julie Community in Maryland which Sister Florence attended weekly, began a craft club once a week.
In 2013, Sister Florence moved to Mount Notre Dame in Cincinnati and began chemotherapy for a newly diagnosed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. She says that crocheting kept her hands composed and her mind peaceful during a difficult time.
There is now a craft club at the Mount Notre Dame convent that is flourishing with those who crochet, knit, crewel embroider, etc. Some are proficient; some are beginners; all are welcome. Sister. Florence is currently teaching Sister Jo Anne Depweg who recently returned from Brazil. Sister Jo Anne's perseverance is steadfast and her progress is amazing.
Sister Florence continues with her prayer shawls for the sick. She makes amigurumi animals and other crocheted items such as baby sets and blankets, Christmas trees, pot holders, chubby scrubbies, and even a Baby Yoda for the Mount Notre Dame gift shop. All proceeds go to the Sisters in mission sites to help those in greatest need.
Sister Florence’s latest endeavor is becoming a wildlife rescue nest provider. She has become a registered nest maker and crochets all types and sizes of nests for sites all over the world that are providing care for abandoned or injured animals, as well as those creatures being rescued from fires and flooded areas. For her it is another way of providing care for God's creation.
For beginners in any craft, Sister Florence suggests being patient and selecting a craft suited for ability and finger dexterity. If no one is available to teach, YouTube is an excellent source of instruction both for beginners and for more proficient crafters. The best advice is "ENJOY" and "SHARE"
Sister Florence's handiwork can be found on Pinterest. Florence Maier. Flossie's Fun.