Dear St. Magdalen Parish Family,
My name is Alicia Worden and I was asked to share the journey that has led me to where I am now as a parishioner at St. Magdalen's, creating and renovating linens and tapestries for the church.
At an early age, I found a love for art and pursued a BFA in Fashion Design at Syracuse University and continued my education at the Fashion Institute of Technology. I worked in New York City for eleven years in the fashion industry where I learned so much. After my husband and I had our two daughters, I started sewing costumes for a ballet school in Lambertville, NJ. I am now very busy as the Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor for the same ballet school and its associated professional ballet company.
My faith journey has been less consistent. I was raised Roman Catholic, but baptized and confirmed Byzantine Catholic as an infant. However, my husband and I decided to raise our girls Roman Catholic and found a new home at St. Magdalen's. Ten years ago, with the support of Father Tim, I formally joined the Roman Catholic Church.
One Sunday at Mass, a questionnaire was sitting in the pews. There was a small box for sewing. After some thought, I decided to put a check mark in the box not knowing what was to come.
Sister Barbara first approached me, asking if I could make some linens to be used in the Mass. Then she told me she had a dream to have a priestly vestment made for a second grade boy to be able to try on during the year of his First Holy Communion. Having never made one, I was nervous, but said 'yes' anyway. Since then, I have been sewing First Holy Communion banners, preparing prayer pillows, renovating tapestries, making shirts for Father Joseph, and creating veils for the Tabernacle and banners for the lectern.
I was very touched to be asked to work on the tapestry of The Annunciation, which hangs in the Spiritual Formation Center. It was at a time when my daughter Justine was away for two months, volunteering in the Dominican Republic. My husband and I were very nervous for her wellbeing. Everyone at St. Magdalen's told me that Mother Mary was looking out for her and keeping her safe, not knowing I had her in my basement. Working on the tapestry kept me busy and comforted at the same time. I knew I was in the right place at the right time and was following God's plan for me.
While making the Tabernacle veils, I thought about how what I was making was touching and covering the Precious Body of Christ. I was nervous that I wasn't going to be able to make a veil worthy of the Tabernacle or that I couldn't make them as perfect as I wanted them to be. I now feel that I have a personal relationship with Christ our Lord, which brings me tears of joy as I am writing this. Having the faith in me from our pastors, religious sisters, and parishioners lets me know that God has faith in me too. The kind words that are spoken about my work help give me the courage and strength to continue what I do. I thank you all!
I feel this way with every mission that is given to me by Our Lord through the wonderful people that I have met at St. Magdalen's. It gives me such a great feeling of being a Catholic by giving back. It is a joy to serve and to receive such blessings in my life.
My journey to creating and sewing for the church has brought so much meaning to my life. It has been a true blessing and honor from my very first request. Seeing the smiles and the joy on everyone's faces upon receiving my creations, I know that I am the one who is receiving the gifts and the love of the Lord our God.