About the Diocesan Director

 I hope this web site will prove a helpful and useful resource for altar guild workers everywhere, and that you will post comments, useful tips and suggestions to share with all of us in the state of Rhode Island.  Although we may be spread out far and wide around our little state, we each share the same challenges and joys in our own parish guilds, and we can benefit greatly from the experiences of all.

Who am I and what am I trying to accomplish?  Fair question!

My own “calling” to this crucial ministry came at Christ Church, Westerly in 1995, where I trained and served on the altar guild, primarily doing Sunday and festival flowers, as well as some vestment and parament sewing, sacristy renovation consultation, and serving as wedding director.  My training as a professional florist came in handy, although there is a difference between designing for the public and designing for a church altar!

With great good fortune, I came to know of and join the Arts and Crafts Revival Association at Church of the Advent in Boston, and attended and presented workshops there which included church flowers, church architecture, vestments, icons, church furnishings and renovation of period edifices and furnishings.

I served as altar guild director for St. John the Evangelist, Newport for 8 years while attending graduate courses in textile conservation, exhibition and costume history at the University of Rhode Island at Kingston, where I have worked for thirteen years as a parish administrator at St. Augustine’s Church, the Episcopal Chaplaincy for the campus. I was appointed to the Diocesan Altar Guild Director position by Bishop Wolf nearly ten years ago and will be continuing this ministry under the guidance of Bishop Knisely.

Presenting workshops, lectures and field trips for altar guilds are  particular joys for me as well as exhibiting liturgical textiles.  Holy Cross, Worcester, The Bible Society, Manhattan, St. John the Evangelist, Newport, Quinn Hall Textile Gallery, URI, and The Anglican Foundation, Newport have been venues for exhibitions of vestments, artwork, linens, laces and other liturgical art exhibits with which I curated or was affiliated from 1997-2006.

I enjoy visiting parishes, meeting other altar guild members, visiting the sacristies and learning great techniques and useful hints from those with many years of experience which I delight in passing on, and helping when I am able, to be of service to the parishes of our Diocese.  I look forward to meeting you soon,

Shelley Dziedzic  Revdma@aol.com

8 thoughts on “About the Diocesan Director”

  1. What a lovely site! Surfing the web and found this ….I live in New Zealand, an embroidery tragic, and committed Christian.

  2. shawn skene said:

    I am just over the line from ri, in Brooklyn, ct-Trinity Episcopal. Woud it be possible for my altar guild to participate in the RI altar guild?

  3. Cornelia Anderson said:

    I was brousing around the internet while waiting, planning a project I am doing for Emanuel Church in Cumberland, and happened on your web site. I noticed some people were looking for chasuble patterns. I have a basic pattern for a chasuble and a stole which I got when I was in England. I was studing at the Royal School of Embroidery and some of the ladies I met who were connected with various cathedrals and were kind enough to share.

    I am passionate about embroidery, particularly shaded silk and metal work. If there are any ladies there who are interested in these techniques or interested in learning them please get in touch with me.

  4. Anne Brauner said:

    Dear Shelley, My name is Anne Brauner, Environmental Minister for St.Peter Catholic Church in Covington, LA. I came across your website some time ago and bookmarked it because I am so impressed by it. We are the Altar Guild in every sense of the word and I share the same sentiments echoed within your Mission Statement.
    Currently, I have been placed in charge of aquiring new Sanctuary linens as we have recently initiated a new Pastor as well as a new Parochial Vicar. We have not had any new linens since before Katrina (2005) and I have been emailing back and forth with the delightful Elizabeth Morgan. She has been and continues to be extremely helpful to me with my newly appointed task.
    I just wanted to take this moment to introduce myself to you. I was Anglican up until 2001 when I converted to Catholic, as my husband, David is Catholic and neither of us could receive the Eucharist by Canon Law,not even him nor should he receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
    Basically, it was important to both of us that we worship together and be able to receive the Sacraments as a couple.Since I was born in England it is much like I came full circle, back to where we began. Our Pastor at the time was from Limerick, Ireland which only served to heighten the irony but at the same time the blessing of it.
    May Peace Be with You and God Bless,
    Anne

  5. Medadues-Badohu Prosper Kwame said:

    Am Brother Medadues-Badohu Prosper Kwame (the son of the Bishop of the Dioces of HO, the Rt. Rev’d Matthias K. Medadues_Badohu) from the Cathedral Church of St. George the Martyr Ho. Ghana Province of West Africa.Am also the Director for my Diocese (Ho).Having read the Prayers and others,I humbly will like to suggest that,why not have either a published Book for the guild servers which will include the prayers and all what makes a faithfull servant?I said this because, in Ghana,i noticed that uniformity in not in anything we in all the Dioceses/Province if not mistaking which is very bad.But if common ideas are shared about this Guild, then we are also moving some where.Wish to tell you more about how things are going on in Ghana especially but will do that through your mail.Thanks.

  6. Frances Mason said:

    Dear Shelley,
    It was a perfect delight meeting you today! Your mom falls into “one of my most favorite people” category and now you do too.
    This website is an absolute inspiration.
    Peace,
    Frances

  7. Thanks, Carol- your mother was an inspiration to everyone she met. What a wonderful thing to see a mother and daughter- and sometimes even grandaughter working side by side in a sacristy.

  8. Carol DiMasi Berggren said:

    Shelley,
    I enjoyed reading about you and all your good works. I often heard my mother speak of you. Thank you for being a good friend to her and remembering her when she passed. We worked together as a team, when I began working with the altar guild.
    In peace.

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