Sisters make hand-crafted Easter cards at Immaculate Heart Convent

Making hand-crafted Easter cards with braided palm leaves is par for the course at Immaculate Heart Convent. Sisters there make colorful ribbon and repurposed greeting cards every year for Easter. Sr. Pauline Bilbrough, Local Leader for Immaculate Heart, began the process this year in March.

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Sr. Pauline Bilbrough learned to make braided palm Easter cards as a Postulant in 1962. Since then, she has made the cards during every Lenten Season. Sr. Pauline is Local Leader at Immaculate Heart Convent.

Sr. Pauline Bilbrough has been making the braided palm Easter cards since 1962, when she was a Postulant at the Fox Chase Convent in Philadelphia.

Over the years she has taught other Sisters to make the Easter cards. Sisters at Immaculate Heart Convent helped Sr. Pauline this year by fastening the braided palms onto the cards and adding the ribbon.

Making Easter cards as preparation for Holy Week and Easter

Sr. Pauline braids the palms each year at the onset of Lent. It is her way of preparing for Holy Week and Easter.

“Making the braids connects me to Christ and focuses me for keeping in the true spirit of the season through Holy Week and then the celebration of Easter,” she said.

Hanging palms that a priest has blessed with Holy Water is a time-honored tradition in homes. Sr. Pauline likes that her cards carry on that tradition. Many people bring her their Easter cards from previous years so that she will add a freshly blessed palm to the card.

The palm in the house is a reminder of how God is always with us.

“Some people like the card they received from a previous year so much that they want to keep it. After I replace the braid on their Easter card with a fresh one, I burn the old palms in a sacred manner and pour the ashes on our courtyard garden. I recycle the cards, when possible, for next year,” Sr. Pauline said.

“The palm in the house is a reminder of how God is always with us, always there for us no matter what,” Sr. Pauline said.

easter cards
One of the finished cards Sr. Pauline Bilbrough made with Sisters at Immaculate Heart Convent.

Monsignor Schneider blessed the palms on Palm Sunday in the Immaculate Heart chapel. People who attended Mass on Palm Sunday each received a card.

For more stories about our Sisters at Immaculate Heart Convent, please read our newsletter Items of Interest. You can also use the search function to find stories about Sisters at Immaculate Heart and all of our ministries.

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette McDermott

Jeanette is the Communications Coordinator for Sisters of the Good Shepherd Province of Mid-North America. She is a career photojournalist who has served in various capacities of print, broadcast, and corporate communications. Jeanette is devoted to creation and is particularly focused on saving pollinators and other wildlife species and their habitat. She is an ethical vegan and created the website