By Mary Ann Zimmerman
In 2004, the gift shop started out on two double rolling bookcases set up in the church foyer. There was, at that time, an unused kitchen in the back of the church proper. Our Lady of Guadalupe mural covers that doorway today.
My husband, Norm and I removed the old cabinets, had the plumbing closed off, range and freezers removed, painted, and opened the space up as the new Gift Shop just before Advent in 2005. Later, when the church had new flooring done and pews instead of chairs installed, the former pastor decided that St. Vincent de Paul pantry needed to expand. That meant moving the gift shop to the parish hall where an unused “nursery” was. The room was repainted, and members of St. Vincent de Paul team helped move the gift shop to that location. That was six or seven years ago, and we are still here.
In addition to the physical gift shop, we have two display cases in the reception area of the parish. These cases display rosaries, statues, medals, bracelets, home sale kits, and chains, etc which you can purchase any time the office is open. The online gift shop carries 195 products for your shopping convenience.
Our St. James gift shop has been in business for 17 years. I mention all this history because we welcome everyone into our shop. I invite anyone who has not stopped by to come check out all the products we have in our retail shop. We have been able to increase the number of wall Crucifixes, rosaries, prayer cards, greeting cards for all occasions, prayer books, Bibles and other spiritual reading materials in English and Spanish. Jewelry and home décor have also been added. For example, men’s St. Benedict rings in medium and large.
The gift shop serves two purposes.
1. Serving the community with affordable religious merchandise
2. It is one of our main fundraisers for the parish.
There are no other religious gift shops in the northwest area. The next time you need a gift for a family member, friend or colleague, please check out the Immaculate Hearts Gift Shop first before driving all the way to the mall.
Pray Hope and Don’t Worry by Padré Pio