Pink Sisters marked 45 years in the Diocese of Lincoln
Story by Reagan Scott
LINCOLN (SNR) - The Church marks the memorial of the Presentation of Mary in the Temple Nov. 21 and celebrates World Day of Cloistered Life, for all Catholics worldwide to commemorate the hidden lives of contemplative religious in cloisters and monasteries.
On this day, the faithful are encouraged to reach out to the cloistered religious in their diocese, through prayer, encouragement, and material support. Collections at Masses in the Diocese of Lincoln are directed to the two local contemplative religious orders, the Pink Sisters and Carmelites.
In the Lincoln Diocese, the Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration or, Pink Sisters, as they are often referred to, serve through the witness of contemplative life, perpetual Adoration, prayer and sacrifice for priests and intercessory prayer.
The order was founded in 1896 in Holland and today, has a little over 300 members in 22 convents in 12 countries around the world. The rose-colored habits that the sisters wear symbolize their dedication to the Holy Spirit and serve as an expression of their joyful adoration before the Blessed Sacrament.
It was Bishop Glennon P. Flavin who invited the Pink Sisters to the Lincoln Diocese in 1973. During his time as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis, he spent many hours in prayer in the order’s Mount Grace Chapel and invited the superior general to start a community of adoration sisters in the diocese.
The Pink Sisters were the first community of cloistered contemplative nuns to live in the diocese and just celebrated their 45th anniversary here in September.
According to Sister Louise Mary, the superior for the Adoration Convent of Christ the King, a typical day starts at 5:15 a.m. and consists of work and prayer, rest and recreation and study.
“The daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist is the focal point of our day,” she said. “We pray the Liturgy of the Hours in its entirety at specific times of the day.”
The sisters also spend time in Adoration and have an hour of personal prayer time and spiritual reading. They keep nocturnal adoration every other night. Finally, every member has assigned duties that must be completed every day, as well as 45 minutes for recreation before Night Prayer.
In their witness of contemplative life and perpetual adoration, Sister Louise Mary said the sisters proclaim the basic truth that God is the true center of being, and that he alone can satisfy the human heart. They adore the Lord in the Eucharist and, “become the world’s thanksgiving for his abiding presence.”
In reference to their prayer and sacrifice for priests, Sister Louise Mary said, “At no time do we feel the importance and necessity of our service of prayer and sacrifice more than during this painful and purifying time in the Church.”
Sister Louise Mary also noted the relevance of the order’s witness and support as the diocese moves toward establishing perpetual adoration in more and more parishes.
For lay members of the Diocese interested in supporting the apostolic mission of the Pink Sisters, The King’s Men, The Ladies of the Eucharist and The Youth of the Eucharist are spiritual associations that require members to make a weekly visit to the Blessed Sacrament in their chapel. No meetings or membership fees are required.
Lay adorers from Lincoln and the surrounding area help to cover hours during the day and early evening.
“They have faithfully kept hours of adoration for more than 40 years,” Sister Mary Louise said.
The Pink Sisters Auxiliary supports the sisters through their annual membership fees. These individuals are then supported by the sisters through prayer and sacrifice.
Finally, The Pink Sisters Auxiliary Board is comprised of women who help provide for the needs of the sisters such as running errands and driving sisters to appointments with doctors and dentists. They also arrange for the holy hours of the lay adorers.
While the Pink Sisters live a cloistered life, there can be no doubting the impact they’ve had on the Lincoln Diocese.
Sister Louise Mary said, “Every distress and hardship in our diocese and in the world finds a vigorous response in our prayer. Open to the intentions and concerns of all, we intercede on their behalf.”