Apostolate covers priests in daily prayer for a year
LINCOLN (SNR) – All women are invited to a morning of recollection Sept. 30 with speaker Janette Howe, foundress of the Seven Sisters Apostolate, at St. John the Apostle Parish’s gym, 7601 Vine St., Lincoln.
The Seven Sisters Apostolate is a call to strengthen the Church by ensuring that a holy hour is prayed each day of the week, for the sole intention of a specific priest or bishop. Seven women each select one day per week to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for a specific priest, for one year.
Howe, who founded the organization in her home parish in Minnesota, visited the Diocese of Lincoln earlier this year to speak about the apostolate.
She described how she felt called to pray more frequently for her pastor in gratitude for his service, but after a year of offering a holy hour once a week for him, she was inspired to form “Seven Sisters.”
Sharing her idea with other women was so fruitful, she soon had 49 women praying for seven area pastors. Howe has since shared her story around the country, and the apostolate is now praying for priests and bishops at more than 250 parishes, chanceries, seminaries, hospitals, and other locations around the world.
There are currently 41 “Seven Sisters” groups in the Lincoln Diocese – 41 groups of seven women each, praying for individual priests. There are several more Seven Sisters groups in formation across the diocese.
Connie Munguia of Cristo Rey Parish in Lincoln learned about the Seven Sisters apostolate and invited Howe to Lincoln earlier this year. She called participation in the Seven Sisters “a spiritual gift that keeps on giving.”
“Our pastors and bishop reap benefits,” she explained, “but we also receive so much by our sacrifice for them.”
Indeed, the focus of Howe’s Sept. 30 talk is “The Seven Privileges of Praying for Priests.”
Judy Vandenberg, an anchoress (or coordinator of a Seven Sisters group) in Seward, agreed.
“We are so blessed to pray for our priests,” she said.
When a Seven Sisters group is formed in a parish, the initial recipient should be the parish pastor. After the pastor has a committed group, subsequent groups may be formed for others, such as the assistant pastor, a retired priest, a priest serving in a non-parish assignment, or a bishop.
In the Seward community’s case, gathering women to join the apostolate not only covered Msgr. Robert Tucker, pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Seward, but also each of the five priests serving at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in Seward.
Diocesan coordinator Rhonda Litt expressed gratitude for the women across the diocese who have felt called to form or join groups. She hopes the Sept. 30 event will help more women learn about the apostolate.
“Our ‘mission’ is to cover 100% of our priests with apostolates praying for them by June 2018,” she said, adding that even the retired priests of the Diocese of Lincoln could be covered in prayer through this apostolate.
All women are invited to attend the morning of recollection Sept. 30 – those who already cover priests in holy hours of prayer through the Seven Sister apostolate, as well as those who want to learn more about it.
The event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in St. John’s gym. Those who attend may also participate in Eucharistic Exposition, Adoration and Benediction beginning at 7:15 a.m., followed by Mass at 8:15.
Participants are invited to bring a sack lunch and stay to visit with one another about the blessings of the apostolate.
Free-will donations are suggested to cover the speaker’s travel, the light breakfast, and use of facilities.
Contact diocesan coordinator Rhonda Litt at 402.525.6396 (text or call) for more information, or visit www.sevensistersapostolate.org to learn about this ministry of prayer for priests.