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Firing up hope: SP prayer ministries

Sister Tracey Horan and her niece at the shrine of Our Lady of Providence.

“Firing up hope” is how one correspondent describes what the prayer ministries of the Sisters of Providence mean to him as he daily faces the uncertainties of life without a steady job to earn money to feed his family. “We have truly tasted the painful side of life. Yet, I have not lost hope for a better tomorrow.”

The writer of this August 2017 letter to Sister Mary Rita Griffin, director of the Shrine of Our Lady of Providence, is one of hundreds of people in the United States and around the world who regularly find spiritual support from the Sisters of Providence by way of their prayer ministries.

The national Shrine of Our Lady of Providence established at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in May 1925, for example, focuses on “offering spiritual support and guidance for the needs of families today.”

One of those deeply touched by this devotion is Providence Associate Jenny Nowalk of Culver, Indiana. She is the mother of five children.

“I find this image of Our Lady so incredible,” Jenny says. “Mary looks so peaceful and there is definitely a close bond between mother and child in the way their eyes connect and the baby and the mother have their fingers intertwined.”

Providence Associate Jenny Nowalk prays during a retreat.

Jenny says she keeps a copy of the Memorare prayer to Our Lady of Providence on the dashboard of her car to remind her to pray it as she travels to her work as a speech pathologist in the Plymouth, Indiana, Community School Corporation. “I feel such a strong connection to Our Lady and God as I arrive at school each day.”

Many visitors to the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin write prayer requests in the book of intercessions there. The sisters pray for these intentions daily, Sister Jan Craven, director of the Office of the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, assures.

The Chapel Room in the Shrine of Saint Mother Theodore Guerin.

Prayer seekers wishing to have a physical symbol of their intentions being placed before God in prayer may request a sister also light a five-day votive candle at either shrine. To arrange for a candle to be lit, fill out the online form at LightaCandle.SistersofProvidence.org. Donations to help cover the cost of the candles are welcome.

“Taking hours” in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel is another way that Sisters of Providence at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods fire up hope by uniting themselves in prayer before God. From 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day of the year, sisters take hours praying before the Eucharist in the chapel. Part of this prayer includes praying for those enrolled in the Blessed Sacrament Association (BSA).

Those enrolled in the association are remembered monthly in a Mass in the Church of the Immaculate Conception. To enroll someone or yourself in the association, call Sister Mary Rita at 812-535- 2927.

Sister Martha Wessel prays in the Blessed Sacrament Chapel.

The Sisters of Providence also offer packets of remembrance cards that one can use to remember loved ones on birthdays, anniversaries, in times of illness, and with sympathy when a loved one dies. Each time you send a card, you enroll the recipient in the Blessed Sacrament Association and they are remembered in the sisters’ prayers. Each remembrance card features a picture from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. You may order a packet of cards by calling 812-535-2800. Donations received in support of this program advance the mission of the Sisters of Providence.

Have an urgent prayer request? Fill out our online prayer request form at Prayers.SistersofProvidence.org Our sisters love to offer this special support of prayer to you!

(Originally published in the Winter 2018 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Sister Cathy Campbell

Sister Cathy Campbell, SP, is a freelance writer and editor. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality from Catholic Theological Union/Chicago. Sister Cathy also ministers as a retreat facilitator for the Providence Spirituality and Conference Center with special interests in scripture and the mystics.

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1 Comment

  1. vanity on August 29, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    No jobs are calling me back is it because they are scared of my degree and they know they have to pay me more I’m getting discouraged I applied for over 50 jobs no callbacks, or they moved to the next applicant I’m broke i need an urgent prayer request for an emergency breakthrough request thanks!

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