Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ as together we live our days in Ordinary time, anticipating the dawn of our holy Lenten season, Ash Wednesday, 22 February. The mysteries and marvels of the Season will assuredly find us!
St Thérèse of Lisieux, in her enigmatic rose-showering way, can launch us into considering echoes of her little way. She once mused, “By our little acts of charity in the shade we convert souls far away, we help missionaries, we win abundant alms: and by that means build actual dwellings spiritual and material for our Eucharistic Lord.” Perhaps she had Seven Sisters in heart, for you characteristically consider others greater than yourselves and act accordingly.
Daniel Ridgeway Knight in his Early Morning captures the sweet essence of our little way of fidelity to a weekly Holy Hour. The painting remains a fitting cover for our Guidelines Booklet. Here, Knight’s figure emerges as serene in the midst of routine. Together we can imagine her tranquil, early morning trek, followed by prayer (for a priest?) in the hilltop chapel, a stop for market-fresh goods, then homeward bound. While our own parallels to this scenario likely carry more exterior intrusions, our interiors would benefit a similar graced tranquility. This is truly the core that poises us to multiply our love. Quietness. Trust. Strength. (From Apostolate core verse, Isaiah 30:15)
A candle flame shared with another wick does not diminish the radiance of either, in fact the collective glow is more! Truly, through you, love begets love. Here is a wee sampling of how your lives and light and love have been amplified, bountifully blessing the priest/bishop for whom you pray, the Apostolate itself, your families and me personally.
+ Many heroic sacrifices are made weekly by many of you to keep your commitment to pray. The scribes in heaven are being kept happy detailing your hidden sacrifices.
+ During pandemic days, a priest tearfully reported witnessing a Seven Sister kneeling on a garden pad in the parking lot of a ‘limited access’ parish, oriented toward the tabernacle, praying.
+ Generous donations of multiple Seven Sisters financed the Website redesign and its maintenance.
+ One Anchoress tells of each member periodically offering 1/7 of a meal for their pastor: Voila! A seven-course meal in a flash – with leftovers!
+ Several groups arrange for Mass offerings (in addition to their Holy Hours) for their priest/Bishop.
+ Scores of Seven Sisters quietly dispense Apostolate holy cards and brochures in Chapels/parishes.
+ Susan M faithfully and skillfully formats the Communique in a pdf file every month, gratis.
+ Marg W’s generous donation allowed all the Holy Cards (6) to be translated and printed in Spanish.
+ Twenty-seven Lamp Bearers pray at least weekly, most daily, for the Apostolate at large.
+ Fifty plus women are volunteer Coordinators in their Diocese. Each in their prayerful way, promoting more groups for more priests, keeping records, serving as local resources, and oftentimes organizing local gatherings of information and/or times of Reflection and Renewal.
+ Deb T promotes the Apostolate in her varied travels through conversation, offering informationals and brochures. She also initiated and leads the Appreciated and Loved Quilt Project for retired priests.
+ Several Sisters report that their family members either attend the Holy Hours with them and add to the offering for the priest/bishop or are now themselves inspired to offer personal Holy Hours.
+ Bridget K, JoAnn Z and Kathleen K pray monthly during the literal writing of each Communique.
+ Both priests and Seven Sisters report the joy of anonymous notes being written to a priest from a Sister to remind of the seamless prayers, appreciation and love for him.
+ Valerie G helped to launch the first Fasting Brothers group in North Carolina. And away we go!
+Countless notes of love and encouragement from many of you arrive in my mailbox, which always include prayer, and often donations, testimonies, holy cards, article clippings and books of stamps!
+ Ginger H has written a book study, gratis, on Sheen’s The Priest is Not His Own and is currently conducting the pilot study via Skype with 12 of the Apostolate Coordinators. More to follow!
+ Nancy H commenced and now assists in organizing all new Elijah’s Helpers groups for priests in crisis. She also donated her exquisite hand-crafted counted cross-stitch Madonna of the Grapes to us.
+ Joe R (materials printer) and Pete B (Holy Cards/medals) give us countless discounts and freebies.
+ Tireless database maestro, Judy P, and Webmaster, Mary U, are like honey drops from heaven!!
United in prayer and mission…that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest…. eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day…. “One Ave Maria makes hell tremble” (St John Vianney). Pray that I will not ‘spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted…’ (St Teresa of Calcutta) … your kind emails and notes and phone calls and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your financial sacrifices are for 100% furtherance of Apostolate. THANK YOU! The letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! What glory is given to God through your writing! Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.