May: A Month of Discernment

Greetings dearest Sisters...

"Walk with your feet on the earth, but in your heart, be in heaven." - St John Bosco

May is traditionally a challenging month to our calendars - BUT for the Catholic, at the heart- it is the happily anticipated and beloved month of Mary and holds our continued celebration of Eastertide, St Joseph the Worker Feast Day, Mother's Day, Ascension Sunday, Memorial Day and grand celebrations (and anniversaries) of many of the sacraments - Baptism, First Reconciliation and Holy Communion, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony and in many dioceses, Ordinations to the Diaconate and holy Priesthood.  And this May we will also uniquely celebrate Our Lady of Fatima Centenary.  All this resounding JOY will likely revitalize and strengthen us!

God continually meets His hungry and thirsty children with graces a-plenty!  He has supplied all that we need to come to the finish of each day and even the entire month of May - richer and closer to Him!  - and I will cheerily add that He will most certainly have an answer to your prayers of discernment regarding the Seven Sisters Apostolate too!!  Yes, it is a special month for the Apostolate - a month of prayer regarding YOU - and God's plans for YOU!

My prayers steadfastly and heartily join yours as you commit in this month of May to discern (see Guidelines) your continued commitment or departure from the weekly Hour Hours as part of a Seven Sisters Apostolate group.  To aid your prayer efforts, I will offer a Holy Hour for you and your discernment on May 5, the First Friday in May.

As soon as you have a clear sense (you need not wait until the end of the month), let the Anchoress of your group know the direction of your call for the coming year.  Ideally, before June commences, committed intercessors will be identified and able to seamlessly continue in prayerful support of the priest or bishop. 

WORTH NOTING: The Apostolate serves all priests/bishops, so be open to the call that might be to remain in the Apostolate, but perhaps serve in a different (or new!) group (ie Hospital Chaplain, retired priest/bishop, associate priest in a parish where pastor already has a group, priests serving in Seminaries, priests that are chaplains/professors in High schools/Universities, Canon lawyers, priests who serve the Chancery, priests in religious orders, etc).  Every priestly heart needs and deserves our prayers!! Be assured, if you ask, you will know where/how you are called. And likewise, be assured, that God's graces are sufficient to the task!

Let me encourage you to continue with holy fidelity and focus to your Seven Sister's commitments through May.  It may take extra planning and efforts in this month of 'so much'. Let us be sensitive and remember that many of our parish priests and bishops are on 'double duty' in this merry, merry month as we celebrate so many of these events in our sacramental life and special Feast Days, as well.  Likewise, many priests will be learning of new assignments and needing our extra sacrifices and prayers as they anticipate transition.

This is a fitting segue to remind that your groups are designed to cover in prayer a priest in a particular position (ie pastor, rector, associate, etc) rather than a particular priest (with the exception of a retired priest who is nolonger receiving new assignments).  If the priest for whom you are praying is being reassigned, please continue prayers for him until he leaves and his replacement arrives.  Then seamlessly begin prayers for this incoming priest.  The outgoing priest will hopefully enter into an assignment that has an existing Seven Sisters group - or maybe you can encourage the genesis of one in his new environs!  Every breath of prayer, every sacrifice of prayer has merit...

United in prayer and mission -
that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest
... eternal gratitude as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day.... (they likely have double benefits in May!) Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...'  (St Mother Teresa of Calcutta)


Girl with Red Umbrella Walking in Rain ~  Helen Cottle (1962)

Girl with Red Umbrella Walking in Rain ~ Helen Cottle (1962)

SEVEN SISTERS - out and about:  Last Tuesday, March 25, I spoke at a CCW group in Plum City, WI (La Crosse diocese).  There were 49 women in attendance and as I looked at their glowing countenances, I was moved to consider that this was the exact number that started the Apostolate in 2011.  There were three women in attendance that are current Seven Sisters.  When asked, albeit a bit reluctant, each offered a beautiful and edifying testimony of their Apostolate involvement.

Friday, May 5, I will join a CCW for the Superior diocese in Hudson, WI.  They have a generous goal of assuring though their group's involvement, that all priests/bishop in their diocese will be covered by a Seven Sister group between June 2017 and June 2018.  Their zeal in prayer and action is exemplary!  Talk about ground troops!  St Michael, defend them in battle!

Saturday/Sunday, May6/7 Seven Sisters will be represented at a Ministry/Apostolate/Prayer event in Faribault. MN.  Bridget Kluesner and Lisa Bute will represent the Apostolate.

Tuesday, May 9, I will speak at a Serra Club luncheon in NE Minneapolis.  Looking forward ...

Saturday, May 13, I have the privilege of joining one of the original Seven Sister groups in Stillwater, MN, for their annual Mass and brunch.  Our topic is the role of Mary in the Apostolate.  We will likely have enough to talk about until lunch time! There are five Seven Sisters groups from this parish:  pastor, associate pastor, two retired priests and Pope Francis!  Thank you for your persistent example of zeal and joy, ladies!

Saturday, May 20, Seven Sisters in Eagan, MN, will host a gathering that includes Mass and brunch.  This parish has three groups that have bloomed forth: pastor, associate and a group for the diocesan Vicar General.  These members are consistently stirring interest and growth in the Apostolate through prayer and conversation in neighboring parishes.  Keep up the great missionary work!

Lincoln, NE, continues to multiply its population of groups in the diocese and Wisconsin, Iowa and Texas continue to inform of new groups, as well.

COMING SOON:  Book study of Sheen's The Priest is not His Own.  Hoping to set this up through Web Site.  This book is FULL of GEMS!!

A Seven Sisters logo is currently being designed and will make its debut next month!