Before the Blessed Sacrament

The Eucharist acts as a magnet for the friends of God.
— St Luigi Guanella

Greetings dearest Sisters... and friends of God...

Long remembered is the glow in the countenance of a friend that was asked to consider Seven Sisters.  Her swift and fitting response was, "Oh, yes, yes ... much is accomplished before our Eucharistic Lord!"

Surely we can, and should, enter the secret place of our own heart and repose in the contemplation of God.  But God Himself has provided another dwelling place for us - the light of His real Presence!  My friend understands this, and further, understands that this is an ideal environs to lift the soul and concerns of our earthly Shepherds.

How splendid of the Holy Spirit to inspire this Apostolate to have its workings in the quiet and rich habitation of our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. quietness and trust is your strength. - Isaiah 30:15

SEVEN REASONS (that I learned from YOU!) of how we are benefiting from our prayers offered intentionally before the Blessed Sacrament:

1) Growth in love. Considering another greater than ourselves is God's commandment and design for us to grow in love. "Out of love, place yourselves at one another's service"  (Gal 5:13).

2) Praying for the least among us.  Prayer of St Teresa of Calcutta (echoing Our Lord) "Whatever you did unto one of the least, you did unto Me."  The priest has accepted the position of servant to all.  Our prayers help him to fulfill his call and we benefit in having a priest serve us who is embracing and witnessing his humble God-given call and holy place of service.

3) Docility in prayer. Putting ourselves in an environment of silence helps form our prayers. The Holy Spirit is our ever-ready help and Teacher par excellence.  "Silence is the law of the divine plans.  ... We listen in silence; man enters into a silence that is God. ... Silence is not an absence.  On the contrary, it is the manifestation of a presence, the most intense of all presences. ... For silence is where God dwells.  He drapes Himself in silence. ... All that is from God makes no noise.  Nothing is sudden, everything is delicate, pure and silent." - Robert Cardinal Sarah, The Power of Silence Against the Dictatorship of Noise, 2017 (A must read!).

4) Heart wholeness and holiness.  The priest benefits, we benefit.  He is made to understand himself more truly and live it, and we the same.  Beatitude upon beatitude.  "In every Christian life there is a sacred domain of nascent growth in which dwells Christ - a domain in which we are more firmly rooted than we are in our own.  There He works and grows, takes possession of our being, draws our strength toward Himself, penetrates our thoughts and volition, and sways our emotions and sentiments, so that the word of the Apostle comes true:  'It is now no longer I that live, but Christ lives in me' (Gal 2:20). " - Msgr Romano Guardini, The Rosary of our Lady

5) Every sacrifice has merit.  Over and again you bear witness to the interior joy and benefit of keeping faithful to your committed day - even in the face of struggles and temptations to do otherwise. "One small act of obedience to God can sometimes cause us to make more progress spiritually than years of effort according to our own plans.  Fidelity to small graces draws down bigger ones." - Fr Jacques Philippe, In the School of the Holy Spirit

6) Affecting others.  The sacrifice of these regular prayers are being noticed and affecting Seven Sisters families and even workplaces.  The proverbial pebble in the water affects many (in the seen and unseen).  Some connect their regular Holy Hours to recognizing that peace is spilling over into their home environs and others tell of more boldness of witness in the workplace.  Some have been inspired to encourage others to learn docility of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament.  Some have sensed their call to the Apostolate through your generous witness.

7) Unity with other intercessors: in our group, in the diocese, in the world.  In 2010 when I began offering a Holy Hour for Fr Johnson, there was no Seven Sisters.  There was one person quietly and happily praying. Not until the nudge arrived and others joined alongside in 2011 did this become a reality of seven working together.  Many of you speak of special sensed graces that unite us as intercessors with our individual groups and even the Body of Christ at large. We need each other and the fidelity of each otherthat our prayers may be seamless. Our concerted prayers bring a perception of unity, and unity itself is sensed to be realized through our prayers.  May God's generous Will and Way be esteemed!

My gratitude joins yours as we together seek our Eucharistic Lord and consider the benefits! Each of us can individually and together proclaim:

You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with JOY in your PRESENCE,

with eternal pleasures at your right hand. - Psalm 16:11 (my emphasis)

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....  Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...'  (St Mother Teresa of Calcutta)


SEVEN SISTERS - in and out and about: 

REMINDER: Marg W (our spreadsheet maestro and active Anchoress) will be contacting you to update the Spreadsheet info. Here is the email to look for:  Marg2@comcast.netShe will reach out to you.  Prompt replies are encouraged.  The task is increasing as the family grows! Keeping up-to-date is crucial regarding Anchoresses and active groups - and we don't want to miss any or have incorrect data!

SINGING TELEGRAM:  One gifted and generous Minnesota Anchoress (Barb Stender) composed a song and joyfully brought a singing telegram to a newly-assigned priest to her parish (and newly ordained in May 2017!) to let him know of the gift of prayers for him.  Included in the "Official Telegram Package" for Fr. Evans was a copy of the Seven Sisters booklet and the words of the Telegram.   Sung to the tune of "Mr Sandman":  "Father Evans, please accept this gift * Meant to be a daily spiritual lift; * A gift of prayer from Seven Sisters; * We all are women, there are no 'misters'. * In the Chapel, one Sister each day * Will hold you in prayer in her own special way, * That you be guided in all that you do.* Father Evans, we welcome you!*  Barb, you rock!  (How do I get on your prayer list?!)

RECOMMITMENT PRAYERS: Many of you sent descriptions of your heavenly concerted prayer times this past month.  A sampling:

"Those in our group, who were able, prayed the Commitment Prayer this morning after Mass.  We ended it with a prayer to Our Blessed Mother.  It was beautiful to pray our commitment to hold our pastor in prayer. All for Jesus through Mary.  We agreed we want to do this again as a group next year.  It was a very beautiful offering and beautiful movement of the heart - on such a beautiful feast day!"-  St Paul, Minnesota

"We had a Mass and mtg/social hour last night. All went well. 2 of our three priests stopped by for cake and fruit. We also gave them a prayer shawl to remind them they are covered in prayer." - Lincoln, Nebraska

"Our Seven Sisters group was able to gather at Mass. ...I am a regular EMHC at this Saturday Mass and had the privilege of offering Our Lord's most precious blood to my fellow Sisters.  We had a cup of delicious coffee and muffin afterwards in the gathering space ...  We are a diverse group, making the gathering even more interesting and rewarding.  Everyone is very committed and I foresee it remaining for a long while." - St Cloud, Minnesota

"We sisters ...offered our commitment prayer together at two different times.  Our purpose was to fit into people's busy schedules. So, sisters could pray together after morning Mass, or during late afternoon adoration.  Both were very well attended." - St Paul, Minnesota

And from a (newly ordained) priest: "Thank you so much for what you are doing. Know that it is helping me in tremendous ways and likely in more ways that any of us can know. Please keep it up! I am deeply grateful for your prayers, time, and sacrifices. You aren't only helping me be a holier priest, but you are also helping everyone I minister to to come closer to Christ and His Church." - Texas

STEADY GROWTH:  The winds of the Holy Spirit blow where they may... Inquiries regarding Seven Sisters abound.  States with recent interest are Alaska, Arizona, Illinois, Kansas, New York and North Dakota.  Many of YOU have zealously carried a seed to these places - by word of mouth or moving there!  The stories are each-one-precious.  New groups continue to form and a swelling, concerted enthusiasm to take the Apostolate "everywhere" is heard over and again.  All in God's Will and Way - not before, not lagging behind!

RAISING AWARENESS: Let us together be open to starting groups for priests that are perhaps less visible (those not in a traditional parish setting).  Examples: Hospital Chaplains, Military Chaplains, Monasteries, Professors in Universites, School Chaplains, Retirement Home Chaplains, Canon Lawyers, priests serving in Seminaries, Chanceries,  Exorcists, Retired priests.

SEVEN SISTERS as TOPIC: In the early Fall there will be a gathering/retreat in Lincoln, NE, where numerous groups have sprung up since February.  These ladies are full of JOY and love for their priests!

A gathering in North Dakota is in the prayer/discernment stage.

Seven Sisters Apostolate will be a speaker topic at a Women's Conference in the Winona Diocese (MN) in October.

Fr Johnson and I will have an appearance on EWTN in October and speak together at a Regional/District Serra Club meeting in mid-November (MN and Dakotas).

COMING SOON: Plans are going forward for the Seven Sisters 4th Annual St Paul/Mpls Day of Recollection/Retreat.  It will be hosted by All Saints Parish Seven Sisters groups (2) in Lakeville on the First Saturday of November, Nov 4.  One of the ORIGINAL (dubbed the "Magnificent Seven") groups was started in this parish - and still going strong! Check Web for details regarding the event, as they unfold. Need not be from St Paul-Mpls to attend.  All welcome!