June 2024 Communiqué

Saturday, June 01, 2024 07:38am

New! Check out the Audio Version!

 Universal Apostolate Recommitment Prayer gatherings: 

On/near Solemnity of the Sacred Heart: June 7th this year.
Anchoresses please contact all members of your group to review your plans!

Commitment prayer (English/Spanish) on Website: under Prayer tab


Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ as we enter this month wholly dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  We might say, and rightly so, that this is “our month”.  Our roots lie here.  Our annual renewal is rekindled and invigorated here.  Our commitments, now echoing across the globe, are mystically united by the Sacred Heart Itself!  Yes, Love Himself tutors us and challenges us toward an impassioned generosity of prayer offerings for priests and bishops.  This month is aflame with graces to strengthen our call as Seven Sisters! 

Depictions of the Sacred Heart often show licks of flames at the top.  Some, as in this vintage engraving, encircle the entire heart.  St Margaret Mary Alacoque (17th c) received this now-familiar symbolism through a private revelation.  Jesus specifically mentions flames: “My Divine Heart is so inflamed with love for men, and for you in particular, that, being unable any longer to contain within Itself the flames of Its burning Charity, It must spread them abroad…”  Seven Sisters imitate Christ in a burning heart of love for priests/bishops.  A growing number, also in imitation of Christ, seem compelled to “spread abroad like fire” this work of love within the Apostolate.

Our Lord’s intense Love indeed comes to meet us, desiring to exchange our limiting, stony hearts for His unsparing, burning-with-love Heart.  This is not the first time God associates Himself with fire. Sacred Scripture connects fire with the essence of divinity.  Consider that God revealed His Name to Moses in the midst of a burning bush, a bush that although on fire, was not consumed.  Some theologians link this to the Incarnation, where God assumes human nature without His divinity destroying the humanity.  Scripture also discloses God as guiding the Israelites in the daytime via a column of cloud and at night by a column of fire.  We learn too of flames raining down from heaven that consumed the sacrifice of Elijah, who later rises heavenward in a divinely-fiery chariot. In the New Testament, Jesus reveals His Heart to a great crowd gathered, “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled” (Luke 12:49).  After Christ’s earthly departure, the Holy Spirit emerges at Pentecost as tongues of fire (Acts 2:3).   Fire, fire, fire! While some symbols and even Scripture-given titles express one person of the Trinity more than another, fire expresses them all!  Christ’s heart of flaming love can serve to deepen our Trinitarian life and Trinitarian love. 

Devotion to the Sacred Heart unfailingly leads us to the Eucharist.  Love for the Eucharist leads us to God’s infinite Love depicted by the Sacred Heart.  This seems God’s brilliant course for us in this Apostolate.  Love Himself calls us and shows us how to broaden our love.  Seven Sisters beseech Love for the other from the Other!  In our Holy Hours we encounter Christ, the one for whom we pray, and each other in that Heart ablaze with love.  Fire enkindles fire.  Our prayers share that gift of “fire” with those the Lord has given us to love. Every sacrament is an effect of Christ’s love, but as St. Bernard reminds, the Blessed Sacrament is the love of loves, the amor amorum – Jesus gives Himself as Love.

Scottish-born Fr Richard Neilsen (+2016) seems to speak directly to the heart of our call as Seven Sisters, which is inseparable with the Sacred Heart: “When devotion to the Sacred Heart is recommended, what is being recommended to us is the gift of our entire self to Jesus – soul and body, thoughts, feelings, words, actions, joys, sorrows.  Jesus came to light a fire on earth.  Fire purifies, gives light, communicates, unites.  Such is the blaze of Divine Love devotion to the Sacred Heart enkindled in our hearts.  The Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament feeds the flame of our love for the Lord, burning from us the dross of self.  Thus, afire we thirst for souls as He does, becoming His dedicated emissaries among the men and women of our day, so many of whom neither know Him nor love Him.” We walk with Our Lord and we rest with Him.  Let our hearts burn in both places as we together take on the mantle of prayer for our Shepherd-Brothers in Christ.  “Sacred Heart of Jesus, burning with love of us, inflame our hearts with love of Thee. Amen.” 

United in prayer, fasting 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.

Janette (Howe) 


SEVEN SISTERS – in and out and about:

Heartfelt welcome: NEW groups that registered in MAY to cover more priests in daily prayer:  Additional groups in Africa (Cameroon), Eastern Europe (Ukraine – NEW country), and in these USA states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.  Our sure and steady mission in every diocese of every country:  Let no shepherd be left behind! 

RECENT … and AHEAD on the calendar:

> Gratitude to Guadalupe Radio Network (North Texas) for conducting/airing an Apostolate-related interview. Here is the link to the segment: GNS 04-22-24-Seven-Sisters  A follow-up is promised!

> Gratitude to Maria A, Teressa W & team for organizing a splendid Day of Reflection at St Thomas Beckett (Ft Worth, TX) on 4 May.  Finely attended with stirring opening remarks by Fr Bolin (pastor). 

> Gratitude to Fr G Coulter (25 years a priest!) for invitation/hosting “Let’s Talk Roses!” overnight retreat at Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House (Waverly, NE) on 10/11 May. 

> Gratitude to a generous couple sponsoring a Seven Sisters booth: Star of the North Eucharistic Congress (Bemidji, MN). 17/18 May. 3200 in attendance.  Continuous action and JOY at the booth!

> Sat, 1 June:  Informational (open to others) and Recommitment prayer. (St Ambrose, Woodbury, MN) Janette will give short reflection. Contact Colleen with questions: davis8811@yahoo.com

> At Home with Jim and Joy (EWTN). Topic is Seven Sisters on June 5,6. Joy is a Seven Sister!

> Sat, 8 June: Archdiocese of Dubuque (IA) celebrating 10 years of the Apostolate! Morning event, incl Mass, reflection, testimonies, lunch.  St. Columbkille (Dubuque). “Heaven’s Blessings for the Priest and Pray-er” Fr. David Schatz, Seminary rector/keynote.  RSVP: Leone: r1berge@msn.com

> Sat, 8 June: Archdiocese of Seattle (WA). 2nd Annual.  9 am-3 pm. St Michael parish, Westside Chapel (Olympia) At the feet of Jesus: a holy wasting. Incl Mass, Lunch, Adoration, Reflections, Fellowship.  Priest panel, talks by Janette, Michelle, Holly.  Info: Holly: sevensistersseattle@gmail.com

> Sat, 29 June: Diocese of St Cloud (MN).  Annual Reflection and Renewal Gathering.  St Anthony parish (St Cloud). 8 am-3 pm.  Thy Will Be Done.  Speakers: Diane Hansen, Fr Matthew Crane. $15. RSVP:  Carrie: sevensistersstcloud@gmail.com or 320.253.1692

> Sat, 29 June: Women’s Day of Retreat. Holy Spirit Church (Creston, IA) 8 am-4pm. Incl Mass, lunch, reflections, Make & Take. “Let’s Talk Roses!” (Roses all around: rosary, titles/apparitions of Mary, St Rose, St Therese). Janette to offer Reflections.  Contact:  Virginia: vaguilarhayes@gmail.com


  • “The priest we pray for offered a private Mass for our Seven Sisters group.  He personalized his opening remarks and homily: addressing us as a “bouquet of roses” in the church, and his “powerhouse” of prayer and support.  Thank you for this wonderful apostolate.  It is a breath of joy.”  (Karen, South Carolina)
  • “My mom in Minnesota is part of a group there and I’ve admired what she’s shared about it, so when the opportunity presented itself here, I jumped at the chance!”  (Stacey, Kansas)
  • “I am blessed and honored to have first heard about 7 Sisters many years ago on a Catholic podcast and discerned to get it going in our parish. Wow, the Apostolate has grown so much in the past years. God has really been anointing this effort! I remember when not all 50 states were covered.” (Nancie, Illinois)
  • “A little tidbit: I dressed up as St. Margaret Clitherow when I was in a Young Adult group around 2000! I made a door out of cardboard, hung it on my front, cut a portal to see and put paper ‘rocks’ atop. So, imagine my joy seeing she is a patroness of the movement! In our building projects here on the farm, I keep finding places to build priest hideouts… she’s infiltrated my way of thinking!!!!”  (Jen, Minnesota)
  • “A friend and I were praying for a way to pray for our priest. We asked the Lord to show us. An article in our Archdiocese paper appeared about the Apostolate.  I immediately emailed the contact.  Then we witnessed our priests begging for prayers during their homilies. The Lord led us!” (Mary, Alabama)
  • “One of my closest friends told me about this Apostolate and I had a keen interest to look into it! This could be a beautiful way to support our priest and live in sisterhood.” (Brooke, Missouri)
  •  “I heard about the Apostolate listening to “Beacon of Truth” on Spirit Catholic Radio.  A caller mentioned she was in a group and the prayers were helping their priest.  The idea of it “spoke to me”. The seven came together quickly! One member is having rosaries made for the seven sisters: all black beads with the first bead being white as a symbol of the priest’s collar. What an awesome idea!” (Doreen, Nebraska)


ELIJAH’s HELPERS: Intercessors in this group are dedicated to offering Holy Hours for priests in various forms of crisis (no names known).  These are special Hours for special circumstances and carry special supportive graces.  It is growing! Please consider this vital, hope-filled offering for our priests!  All inquiries to Nancy at ElijahsHelpers@gmail.com  or cell: 612-756-1107.  She will help!

APPRECIATED and LOVED quilt project:  A double cloaking for RETIRED PRIESTS: Seven Sisters prayer and a quilt! The priests love both!  To learn more regarding a single quilt for a retired priest or on how to get this started in your Diocese, contact QuiltsBySevenSisters@gmail.com  

FASTING BROTHERS is growing: Groups of men offering various forms of fasting to augment the prayer efforts of a Seven Sisters group.  Each man prayerfully discerns the type of fasting he will offer and commits to fast a designated day of the week (excepting Sunday/Solemnities). Our Chaplain, strongly urges formation of these groups. Form on the Website for FB leader to register.

LAMP-BEARERS: Lamp-Bearers, so-named for their action of continually ‘filling of their lamps with the oil of prayer’, was launched to pray for the Apostolate at large.  Each intercessor offers prayers every day for the Apostolate.  Intentions are gleaned from topics and calendar points in the monthly Communique and also sent to members on the second or third Sunday of the month.  Additional intercessors welcomed.  Inquire through Website.

SEVEN SISTERS Guideline BOOKLETS: Available as free download from Web site.  Hard copies passed on for printing cost of $2 each + P/H. Order thru Web email with amount desired/address

SEVEN SISTERS Tri-fold BROCHURE:   Effectively used in parish pamphlet stands (ask pastor’s approval prior), Adoration Chapels, Retreat Centers, Bags/Packets for Women’s Conferences/Retreats, Women’s clubs, Serra clubs – or simply handing out!  Available on Web as free download.  Recommend 80# silk for best printing results.  May also order through Web site.  Indicate address/quantity.  50 cents each or 25 for $10 + P/H.  Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH.  

SEVEN SISTERS Tri-fold LITANY for PRIESTS: Beautifully printed on 100# silk (a bit thicker than brochures).  Original artwork (inspired by the Diary of St Faustina) by Seven Sister in Minnesota, Litany by Richard Cardinal Cushing.  50 cents each or 25 for $10 + P/H.  

REMEMBRANCE of those SEVEN SISTERS who have PASSED: We want to remember those Seven Sisters in name and in prayer, who have gone before us to their eternal rest. Visit the Web site. Click on ABOUT folder and scroll to bottom, choose: IN REMEMBRANCE.  Follow prompts… OR you may submit info via the Website email. Please check site monthly for additions and to pray!  

PRIEST who has PASSED to ETERNAL REST: If the priest for whom you pray has entered eternal life, the group may be led to continue to pray for a length of time for the soul of that priest. Perhaps a novena of Holy Hours or the offering of holy Mass(es) for the priest.  You will know.  Some groups have/are offering Holy Hours for an entire year for their beloved deceased priest.  Groups may be started following the death of a priest that did not have a group prior.  This is commendable and welcomed.  Please register these special groups through the Web site.

SPANISH translation of Communique:  Posted (and archived) on the Website. The translation link is sent with every Communique.  Commitment Prayer/Guidelines Booklet in Spanish (on the Website – free download)