March 2024 Communiqué

Friday, March 01, 2024 06:40am

Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ in these Lenten-filled days of March, as together we await its final day, the happiest of endings: Easter Sunday! Before it arrives, Seven Sisters have some things to celebrate.  So, if you must wear purple, go frilly on these dates: Apostolate Inspiration Day on March 24 (2011) and Feast of patron, St Margaret Clitherow, on March 26. Both fêtes are in the wake of honoring St Joseph, patron of Fasting Brothers, on his Feast, March 19!  Yes, wow!


Our Lenten disciplines often include reflecting upon the Way of the Cross. Like everything in our Faith, no matter how often we return to a prayer or truth of the faith or meditation, there is more. More to understand, more to live. The cross of Christ is inexhaustible as the ultimate sign of God’s inexhaustible merciful love.  Retracing the Via Crucis, the VIII Station may hold particular meaning for Seven Sisters. While most Stations picture Jesus accepting the Cross and its grueling burden and three scenes depict His mother, Veronica and Simon of Cyrene offering solace, this Station curiously draws Jesus into the real-time miseries of those present.  Along with the antagonistic and the curious on this path to Golgotha, Jesus has the heartfelt company of women.  Their tenderness and compassion cannot be bound. They are weeping.  Despite His intense suffering, Jesus notices and meets them in His holy gaze and words.  He communicates more than comfort or sorrow. It seems a bit of a riddle: “Do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children” (Luke 23:27-28). 

Pope Benedict XVI offers insight: “How should we understand His words?… It is no use to lament the sufferings of this world if our life goes on as usual. And so, the Lord warns us of the danger in which we find ourselves.  He shows us both the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of judgment. … As we contemplate the sufferings of the Son, we see more clearly the seriousness of sin, and how it needs to be fully atoned if it is to be overcome.”  Jesus personally meets the women who followed Him, and meets us who also follow Him, to advise to not squander one breath of His suffering.  The wounds of our own shortcomings and infidelities plead for His gaze and consolation.  Both help us to see things more truly.  Through His agony, born of love, and our will to unite with it, come conversion.  In this Lenten season, full-to-overflowing with graces, it may prove wise and fruitful to allow the Lord to approach us in our current tears and need of His mercy. What does the Lord have to say?

As Seven Sisters, while we bear our individual hardships and faults, and desire to overcome them, we also share in the sorrows and anguishes of the priests and bishops for whom we pray and offer sacrifices.  What a gift and responsibility we are afforded!  Our unwavering response is not pity nor gossip nor judgement, but generous prayer in hope and love.  Many of you have shared that through the discipline of Holy Hours, you have come to understand the total surrender inherent through this committed prayer.  In quietness and trust is your strength (Isaiah 30:15, Apostolate anchor Scripture). Jesus, our Master, on the way to Calvary, continues to remind, guide and fortify.  

In artist Kiefer Kobylecky’s striking clay relief of this Station of the Cross (Trappist Abbey, Oregon) the thorn-crowned and brutally beaten Jesus is portrayed as stepping toward the women with serenity and an outstretched, open hand.  The women return His gaze, seeming to lean in as to not miss one word.  On that spring Friday morning in Jerusalem, the gestures and counsel of Jesus affected souls then and now.  His words bring order and mercy, reviving us with strength for ourselves and our prayer offerings.

Each Station reflection in St Alphonsus Ligouri’s familiar meditations of the Way of the Cross ends with this concerted prayer:  My Jesus, I love Thee more than myself; I repent of having offended Thee. Never permit me to offend Thee again. Grant that I may love Thee always; and then do with me what Thou wilt.  Bearing this attitude of heart as a Seven Sister will shape our prayers.  These are the inexplicably generous ways of the Lord we love and in Whom we hold our every hope.  “One who has hope lives differently” (Pope Benedict XVI, Spe salvi, 2).

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.

Janette (Howe) +JMJ+   651-283-0929 (c); 43 Nord Circle Rd, St Paul, MN 55127

SEVEN SISTERS – in and out and about:

Heartfelt welcome: NEW groups that registered in FEBRUARY to cover more priests in daily prayer:  Additional groups in Australia, Canada (Ontario), Archdiocese of the Military Services, and these USA states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, 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!

Celebrating March days with TWO FREEBIES: (1) Blessed medal of St Margaret Clitherow (Feast: March 26).  (2) Tri-heart holy card with Act of Confidence prayer to pray daily for more priests to receive our Holy Hours. (St Joseph Feast: March 19 and Inspiration Day: March 24). Send self-addressed stamped envelope to:  Janette Howe, 43 Nord Circle Road, St Paul, MN 55127

RECENT … and AHEAD on the calendar:

> Read this recent outstanding, inspiring article from the Seattle (WA) Archdiocesan magazine, “NW Catholic” and pass it on!

> Gratitude to Diocesan Coordinator, Heidi, for organizing/hosting a Lenten Evening of Prayer for priests led by Fr Charles A Hough. 20 Feb. Our Lady of Walsingham (Houston, TX).  75+ in attendance!

> Sunday, 24 March: Apostolate Inspiration Day (2011).  Offer prayers of gratitude!

> Tuesday, 26 March: Feast of St Margaret Clitherow. Jeff/Janette will offer their annual Holy Hour this day, expressly for YOU! Be open to these extra graces!

> Sat, 20 April: Time of Reflection and Renewal.  “Madonna of the Grapes: Overseer of the Eucharistic Life.” Janette to offer Reflection.  Includes Mass, 1st class relics veneration, breakfast and lunch. St Mary’s (Bruce, WI). Contact:  Amy:

> Sat, 4 May: Day of Reflection for Women. St Thomas Becket, Ft Worth, TX. “Open Wide the Doors of Your Heart: Cultivating a Heart of Prayer and the Privilege and Importance of Praying for Priests”
Janette will offer Reflection. Details forthcoming. Contact: Maria:

> Fri/Sat, 10/11 May: Our Lady of Good Counsel Retreat House. Waverly NE.  “Let’s talk Roses!” (Roses all around: the rosary, titles/apparitions of Mary, St Rose of Lima, St Therese’s shower of roses).  Janette to offer Reflections.  Attend wearing something “rose-y”. 

> Fri/Sat, 17/18 May: Star of the North Eucharistic Congress (Sanford Center in Bemidji, MN) Seven Sisters booth there! Visit for a free gift!  Star of the North Eucharistic Congress – Crookston, MN

> 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, pastor/Seminary rector. Contact: Leone:

Impressive LOGO pendants available:  Seven Sister Annie W collaborated with Seven Sister Jean M from Fount of Grace, to design and strike a beautiful medallion of the Apostolate logo.  Go to and click onto Apostolate top right.  A portion of sales to the Apostolate.  Someone gifted me with one.  I have not taken it off since!  It perfectly speaks of our Work!


  • “I have been an active member of the Seven Sisters for several years praying for our pastor. When an email from our Anchoress stated a need for a Seven Sisters group for our parochial vicar, I set out to contact seven beautiful Catholic souls. I love this ministry.” (Phyllis, Arch Washington, DC)
  • “Helping pastors be stronger and closer to Our Lady would go a long way to help them shepherd their people with faith formation overall.  I am looking forward to seeing how this will affect our parish. The diocese of Memphis is unique.  We have lived from NY to Calif, Fl, Ark, Tx and Missouri.  “This diocese is small (4% Catholic) but mighty,” a friend said.  I think Our Lady has a sweet spot for it.” (Erin, Tennessee)
  •  “I learned our Vicar General did not have a group.  In just 2 days six others agreed!  Priests need loving and protective prayers, in the way women often pray for those on our hearts.”  (Nikki, Massachusetts)
  • “I was helping to encourage two groups. We still needed seven.  Later, the evening Vespers antiphon struck me: “Master we have worked all night and have caught nothing; but if you say so, I will lower the nets again”. It seemed those words were for me.  By the next day, all the slots were filled! That afternoon I got a phone call that more women desired to pray for a third priest who helps at the parish! It really was like a miraculous catch of fish that one couldn’t but marvel at!” (Rosemaria, New York)
  • “A friend involved in this told me about it. I was excited about the behind the scenes praying. We have an Adoration chapel in our parish so it’s easy access for us. Our pastor is very dedicated and has a real charism for making people feel at home and that they are part of the family.” (Fiona, Canada)
  • “Father is a young, dynamic, holy priest. Many changes like returning the tabernacle to the center, establishing a Holy Hour and extending confession times, has increased and revitalized our parish. Seven Sisters is the perfect, quiet, holy way to support him. I’m honored to do this work.” (Leann, Indiana)
  • “My friend handed me a Booklet one morning. I said, “Oh, are you starting this Apostolate?” She said, “No, you are!” She was an Anchoress at another parish.  I read the Booklet, and decided to try it and to discern if this was something I should, or could, take on.  It didn’t take long to decide. I prayed for guidance in whom to invite to join, and soon had many positive responses. Everyone is very committed, and find they look forward to their prayer.  A couple even discovered nearby Chapels they were unaware of.  Father is grateful and would like to begin praying for each of his sisters as well.” (Annette, Ohio)

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  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  

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.