Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ – On Corpus Christi Sunday (June 19) a plan to reaffirm and enflame Eucharistic love and zeal across the United States was launched. A chord of three strands is not easily broken. Three years of prevailing, intentional prayer is anticipated. This first year of the Eucharistic Revival will focus on implementing prayers and actions to move hearts in each Diocese as a whole. In 2023 the emphasis shifts to individual parishes. The third year is one of mission where what is learned and lived compels one to share. The goal: hearts afire to know, love and serve our Eucharistic Lord!
As exciting as this presents, and surely is, let the truth be known that Seven Sisters have happily and assuredly begun this revival of heart already! Seven considerations:
1) A flagging in the belief of the Real Presence has set our Church and world in the present desperate need of a rekindling of Eucharistic understanding and love. Seven Sisters are consistently poised to experience an ever-maturing truth and love of the Real Presence. We intentionally and routinely pray in Christ’s Presence. Our Eucharistic Lord is the source of our strength and the strength of our love: “Until we have a passionate love for our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament, we shall accomplish nothing” (St Peter Julian Eymard).
2) The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity. Our Holy Hours for only one other, grant insight into how Our Lord uniquely prays for each He has created, yet mindful of all He has created in that same prayer. Through recurrent Hours of prayer, a Seven Sister may eventually recognize an interior accord with the other Seven Sisters in the group, Seven Sisters and priests world-wide, and the Body of Christ. All seem intrinsically linked to the mystery of the Trinity held in the Blessed Sacrament. “The veil of mystery has been torn asunder. He is there, my God, infinite Unity, adorable Trinity, under the appearance of a small piece of bread” (Bl. Dina Belanger). The Eucharistic mystery not only signifies unity, but generates it.
3) The Eucharistic life is characterized by a life lived for the other. As women, Seven Sisters may have a built-in holy leaning toward this. St Theresa Benedicta (Edith Stein) exhorts, “A woman’s life must be a Eucharistic life. Only in daily, confidential relationship with the Lord in the tabernacle can one forget self, become free of all one’s wishes and pretensions, and have a heart open to all the needs and wants of others.”
4) Sacred Scriptures speak of Our Lord’s design to send His ambassadors of love out two-by-two. We do not journey alone. Seven Sisters keep company with three patrons that guide us in the way of Eucharistic love. Mary, under the title of Madonna of the Grapes, is fittingly described as the “overseer of the Eucharistic life”. St Margaret Clitherow’s fiery, unflinching and courageous love of the priesthood and the Eucharist afforded her the crown of martyrdom during the horrific penal times in England. St John Vianney, patron of all priests, modeled and encouraged an intensely Eucharistic life: “What happiness do we not feel in the presence of God, when we find ourselves alone at his feet, before the holy tabernacle! … Ah! if we only had the angels’ eyes! Seeing our Lord Jesus Christ here, on that altar, and looking at us, how we should love him! …a foretaste of heaven; everything else would become insipid to us.” Our Lord has generously assigned companions to Seven Sisters in this call to Eucharistic fervor.
5) The Greek word for “thanksgiving” (eucharistia) gave us the word Eucharist. How fitting that the spark of this now-international movement of prayer was a simply-lived, quiet gratitude for the generosity noted in the life of one priest pastoring one parish. Gratitude remains the spark for the formation of the majority of Seven Sisters groups. Thankfulness swells through the discipline of prayer enjoined with the Eucharist. “He has remained so that you could . . . visit Him and tell Him your concerns; and by receiving Him sacramentally, you could fall more in love each day, and help other souls, many souls, to follow the same path” (St Josemaria Escriva).
6) Holy Orders and Holy Eucharist were divinely willed gifts instituted on the same evening. They are inseparable. Growth in knowledge and love of one begets growth in knowledge and love of the other. Over and again Seven Sisters attest to this. Ven Fulton Sheen points out how intimately connected a robust Eucharistic life is with the priest’s growth in holiness and fruitfulness, the core of our Apostolate prayer efforts. Referring to St Thomas Aquinas he writes, “The priest’s power over the corpus mysticum [members of the Mystical Body of the Church] follows from his power over the corpus physicum [the Body and Blood] of Christ. It is because he consecrates the Body and Blood of Christ that the priest can teach, govern and sanctify the members of the Church. Practically, this means that he walks into the confessional from the foot of the altar… Every sick call, every word of counsel in the parlor, every catechism lesson taught to children, every official act in the chancery flows from the altar. All power resides there, and the more shortcuts we [priests] take from the tabernacle to our other priestly duties, the less spiritual strength we have for those duties” (The Priest is Not his Own, p. 231).
7) A ripening of one’s Eucharistic life augments one’s union with Our Lord. Our gift of time as Seven Sisters is rewarded without measure with this greatest of rewards – oneness with Christ. Such lives can influence the world. “The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make your soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth”(St Teresa of Calcutta).
In the third year of the Eucharistic Revival construct, a Eucharistic Congress will be held in Indianapolis, IN: July 17-21, 2024. Let us anticipate a tsunami wave of Seven Sisters in attendance to bear witness to His flourishing Presence through our lives – for we have come to know, love and serve Him more and more via the splendid gift of His marvelous Eucharistic Presence.
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+
SEVEN SISTERS – in and out and about
Heartfelt welcome: New groups registered in JUNE to cover more priests in daily prayer: Additional groups in Alberta (Canada), Cameroon (Africa), Sonora (Mexico) and these USA states: Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming. We pray daily for priests and bishops on 6 continents, 26 countries, all 50 USA states, and nearly every Province in Canada. We pray for Pope Francis (8 groups) and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI.
ETERNAL GRATITUDE for the outpouring of generous prayer for my husband, Jeff, and our family. At this writing, tests and treatment continue. Your big-hearted offerings are as balm!
FREEBIE this month: Beautiful Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus (4X6 card). Send self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE) to Janette Howe, 43 Nord Circle Rd, St Paul, MN 55127
ELIJAH’s HELPERS: By prayerful desire and directive of our Apostolate Chaplain, Fr Johnson, a pilot group of Seven Sisters intercessors dedicated to offering Holy Hours for priests in various forms of crisis within the Archdiocese of St Paul-Mpls, began in June 2021. This fruit of the Apostolate will be opening up to form more groups in more Dioceses beginning in June 2022. All inquiries to Nancy at ElijahsHelpers@gmail.com or cell: 612-756-1107. It is growing! Please consider this!
RECENT … and AHEAD on the calendar:
> Gratitude to Carrie and Laura for organizing a Day of Reflection at the Cathedral in St Cloud, MN, 06/04/22. Robust attendance and excellent talks from Fr Brady Keller/Fred Blonigan.
> Gratitude to Tammie and stellar team for organizing a Morning of Renewal: Getting to Know our Patrons, 06/11/22. Ft Wayne, IN. Reflections: Fr Daniel Scheidt/Janette. 120 in attendance!
> Gratitude to Holly for organizing a Retreat/Recommitment on Sat, 06/18/22. Olympia, WA. “So many, many graces – too numerous to count.” There is now an explosion of new groups in WA area!
> Gratitude to Jean for organizing a Zoom meeting on 06/18/22 with Seven Sisters in Cedar Rapids, IA, and Janette, who was asked to speak on the inspiration of the Apostolate and Q/A time.
> Thurs, 08/04/22: Feast Day of patron, St John Vianney.
> Sat, 08/06/22: “Do whatever He tells you…” Retreat at Cathedral Basilica of St Peter in Chains (Cincinnati, OH), 8:30-2:30, incl lunch. Presenter: Janette. Free will offering. All heartily welcomed! Contact Julie: email@example.com. Sponsored by Serra International.
> Sat, 08/27/22: “Distractions in Prayer” and “Seven Privileges in Praying for Priests” Retreat at St Gabriel’s in Kansas City, MO. Talks by Janette. 8:00- 2:30, incl Mass, confessions, lunch. Contact Lorie: firstname.lastname@example.org
MATTERS of the HEART:
Ø “I had originally thought about waiting until the Fall, but after talking with one of the other sisters, have decided that the need is too urgent to wait until then.” (Joyce, New Hampshire)
Ø “A new Seven Sister had her first hour. She said it was the most wonderful hour of her life! It made my heart sing… and obviously hers too.” (Donna, Wisconsin)
Ø “Fr R is the principal of my children’s school and I felt this was an excellent way to support and aid him. Also, my mom is a Seven Sister and would like to share the experience with her.” (Tami, Nebraska)
Ø “What a tremendous blessing this year has been to my life. I am amazed at the beautiful prayers that the Holy Spirit issues forth for the Hour for our devoted priest. The priests hold up our world! It makes me humbled to be called to this ministry. Our prayers are powerful before the throne of God. My offering of one hour once a week is so small for the gifts our priests give us every day, every hour.” (Tammy, Florida)
Ø “Father E attends over 10 communities in Mexico. I have always prayed for him and my local priest. In May I attended a retreat at St Dominic (San Francisco). Janette presented this Apostolate. I went home with such joy. A few days later I spoke with Father E and he asked me to pray for him for persecution is eminent. The next day I was inspired to organize a group that will pray for him.” (Maria in California, priest in Mexico)
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. Anchoresses: let us know the Seven Sisters group to which the Fasting Brothers are linked, name of lead Brother, his contact info and the start date.
LAMP-BEARERS: In January 2020, 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 prays a minimum of once per week, but many are offering prayers every day. 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. Those desiring to learn more, send an email of interest/inquiry through the 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. 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. 25 for $10 + P/H. Available in ENGLISH and SPANISH.
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: This is generously done every month by Zahyra B, Anchoress for a Seven Sisters group in Venezuela. They are then posted (and archived) on the Website. If it is easier to receive through an email account, please let me know. Expect a few days for translation. Commitment Prayer/Guidelines Booklet in Spanish (on the Web – free download).