Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ! The Church annually turns her attention to the Eucharist and Adoration during the month of August. Our patron, St John Vianney (Feast Day Aug 4), reminds, “There is nothing so great as the Eucharist. If God had something more precious, He would have given it to us.”
For 30 years Andrew Carroll has accrued approximately 150,000 letters penned by soldiers during every major American war, dating back to the Civil War. Many were entrusted to him from families of deceased soldiers; others discovered in barns, flea markets, garbage bins, and home renovations. The missives hold historical relevance and poignant revelations of the heart. Through them, one can take pause to remember…
Likewise, a golden thread of the writings of sacred Scripture is a call to remembrance. God Himself (and through His prophets) beckons us to remember His covenants, wondrous deeds, mercy, enduring promises and above all, His everlasting love. Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart… Remember the former things, those of long ago (Isaiah 46). And for our sake, God remembers these things too, including remembering our sins no more. As for us, God will never forget us. We are inscribed on the palms of His Hands. In the creation of the new heavens and a new earth, He promises that the former things will not be remembered or come to mind. The long and the short of it: God remembers and invites us to come alongside to remember truth, beauty and goodness: for our sake and the sake of others!
As the encroaching cancel culture urges a forgetfulness of history and distortion of truth, beauty and goodness, our Lord counters the influence by providing every kind of assistance. Foremost, He has promised the Helper, the Holy Spirit, to teach all things and bring to remembrance of all that He has said (John 14:26). With His Church as guardian, the deposit of faith is preserved. The ministerial priesthood is entrusted with the sacramental life of the faithful, foremost the holy mysteries of the altar. Multiple times in every hour of every day, priests echo the words of Jesus: Do this in remembrance of Me, making good the paramount promise of Christ to “be with us always”.
Filled anew with the life of Christ, Mary proclaimed the greatness of the Lord, recalling all that He had done for her and others. Millions begin their day by echoing her words of recollection of divine intervention in the recitation of Morning Prayer (Liturgy of the Hours). Knowing then that Mary holds a stellar memory, we confidently call upon her to remember that never was it known that anyone who fled to her protection, implored her help or sought her intercession was left unaided (Memorare).
Aside from words, signs help Christians to bear to mind significant things. The Lord has set the rainbow in the sky. The Church has set colorful vestments to mark liturgical seasons of remembrance. The Sign of the Cross is a potent witness of remembrance of our Trinitarian life, fortified and made perfect for us through the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me (Lamentations 3:20). Incense and flames atop vigil candles remind the heart that our prayer offerings live beyond the moment they are whispered. Holy water hearkens to our baptismal promises. Sacramentals release a flood of remembrance of the sacraments and the wealth of our Christian life of truth, beauty and goodness. Crucifixes, rosaries, blessed medals, mantillas, wedding rings, holy cards, statues, icons, scapulars, blessed salt – all affirm that we are ne’er forgotten.
Remembrance also begets action. A priest kisses the altar where Love will come. Genuflection acknowledges the King of kings. Our hearts fill, then respond, as we remember those the Church reminds us to preferentially remember: the poor, the little ones, the prisoner, the ill-treated.
As Seven Sisters, we can serve as living icons of Christians who remember. Our sure remembrances of our Catholic identity, reverent use of sacramentals and especially our intentional actions through sacrifices of prayers serve as an antidote to an insidious poison that is attempting to erode and distort our Christian roots and way. Loyalty to prayer is the certain remedy.
When Andrew Carroll travels, he handcuffs the case filled with the military letters to his wrist. His is a task of remembering and preserving to eventually pass them on. His action of safeguarding the treasured goods is telling. As Seven Sisters we are entrusted with the task of prayerfully supporting those priests/bishops in the crossroads of our lives. Our fidelity to prayers helps to safeguard the passing on of the flame much like the detail of Visscher’s sketch of The woman with the candle. Our sacrifices of prayer are telling. Be assured that the scribes in heaven take note. St John Vianney reminds us, “A priest goes to Heaven or a priest goes to Hell with a thousand people behind.” Let us remember: our sacrifices of prayer affect multitudes. Let us help to fill heaven!
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.
10th Anniversary Year of our Founding Graces (03/24/11 – 03/24/21)
In celebration: Prepare a simple card for the bishop or priest for whom you pray –
in remembrance of the Feast of St John Vianney (August 4), patron of all priests.
Express your gratitude and love. Share a quote or two from this exemplary shepherd!
Attend holy Mass and/or offer a Holy Hour on the Feast of our patron!
SEVEN SISTERS – in and out and about:
Heartfelt welcome: New groups registered in JULY to cover more priests in daily prayer: Additional groups in Canada (Toronto), Italy, Uruguay, and Washington, DC and in these USA states: Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming. We pray daily for priests and bishops on 6 continents, 25 countries, all 50 USA states, nearly every Province in Canada and over 2200 groups!
DAILY prayer for GROWTH: During this Year of St Joseph (12/08/20 to 12/08-21) every Seven Sister is asked to offer DAILY the Act of Confidence: Heart of Jesus, I adore Thee. Heart of Mary, I implore thee. Heart of Joseph, meek and just. In these three Hearts I place my trust. Two Seven Sisters (Karen, PA, and Lisa, MN) have created beautiful prayer aids. See Website for downloads.
ETERNAL REST: Denice Bina and husband, Ray, were killed in a traffic accident July 17th. Denice had been very active in the Apostolate since 2018 and served whole-heartedly as Coordinator for the Apostolate in the Diocese of Wichita, Kansas. Eternal rest grant unto Denice and Ray…
HELP needed: (1) Regular assistance with updates of new groups for our Google Map and (2) seeking 1-2 others to help monthly with technological updates (sending/maybe formatting Communique). These are volunteer spots with eternal benefits! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
RECENT … and AHEAD on the calendar:
> Gratitude for radio spot 07/26/21, 10 am: The Shepherd’s Voice w/Archbp. Naumann (KEXS, 1090 AM, Kansas) – interview w/Janette
> Gratitude to Fireside Special Edition w/Fr Jim Baron and Bp James Golka (special mention of the Apostolate in min 20+) https://youtu.be/TjQaBej798k
> 07/29-31/21, Informational booth at 40th Annual Chesterton Conference, Chicago
> 08/04/21, St JV Feast, Holy Hour offered for all Seven Sisters (Janette and husband, Jeff)
MATTERS of the HEART:
Ø “I felt led by the Holy Spirit to start a prayer group for the parochial vicar when I saw the group for our pastor making their promise in June.” (Sharon, Louisiana)
Ø “I’m a lifelong Catholic who’s fallen in love with the traditions of the Catholic Church. … Please pray for success in beginning this beautiful endeavor in our parish (I am new here) so our priest becomes as holy as he should (and he is holy) so that we may become as holy as we ought.” (Susana, Oregon)
Ø “Recently discovered two books: This Present Paradise (Claire Dwyer) introduced me to St. Elizabeth of the Trinity and discussed how we are all invited to the vocation of praying for priests. Maurice and Therese (Patrick Ahern) is a beautiful collection of letters between St. Therese and a seminarian. Then I heard about Seven Sisters! On the Feast of the IHM I attended an ordination. When all the priests there (50-60!) joined the archbishop on the altar, I thought how much these men are in need of people praying for them every day. It was the confirmation I needed to start inviting women to join me in this ministry. My prayer would be that starting a group at our parish will be a seed that eventually spreads to other parishes in our archdiocese.” (Tricia, Georgia)
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 for the benefit of the priests/bishops. He also wants to keep track of the groups forming. Anchoresses: let us know the Seven Sisters group to which the Fasting Brothers are linked, name of lead Brother contact 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!
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: Generously done every month by Zahyra B, Anchoress for a Seven Sisters group in Venezuela. Posted/archived on the Website. If it is easier to receive through an email account, please let me know. Expect 2-4 days for translation. Commitment Prayer/Guidelines Booklet in Spanish (on the Web – free download).