Written on: December 8, 2016
“…we can’t live in the past. We must live in the present and live our prayer life here, where God has led us.” Sister Anne Boyer
There are no stained glass windows coloring filtered sunlight.
Electric lamps have replaced flickering candles. A small, windowless room, accommodating no more than 20 people at a time, is nestled quietly in a hallway filled with the sounds of people coming and going. It is the chapel at Holy Redeemer Lafayette, home to 52 Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart.
The sound inside the small, simple chapel is the sound of prayer. The sound of Catholic sisters -our sisters- in communal prayer. They gather in two groups, at two different times, to pray Evening Prayer, to pray for world peace and to pray for the intentions of those who ask for our prayers.
“Of course we miss the Motherhouse,” Sister Anne Boyer says. “But we can’t live in the past. We must live in the present and live our prayer life here, where God has led us.”
Holy Redeemer Lafayette is a retirement community in Northeast Philadelphia that is home not only to our sisters but to residents of other faiths. The pastoral team serving the residents includes Catholic priests, a Baptist minister and a rabbi.
In this interfaith setting, our sisters are building a new life: a life of community, a life of prayer and a life of fellowship and ministry, among their neighbors. “We are present and attuned to our new neighbors,” Sister Anne says.
Mass is celebrated on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Residents gather together weekly to pray the rosary. Sister Anne and other sisters attend interfaith services and monthly bible discussion. It is a prayerful place in a non-traditional setting for Catholic sisters.
“It’s different, for sure. We’re trying very hard,” adds Sister Dolores Fitzpatrick. “We’re adjusting, little by little.”
The Prayer Board, a familiar and well-read sight at the Motherhouse, is no longer a physical object. Prayer requests are shared by e-mail and disseminated by Sister Kay Purser to sisters, employees, associates and friends. The digital sharing of prayer requests has not diminished the caring and compassionate response —the ministry— of the recipients. According to Sister Dolores, “We keep them in prayer and in our hearts.”
Sister Anne observes that, in these last few years of transition from traditional to non-traditional community life, the sisters have grown, individually and communally.
“We’ve grown in contemplative listening and prayer, out of a desire to be open to what God is asking of us, at this time, in this place. I think we now have a better appreciation of the faith and cultures of others. At this age, we’re learning, we’re changing and we’re receiving God’s grace as we walk a new path in our journey as women religious.”
The sale of our Motherhouse has allowed us to downsize responsibly as we prepare for the future care of our aging sisters. Your continued support is a blessing to us in these difficult economic times. If you would like to know how your support can make a difference in the lives of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, please click here
This is part of a three-part series found in our annual report to donors highlighting three pillars of religious life: Prayer, Ministry and Advocacy. Check our blog to read them all!
6 thoughts on “Prayer in Today’s World”
Please pray for me that the Lord liberate me I’m dealing with possession and have been working with my priest and an exorcist. Please also pray the Lord rescue me I was convicted of a crime that didnt happen. Please pray that the Lord protect me on probation and if possible free me from it without jail. Please pray He make haste. I need heavenly help now. Please also pray for xxxx the woman who falsely convicted me. Please pray any part of my body damaged by to be healed. It’s been a hard life. Thank you God bless
I am an ex-semanarian. Still I love and want to be a priest oneday. But there are so many obstacles for me to re-enter the seminary again. Please pray for me to understand God’s plan for me and to become a good priest one day.
Please allow our loan modification to go through and please allow me to get the part time job I really want to work at home and help save our house
I go on my birthday (23-09-2019) to South Africa with my husband for a few weeks, for the first time togheter, he has worked there in the past as missionary. Please pray for me and my husband for unity and protection. Please pray for me for I still need many many many graces and miracles so I can deliver soon from my problems also in economic, finance, and employment. Pray please also that God will Lead me this time to work that I love, and that has value. Guide me to a place with an atmosphere of respect and cooperation, in a (very important to me ->)safe and happy environment. Help me to find fulfillment mentally and above all also very much in the financially aspect. Please continue to pray for a new job for me and for finances. Please pray for us. Thanks in advance and wish you all Gods blessings. Amanda
Please pray for healing for my friend Whitney to cure her lupus.
I have a court date on June 12 please pray charges get dropped haven’t hurt anyone was just dumb I have a family I love