More prayer spaces of religious communities
Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration praying in chapel.
Benedictine Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
“When I entered our community, we had many prayers we said together. During our time of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, we used a prayer book. I memorized many of these prayers since they offered acts of thanksgiving and petition that I needed. The praying of the Rosary, either in common or as an individual, was an important part of our day in addition to the praying of the Psalms during the Liturgy of the Hours. To this day, I cherish that time with those vocal prayers because they nourished my faith and devotion.
“In time, during retreats and days of quiet, I learned to pray with Scripture, especially reading the gospel accounts slowly and making Jesus’ words my own. This is lectio as we know it today. This is a way of listening to God’s word, making it our own, dialoguing with our God, and asking for the blessings and help we need. “Prayer is a mystery. It is a gift of God that we pray for while continually making efforts to pray as we are, not as we wish we could be!”
- Sister Mary Jane Romero, O.S.B.
Congregation of St. Basil (Basilian Fathers)
“For me, the Basilian way of life reminds us that while personal prayer is important, we are not meant to exist in isolation. This is the main reason for our communal prayer. Our communal celebrations of Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Eucharist help to provide an ordered structure of times where we gather to give praise to God. Our chapels become the focal point for this type of prayer. They provide a simple, yet dignified place for us to gather, and this simple dignity helps to lift the mind and spirit to God. Going forth from these spaces of prayer to serve the people of God reminds us that we go forth in humility, not seeking our own praise and gain, but seeking to give glory to God through our lives, so that when we return to the chapel in the evening, we may praise God, who is our help and refuge.”
- Steven Huber, C.S.B., Basilian Scholastic
Crosier Fathers & Brothers
The Crosiers say, “Prayer is the time to talk to God and be open to the Spirit in our lives. This is especially important for anyone discerning a religious or priestly vocation.
“Using Scripture for prayer is a time-honored exercise. Beginning or ending the day using Scripture helps us find a firm foundation. Taking Scripture from daily Mass, contemplating it and asking, ‘How does this apply to me at this very moment?’ is important. There is a larger community perspective here, too, since the Church worldwide is reading the same Scripture that day.
“The prayer time by yourself is also important. Scripture says to, ‘Go to your room and close the door and pray.’ Being alone in the overwhelming presence of God is significant. Being one with God is a very close and personal experience—it is having a friendship with God.
“Remember that being open and listening in prayer also helps us in life. This is key as we discern where the Lord is calling us to a vocation of priesthood or religious life. Taking the time to do this will greatly help anyone in the discernment journey.”
Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration
La Crosse, Wisconsin
“Prayer is a commitment. It isn't always the thing one wants to do immediately, but it is a very valuable routine. The repetition and commitment has made the experience of prayer a valuable area of growth for me. What once was sometimes a bit of a burden has now become a frequent state of mind. It is the natural space I return to often and pleasantly. Two big orientations toward prayer are clearer to me now. One is the reparation type and the other the joyful experience of goodness. They are both important and needed. One or the other fit my state of mind on any given occasion. One comes when I have failed significantly and I feel sad and discouraged. The other comes more and more frequently and is about God's goodness, the gift of creation, and the blessings all around me. It is alright that one is about me and the other is much more about God. We are both involved.”
- Sister Celesta Day, F.S.P.A.
Conventual Franciscan Friars, West Coast Province
Castro Valley, California
“Prayer is the heart of any vocation. It is the connection to the “Vine” of Jesus Christ (Jn 15:5). It is the source of “Living Water that wells up from within” (Jn 7:38). Prayer is personal, communal, and sacramental, especially the Eucharist. Without it, we wither and fade. Prayer is our means of sanctification. It is where God shapes our hearts as the potter shapes the clay. Saint Francis says, “Sanctify yourself, and you will sanctify society,” and “We should seek not so much as to pray but as to become prayer.” Feeling worn down, or weary? Pray. Feeling confused or lost? Pray. Feeling excited or joyful? Pray. No matter how you feel, Pray! Pray all-ways, and always!”
- Father Paul Gawlowski, O.F.M. Conv.
Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers
Maryknoll, New York
“Maryknoll missioners learn to pray in the languages of the people we serve in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. From mud-thatched chapels in the countryside to modern churches in the cities, we share our love for God with them through liturgical celebrations. This vocation to God’s mission ad gentes (‘to the nations’) is nurtured through private and communal prayer shared at our headquarters in a chapel dedicated to Mary, Queen of the Apostles.”
- Father Michael J. Snyder, M.M.
Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word
“His Spirit is given to equally to all people. In times of doubt, he gives us the right words, the gift of patience. Today we long for renewed infusion of his Sprit to guide us in uncharted ways. He is with us. We only need to implore his guidance.”
- Sister Francesca Kearns, C.C.V.I.
Trappists of St. Joseph’s Abbey
The monks say, “If music is the wordless expression of the human soul, then truly sacred music must be not only an aid to prayer, but prayer itself. Gregorian chant as the sung prayer of the Church is able to express the thoughts and feelings that are fundamental to prayer. Some attribute this to its haunting simplicity. For despite its occasional elaborate technique, there is never anything contrived or dramatic about chant to weary the listener.
“Liturgy as sung prayer is the language of the heart. This language is not merely of an intellectual ascent, but forms the sensibility and the very soul of worship. Gregorian chant expresses in a special way something of the timelessness of liturgy. The purity and contemplative aspect of chant help us reach out beyond our immediate conditions to the ineffable, the eternal, the mystery of divine beauty and truth.”
Benedictine Sisters at St. Martin Monastery
Rapid City, South Dakota
The 19 sisters of the Benedictine community at St. Martin Monastery pray together in the chapel morning, noon, and night. There are other places at the monastery that invite them to pray and to be with God in the silence of their hearts.
About the importance of prayer in discerning vocation, the sisters say, “Like many of us today, Saint Benedict, who lived about 1,500 years ago, was searching for God. As a student in Rome, his heart yearned for a deeper relationship with God. He left Rome and lived in a remote cave where he could seek the God who was seeking him. Those days of intense prayer changed Benedict into a mature, compassionate man to whom God entrusted many followers. Together they formed a community in which they could support one another in their search for fulfillment in God.”
Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth
New Orleans, Louisiana
“A sensational and comforting way to pray is to enjoy time swaying in the chair hanging on our convent porch. To watch the sunrise or sunset and to feel breeze on your cheeks is a very intimate way to experience the presence of God each morning and evening. Our screened-in porch offers a natural setting to be in prayer with each other, with our God, and immersed in the miracle of all creation.
"I enjoy time there alone to just BE as the day begins. The rest of the sisters join me as we enter into morning and evening prayer together. I have found that I enjoy time to just be still, with no agenda before entering into a more interactive prayer time together. I have learned to appreciate the insights and peace that the time spent in Stillness brings to my soul. I wish everyone could set time aside each day, with no set prayer agenda, but to just breathe and be present to our loving God. I challenge busy people to try this, at lunch, between classes or at the beginning and end of the day. The gift of peace and presence is Priceless.
- Sister Vicki Lichtenauer, S.C.L.
Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Eastern American Province
Tarrytown, New York
"It is important, life giving, spiritually uplifting for me to be immersed in nature as much as possible. Why wouldn’t it be so? Pope Francis in his beautiful Encyclical 'On Care for Our Common Home (Laudato Si')' says 'Soil, water, mountains: everything is, as it were, a caress of God ... All creatures are moving forward with us and through us towards a common point of arrival, which is God.'
“Our community recently took down a building that once housed our novitiate. We replaced it with a native plant garden, a garden that would add beauty in a sustainable, healthy landscape for all creatures.
“Now that the garden is growing and developing, it is a place of peace, attracting the community of life to grow and prosper."
- Sister Clare McBrien, R.S.H.M.
Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus - English Province
London, United Kingdom
A strong prayer life helps the Sisters Hospitallers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in their apostolic work of caring for people and defending their dignity. The sisters say, “Since 1881, Sisters Hospitallers have been changing—and saving—lives at our care homes and medical clinics around the world. Driven by our Catholic faith, we work to bring to life our commitment to the powerful charism of Hospitality. With a deeply human attitude and without discrimination, we aim to offer and provide care and support for people who are sick, disabled, elderly or suffering from dementia.”
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
St. Louis, Missouri
Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet “are honored to grow in our relationship with you by remembering your petitions and intentions in our prayer.” Or “would you like to support the mission and ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph by your prayer? If so, you are invited to become a prayer partner with the sisters. Prayer partners are women and men who share in the mission of the Sisters of St. Joseph and their associates through the ministry of prayer.”
Make a prayer request or find out how to become a C.S.J. prayer partner here.
Benedictine Sisters at Sacred Heart Monastery
“While I had thought and prayed about a religious vocation for a long time and visited multiple communities, it was in our monastery chapel that I had that first spiritual sense of having ‘come home.’ I experienced a calming peace accompanied by a clear intuitive sense that I had found where I belonged. No logic led me to this conclusion. It was a moment of pure grace, awareness, and awe.
“Since then, the sacred space of our monastic chapel has shaped and changed my life. It has given my life specific purpose, order, direction, challenge, and comfort. Like the shifting tints and shapes of light that spread across the interior of the chapel during the daylight hours, the grace of God is made visible in a myriad of ways through a community of individuals who come together in love and faithfully dedicate themselves to God and to one another several times a day. Loving God and loving one’s Sisters merge into a single purpose of sharing and serving, yet each member’s unique expression of that love is magnificently brilliant in beauty.
“In our chapel, we bring the stuff of our lives and the lives of all people and offer them to God in praise and thanksgiving. We ask that needs be filled, wounds be healed, knowledge and wisdom be gained, and mercy be received. And with the grace that God supplies, we go forth to the ordinary and everyday activities outside of the chapel, bringing the sacred presence of the One who fills all things with purpose with us.”
- Sister Thérèse Haydel, O.S.B.
Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary of-the-Woods
Saint Mary of-the-Woods, Indiana
“It used to be that the word prayer was a term that instantaneously invoked an image in my mind of me getting down on bended knees, hands folded in silence as I reverently and humbly asked, begged, and sometimes whined to God to intervene on my behalf for something over which I had very little control. I often wonder if others have that same image when they hear someone say, ‘I’ll pray for you.’
“Today, my idea of prayer has expanded to include more than a list of things to ask, beg, or whine about.
“I thoroughly enjoy the act of walking or sitting in silence around the 1,200 acres of sacred woods we, the Sisters of Providence, call home, at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in Indiana, or the 200 acres of certified forest I call home at Rosary Hill, where I reside with Sister Ann Sullivan. This sacred space is a way for me to quietly listen and connect with the Divine through nature’s various lessons offered during each outdoor experience. I feel that nature itself is a prayer. Nature is a way in which I experience God in various modalities. Nature helps bring me into an awareness of the God within me, and nature also helps me align my soul to the Spirit that is in all things nature. Many times during these sacred encounters the Spirit helps me; she reveals to me insights regarding friends, family and myself. When I say to someone, ‘I will keep you in my prayers.’ I am promising to quietly and reverently spend some time meditating on them, silently listening for guidance, and thus allowing the Spirit to share with me some insight or message for the person.
- Sister Joni Luna, S.P.
Sisters of Our Mother of Divine Grace
Port Sanilac, Michigan
Time on this earth that takes you into the dimension of heaven, becoming more and more transformed into the person God wants you to be. It is a time of communion and union with the Beloved, laying at His feet your joys, sorrows, strengths and imperfections to be immersed in the mercy of Our heavenly Father.
Where you fuel your fire with the gifts of God to be an effective instrument in spreading His light, His love, and His peace on this earth.
A time to rest peacefully in God, listening to His desires, His plans, and His love for your life.
Prayer is to the spirit, what the heart is to the body.
An encounter with God's love that embraces my puny love.
The School in which Jesus Christ teaches his disciples.”
- Sister Mary Philomena Fuire, S.M.D.G.
Sisters of Saint Dominic
Blauvelt, New York
The Dominican motto is: To praise, to bless and to preach the word of God frames our lives of prayer, study, common life and ministry.
The sisters say, “As Dominican Sisters and Associates, we endeavor to proclaim the good news of the compassionate love of God for each person with a special consciousness and of presence to, those who are poor and on the margins of society.
“As Dominican Sisters, we’ve had many opportunities to see the power of prayer at work in our own lives and amidst the turmoil in our world. We take our example from Jesus and St. Dominic who prayed often, placing their needs openly before God. Prayer nourishes our faith and gives us the strength to continue to serve. Our Sisters, particularly those in full time prayer ministry, welcome the opportunity to support your needs.”
Submit a prayer request to them here.
Sisters of St. Benedict
The Sisters of St. Benedict at the Monastery Immaculate Conception are “monastic women seeking God through community life, prayer, hospitality, and service to others.”
Among the guiding principles by which they live:
• “We commit ourselves to a life of prayer, praising God and bringing before God the needs of all people.
• Our prayer in common and in solitude unites us with others and sustains us throughout the day.
• We gather daily to pray the Liturgy of the Hours.
• We celebrate the Eucharist, God’s presence in and among us.
• We value the quality of our liturgical prayer, which gives expression to our monastic life.
• We are nurtured by our daily lectio.
• Our lives are enriched and renewed by times of silence and solitude and frequent communal celebrations which bring healing and reconciliation.”
Sparkill, New York
The Dominican Sisters of Sparkill invite all to their Dominican Center, which offers programs that “foster a contemplative attitude toward all of life and encourage a common search for the Mystery Who is God. We join with all people who seek to heal the violence which deprives both humans and the natural environment of the dignity and freedom intended by our Creator.”
They encourage visitors to walk the labyrinth on their grounds: “Make a spiritual journey by walking the Labyrinth, a single path leading to a center and out again. The Labyrinth is based on the circle, the universal symbol for wholeness and unity. We welcome those who wish to walk this mysterious winding path as a way of deepening their relationship with God and of gaining clarity for their lives.”
Benedictine Sisters of Erie
The sisters say, “The liturgical space of a Benedictine community is pivotal to the entire monastic life. The chapel is the space in which Benedictines gather daily because what they do there holds together the balanced life that Benedict lived, modeled, and wrote about in the Rule. It is the space for the opus dei—the work of God in prayer and praise. This opus dei anchors and holds the community together. The Benedictines of Erie believe that everything in us flows into and then out from our times of prayer together.
“The chapel both fosters and strengthens Benedictine prayer and Benedictine/Christian community. It is a space that is reflective of a community that celebrates its desire to be community, to be church, to both express and deepen the bonds of relationship. It communicates the centrality of Word and Sacrament in the midst of a God-centered group. It is designed to be a hospitable and accessible space that will permit those gathered to see and hear one another and to experience themselves as a community in dialog with God who is both transcendent and in their midst.”
Society of the Sacred Heart, United States-Canada Province
St. Louis, Missouri
The Shrine of Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne in St. Charles, Missouri is a lasting tribute to the French missionary of the Society of the Sacred Heart who brought formalized education and a zeal for sharing the love of God to the Missouri frontier in 1818.
Pilgrims from around the world come regularly to this site, bringing their prayers and petitions to the fourth United States saint. The school and the sisters also use this space for liturgy and prayer.
The Shrine’s modern interior was designed in 1964 by liturgical artist William Schickel. The granite used for the sanctuary furnishings reflects the hard life the pioneer saint had lived on this site. Philippine’s marble sarcophagus is in an alcove facing the altar. Other features of interest include primitive relics of Philippine’s log cabin days and a crucifix that once hung in the Visitation convent in Grenoble, France where she attended school as a young girl.
Salesian Sisters of St. John Bosco
San Antonio, Texas
“All Christians know that prayer is an essential component to having a relationship with God. Prayer brings us into communion with God and grants peace and clarity to our hearts and minds. Before entering the convent, I would drive around town to the churches that had Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, knowing which parish to go to each day as they only had Adoration one day a week. I would spend time in quiet prayer asking for God's help to discern his will. In moments of agony and in moments of joy, I found myself at the feet of my Savior who would always embrace me in his tender love. By consistently spending this time in prayer, God gradually revealed his most perfect will for me.
“Now as a professed sister, I know it is vital for me to spend time in quiet adoration of my beloved Spouse. Community prayer is a beautiful experience as it unites us in prayer for the church and the mission, but it can never take the place of personal prayer. The best time for me to pray is at night, once all the work of the day is done and there is complete silence. In that time, no prayers are recited and no words are read. I just sit in silence and allow God to fill me.
“Everyone has their own prayer style and it is important for us to discover what it is. For some people music is a prayer, for others journaling, for others contemplating God's beauty in creation. Find what your prayer style is and be faithful to entering into that time of prayer every day so you can be fully alive in God's love.”
- Sister Sydney Moss, F.M.A.
Sisters of St. Benedict at St. Benedict’s Monastery
The sisters say, “The rhythm of prayer, both individual and communal, is an essential element of Benedictine life. This is how we pray: The community celebrates the Liturgy of the Hours (Opus Dei) three times daily: morning, noon, and evening. This prayer is ‘a recurring sign of the monastery’s unity with Christ.’ The Eucharist is celebrated regularly with guests from the neighboring parish, and elsewhere, joining us often. Daily the sisters engage in the spiritual practice called lectio divina. Lectio divina is a tradition of pondering the Word of God. Lectio consists of reading slowly and attentively a short passage, listening for a word that touches you in some way then repeating that word as if savoring its flavor and then dialoguing with God about it and finally just resting in the Word. It is our practice on weekday mornings to maintain quiet from the time of rising until 9 a.m. for reflective personal prayer. Each month the sisters have a quiet day as a community. On ‘Solitude Sunday’ there is silence, time for rest and personal prayer and two hours of adoration. You are welcome to join us in this prayer for our world.”
Benedictine Sisters of Chicago
The sisters say, “The mission of the Benedictine Sisters is reverence. Through common prayer, stewardship, hospitality, and mutual respect, we seek to find and honor God present in each person and in all created things. As monastic women we live in community, bringing that unity with God and one another to the world. Our personal and communal prayer allows us to hear the voice of God in our lives and leads us to minister to the people of God. Our lives together allows us to focus on questions of social justice and bringing the presence of God into the world.”
The Discalced Carmelites say, “Carmelite spirituality is characterized by an intense thirst for an immediate and direct experience of God. Reduced to its most fundamental expression, Carmelite spirituality is centered on prayer, understood as loving friendship with God, and contemplation as the free gift of God. Hence, Carmelite spirituality is focused on attention to one’s relationship with Jesus. This is expressed in various ways in the major sources of Carmelite spirituality, such as the Rule of St. Albert, the writings of the founders of Discalced Carmel Saints Teresa and John of the Cross, and indeed in the writings of all our Carmelite saints.”
Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans), Province of St. John the Baptist
As every Catholic knows, “St. Anthony’s intercessory power before our God is awesome,” say the Franciscan friars who have been stewards of the National Shrine of St Anthony in Cincinnati, Ohio since 1888.
The 150 friars of St. John the Baptist Province are members of the Order of Friars Minor, a Franciscan brotherhood inspired by the 13th-century example of St. Francis of Assisi serving the church as brothers and priests, in devotion to the search for God in a communal life of poverty, prayer, and service to others.
Sisters of St. Francis of Mary Immaculate
The Sisters of St. Francis say, “As women of prayer, we follow the command of Jesus to ‘pray always and not lose heart’ (Luke 18:1). Formed in the spirituality of Francis and Clare, prayer and contemplation permeate every aspect of our evangelical life. As a Eucharistic community, we respond to God’s call to holiness with gratitude and generosity. Uniting our prayers with those of our sisters and brothers throughout the world, we enter into the mystery of the Spirit of God at work within us.”
Send them a prayer request.
Sisters of the Sorrowful Mother
The sisters say, “We are an international Franciscan congregation whose way of life is uniting our action with contemplation, with prayer, community, service as basic roots. Our contemplative life gives us a passion for ministry, enabling us to respond to the changing needs of our world. Our ministries focus on those who suffer deprivation, social fragmentation, family disintegration, and personal isolation.
“Forging forward, we continue to witness to the compassionate presence of our Mother of Sorrows through our lives of prayer, community, and service.”
Little Sisters of the Poor
The sisters say, “As a young woman, our founder Saint Jeanne Jugan realized that God had a plan for her life, and yet for many years she had no idea where he was leading her. She confided to her mother, ‘God wants me for himself. He is keeping me for a work which is not yet founded.’
“Years went by before Jeanne saw the unfolding of God’s plan, but when God revealed her mission she followed it with her whole heart. If she were here today, Jeanne would offer this advice to anyone discerning their vocation:
• Pray often, asking God to reveal his will and to help you know yourself better.
• Find a church or chapel that has Eucharistic adoration and set aside time each week for silent adoration.
• Live a sacramental life: attend daily Mass whenever possible and take advantage of the sacrament of Reconciliation.
• Set aside time to read Scripture and other good spiritual books such as the lives of the saints, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, classics of the spiritual life, etc.
• Find a spiritual director who has a good understanding of the consecrated life, or of a religious sister.
• Visit a religious community.
• Commit yourself to some form of volunteer service to God’s people, especially the poor.
• Spend time with friends who are also serious about their faith, and who will support your desire to grow spiritually.”
Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict, Saint Benedict's Monastery
St. Joseph, Minnesota
- Prayer is a conversation with God.
- Prayer is sitting in the silence within your heart wherever you may be, the absence of any words.
- Prayer is listening to God.
- Prayer is loving all creation.
What I have learned since entering Saint Benedict’s Monastery:
- I have learned that when attending community prayer I need to show up as much in my heart as in my physical presence.
- I have learned a variety of prayer styles such as lectio divina, centering prayer, and journaling and that they are ways to dialogue with God.
Tips for discerners:
- Try a variety of prayer styles and see what works best to deepen your relationship with God.
- Never give up in prayer even when you think God is not listening, because God is listening.
- Find a spiritual companion to talk about your prayer and be open to insights and challenges that come through the conversation."
- Sister Lisa Rose, O.S.B.
Dominican Sisters of San Rafael
San Rafael, California
From the Constitution of the Dominican Sisters:
“Prayer is the vital link for all those who enter into relation with God. In prayer, whether personal or communal, silent or spoken, the 'face' of our spirit is turned toward the face of God—and in the mystery of communion we are drawn into union with the life-giving Spirit of God.
“Both liturgical and personal prayer are seen as essential elements in the Dominican way of apostolic religious life. Dominic’s own early life as a canon regular in Osma engendered in him a deep love for the Liturgy of the Hours to which he remained faithful throughout his life. Dominic passed on to his Order this form of prayer, which draws the community together in receptive reverence before God while offering psalms and hymns of praise, thanksgiving, petition, and adoration. For Dominicans, such liturgical prayer, in whatever modified forms it may be found today, grounds our prayer life in the great Scriptural themes that have nourished the faith of individuals and communities for centuries in the Christian tradition.”
Benedictine Sisters of St. Walburg Monastery
“Coming together in this space to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, pray the Psalms, and listen to scripture has become the dew in my life, helping me to continue to accept my humanity. As I become intentional in prayer, I become more comfortable in the silence of God, which helps me to become a listener of others and see the beauty of God that comes forward each day.
“Yes, through showing up for Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharist, we as a community are fed and sent forth to live a life of love in the mystery of God's presence.”
- Sister Cathy Bauer, O.S.B., Spiritual Director
Congregation of Christian Brothers
New Orleans, Louisiana
In most Christian Brothers communities, the brothers meet briefly for morning prayer, then go about their daily business. At the end of the day, the brothers gather again for evening prayer followed by some social time and a meal in common. This provides an opportunity for the members of the community to share the experiences of the day and to reflect on them.
The brothers say, “Living in community, just as living healthily with family or roommates, calls for a generosity of spirit, a good sense of humor, and a real ability to relate to people, not only in groups but also one-on-one. But the rewards are tremendous. The collective experience, and wisdom, in communities can be immense. If something is going wrong for a Brother, he can turn to the others in his community to talk things over. What’s more, seeing people grow and their relationships with God deepen from year to year, and decade to decade, is a profound experience.”
School Sisters of St. Francis
One day I heard your call.
At least I think it was you.
You’d’ been calling for some time.
Quite loudly and directly at times.
I just chose not to listen.
Yet, for some unexplained reason.
I heard your call.
This time I chose to listen.
As I started to listen you got quieter and quieter.
You became less direct.
I strain to listen, to hear.
I’m “hear” now.
I’m ready to listen.
Please…call to me again.
- Sister Jane Marie Bradish, S.S.F.
Sisters of the Divine Savior
“Prayer is talking with my best friend, God. Always this takes place in the early morning as I sit with my cup of coffee and reflect on the Scripture reading of the day. Sometimes this conversation takes place as I am driving to work and give thanks to God as I see the beauty of the world around me or hear about the tragic situation of the world today. A deep part of my conversation with my Friend takes place in music, either as I sing or listen to beautiful music. My day closes with a reflection on how I lived my life during the day and an overall gratitude for the many blessings of the day.”
- Sister Mary Lee Grady, S.D.S.
Bernardine Cistercians of Esquermes, Monastery of Our Lady of Hyning
“I am a great believer in praying ‘as you can,’ but it is important to have a regular time and place to pray. As we go through life, our way of praying will probably change and go deeper. There are many different ways of being aware of the presence of the Lord and not only in prayer. In our spirituality we pray using lectio divina—it is a great way of listening to and encountering the Lord in his living Word.”
- Sister Maria Whisstock. O.Cist.
Sisters of St. Francis
“Liturgy and prayer are the heart of the Franciscan spirit,” say the sisters. “Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel is a sacred space where we come to give praise and thanks to God and to open our hearts to the power of the Word in our lives. Fed by the Word and by the Eucharist, we become the Body of Christ in our world.
“Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel is often called Mother Adelaide’s jewel. Whatever facet the light hits, you see something beautiful. Come pray with us in this magnificent space that calls us to lift minds and hearts to God.”
Mass is generally celebrated there at 7:30 a.m. weekdays, 8 a.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. on Sunday. All are welcome to join.
Augustinians of the Assumption (Assumptionists)
help me to be a man of prayer,
a man for the mission.
And in my work,
may I sanctify myself
and bring about
the coming of your kingdom
and the salvation of all.
- Father Emmanuel d'Alzon, founder of the Assumptionists
Grand Rapids, Michigan
A discernment blessing from the Dominican Sisters:
“The Spirit of Truth is with us, leading us into the future, giving us clear vision and passionate confidence in God’s abiding presence on our journey. May we bring authenticity and openness to our prayer and discernment. And may we stand with open hearts and minds before the God of the Future who waits to bless us again."
Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians)
Though the Society of the Divine Savior is primarily an apostolic religious order (service-oriented) as opposed to a contemplative religious order (prayer-oriented), its founder Father Francis Jordan always stressed the fundamental importance of integrating prayer and mission as apostles of the Divine Savior. He said, “Be a true apostle of Jesus Christ to all peoples… a flaming torch…you will only find this fire in prayer.”
Prayer is central to Salvatorians’ vocation and ministry. “The root and foundation of prayer is relationship: our relationship with God and with each other,” says Father Peter Schuessler, S.D.S., vicar and director of formation for the order. “Prayer is a natural expression and participation in this relationship.”
Within each of their houses—the USA Provincial House, the Novitiate House, and the Holy Apostles Formation House—they have designated sacred spaces for prayer and liturgy. Each space is unique. The choice of colors, images, symbols, lighting and furniture all assist in creating a space conducive to prayer, reflection, and meditation. On special feast days or occasions, the Provincial House community invites benefactors and friends to pray with them in these intimate spaces.
“We sometimes speak of ‘having a prayer life.’ The truth of the matter is that we ARE our prayer life. The Holy Spirit dwells within us and leads us into the experience of prayer. Prayer is both personal and communal and both ways are an integral part of religious life as well as the life of all believers. There is no one ‘correct’ way to pray,” says Father Schuessler. “It is as personal as our DNA.”
“In our discernment of what God is asking of us at the beginning of our vocation and then throughout our lives, we understand contemplative prayer practice incorporates some degree of solitude, silence, and stillness,” says Father Joe Rodrigues, S.D.S., Salvatorian provincial and national vocations director. “It is important to have a posture of openness and zeal, a kind of spiritual hunger. Something in us knows we need something deeper… essentially to be open to genuine transformation.
“It means that to a certain degree I have to stop holding on to self-reliant willfulness driven by ego and anxiousness,” says Father Rodrigues. “Prayer lives in a spacious place. Learning to be comfortable with who I really am, strengths and limitations alike. It is a place of simplicity and humility. What we are trying to do is ultimately seek union with God in everything. We do not do it by chasing the butterfly. We do it by sitting still and allowing the butterfly to freely land on our shoulder.”
“Prayer leads us to acts which help build up God’s Kingdom,” said Schuessler. “Charity flows from prayer which helps to open our eyes to the presence of Jesus in others.”
Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston
“Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of Love and receptive to the Spirit’s inspirations, the Sister of St. Joseph moves always towards profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction from whom she does not separate herself and for whom, in the following of Christ, she works in order to achieve unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God directly in this apostolate and indirectly through works of charity: in humility, the spirit of the Incarnate Word; in sincere charity, the manner of St. Joseph whose name she bears; in an Ignatian-Salesian climate: that is, with an orientation toward excellence, tempered by gentleness, peace, joy.”
- From the central ideas of Jean Pierre Médaille, S.J., founder of the Sisters of St. Joseph, as drawn from the Primitive Constitutions
Medical Missionaries of Mary
“As Medical Missionaries, we strive to be ‘contemplatives in action’ as our founder Marie Martin urged us to be. Our chapels are the heart of each of our houses around the world, and are very special places of communal and private prayer. Most of our chapels are very simple, reflecting the culture of the people with whom we are privileged to live. As missionaries we have been given many gifts of beautiful cloth from Africa and Central and South America, so these grace our chapel, giving striking color and evoking happy memories of places visited and lived. We treasure our chapel, it is a tremendous blessing having the Blessed Sacrament in our home!
“For me personally, the Prayer of the Church: the Divine Office of Morning and Evening Prayer gives a wonderful structure to my day—like bookends! This is because each day begins and ends in union with my sisters and our loving God praying the Office together. The fact that across the world the church is praying the very same Office has tremendous meaning to me, and knowing this gives me a deep sense of unity with our sisters all over the globe. In my community of seven sisters, after praying Evening Prayer we continue praying for 15 minutes of silent, contemplative prayer. Having this silent time is a blessing to me since it is so rich with common-unity, and it is a very special time of being present to Jesus and one another.
“My personal, private prayer is central to my life. It is rooted in the Word, especially the Gospel of the day, and is a source of nourishment, guidance, and enlightenment. In prayer I strive to foster my relationship with God, in whom “we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28), and this relationship is evolving and growing, as it has been since I first joined our congregation over 40 years ago!”
- Sister Cheryl Blanchard, M.M.M.
Franciscan Missionaries of Mary
North Smithfield, Rhode Island
“We have a chapel at the nursing home where some of our sisters are in residence. We have a house across the street in order to minister to and be with our sisters so that they know that they are still in mission and valuable members of community.
“Every day Mass is celebrated in this chapel and each afternoon we have adoration to allow our sisters to continue to live out this ministry of prayer and self-offering, which is foundational to our missionary charism.
“What I have learned about prayer as a Franciscan Missionary of Mary is that we are all doorways to God—the Divine. The more we open ourselves in prayer through raw, honest dialogue with God and silent listening, the more we allow God’s presence to grow in this world. I have learned that the call of prayer is ultimately to let ourselves go and just be in the presence of God. Prayer, then, becomes more of an attitude than anything else, an attitude of always being in the presence of God and bringing this presence with us into the world.”
- Sister Sheila Lehmkuhle, F.M.M.
Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary, U.S.-Ontario Province
“Never forget to meet with God in prayer.’ This advice, given by Blessed Marie Rose Durocher, is as helpful for discerners today as it was for young people in the 1800s. Sometimes prayer might be easy; at other times, it might be difficult and filled with distractions. This is why it is good to set aside a certain time for prayer each day, even if it is only five or ten minutes. During this meeting time with God, we should open our minds and hearts to God—not only to speak, but also to listen to what God is telling us.”
- Sister Mollie Reavis, S.N.J.M., membership coordinator
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