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Father Muench Says...

Sisters are blessing to me and our diocese

Nov. 14, 2018

By Father William Muench
NCC columnist

Recently, I was asked by the Sisters of the Precious Blood to present a week-long retreat to the sisters at their monastery in Watertown. As often happens for me, I was touched spiritually much more than the sisters. I also discovered the tremendous value that these sisters and their monastery have for our diocese.

This monastery is truly a house of prayer. This monastery stands as a symbol of the Catholic faith for this community and this city. All who see it know immediately of the faith of those who helped build the monastery and continue to support it. Every day, the sisters are praying for all of us. In addition, all are welcome to come to the monastery and spend time in prayer – in silence and solitude. The sisters accept requests for prayer, and they always include in their prayers the bishop, priests and deacons, and people of our diocese.

This monastery, like others in the diocese, is a sign that there are many sisters who are willing to step out of the work-a-day world and dedicate their lives to prayer. They spend time bringing our requests of prayer to the Lord. These sisters are true contemplatives. Yet spending time with them this week, I realized quickly they were ordinary folks – just like the rest of us. However, they were called by the Lord to this vocation of prayer as Sisters of the Precious Blood. They have dedicated their lives to be near to the Lord in prayer.

Some of us may consider this vocation too difficult. We are so immersed in this world and involved in so many activities that we can’t imagine spending time just in prayer. However, spending this time in the monastery, I discovered a satisfying peace and joy. I realized also that the sisters were helping so many especially by bringing prayer to the Lord for those in need of help and consolation. Many people come to the monastery searching for the help that only God can give them.

I write this today as a way of offering my gratitude to those sisters with whom I prayed this week. I recognized that they bring a powerful ministry for this city and our diocese. I have come to realize the support and strength of their prayers, as well as their readiness to support me and my ministry. I am certain I am guided and led by the Lord through the prayers of these sisters.

We are blessed here in our diocese by many such monasteries and convents – many congregations of sisters and brothers always ready to direct their prayers seeking God’s help and love, supporting and helping those in ministry and those in need.

By the way, there is a place for others who sense a call, a vocation to be part of a religious community dedicated to prayer. It is a unique challenge for our church and a wonderful opportunity to make a difference with their lives. These are truly dedicated saints who are prepared to deluge heaven with prayer for God’s people.

St. Therese of Lisieux, who spent her short life in the convent, praying passionately for the missionaries of the world, wrote this in her, “The Story of a Soul:”

“For me, prayer is the heart’s impulse, a simple gaze toward heaven. It is a cry of gratitude and love, from the depths of trial as well as the height of joy. Finally, it is something great, supernatural, that expands my soul and unites me to Jesus.”

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