By Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C.
Pope John Paul II established Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”) in 1997 as a way to provide spiritual and material support to “the church’s vanguard,” whose silent, separated life serves as “a leaven of renewal and of presence of the spirit of Christ in the world. It is a day of thanksgiving, solidarity and support for contemplative religious who spend their lives in total dedication to God in union with Jesus and interceding for the salvation of all.”
Since 2008, Nov. 21, the Feast of the Presentation of Mary, has been dedicated to highlight the cloistered and monastic life in our worldwide church. At Dunwoodie in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI reminded us, “Religious sisters, brothers and priests contribute greatly to the mission of the church. Their prophetic witness is marked by a profound conviction of the primacy with which the Gospel shapes Christian life and transforms society.”
Taking this invitation to heart, the Diocese of Brooklyn would like to commemorate this day on Thursday, Nov. 21 as a day of prayer with all of our contemplative and cloistered religious. We are blessed to have five centers of contemplative prayer in our midst, something for which we are deeply grateful to God for giving us such a blessing.
These monasteries and contemplative houses of prayer have been sources of grace and blessings to us as a diocese for many years. Memories and stories abound among Brooklynites who remember asking these sisters to pray for special intentions, receiving Mass cards and prayer cards for special occasions and bringing donations of food and other goods when the chapel bells rang out for assistance.
The faces have changed and some structures relaxed just a bit, but the presence of these nuns who are committed to lives of prayer and solitude continue to nourish and grace our diocese. They remind all of us that we are about doing God’s work in the “vineyard” and that without a storehouse of prayer behind us, our efforts may fall short of God’s desires for the church and world.
Please remember in your own prayer these women who live their lives of commitment and prayer for all of us. Perhaps send a note of thanks or remembrance of some kind as we commemorate their day on Nov. 21 and know that they will continue to hold all of us in their prayer each day.
Prayer Times Open to the Public
Monastery of the Precious Blood and St. Edith Stein
5400 Fort Hamilton Parkway
Brooklyn, NY 11219
Mon-Sat: The chapel opens at 6:20 a.m. with Holy Mass at 8 a.m.
Sundays: The chapel opens at 6:45 a.m. with the Holy Mass at 8:30 a.m.
On Mondays, Thursdays and First Fridays, there is Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass until 12:30 p.m. and from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
361 Highland Blvd
Brooklyn, NY 11207
Daily: Chapel is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., for anyone who would like to visit the Blessed Sacrament.
Monday – Saturday Holy Mass at 7:30 a.m.
Sunday: Mass is at 8:30 a.m.
On the Third Sunday of each month, we have Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 3 p.m. and Devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus at 4 p.m., followed by Benediction.
8902 Ridge Blvd.
Brooklyn, NY 11209
Daily Mass: Monday-Friday: 7:15 a.m.
Saturday Mass: 8 a.m.
Sunday Mass: 9 a.m.
Sunday: 4-5:50 p.m. Adoration with Rosary and Evening Prayer
Sacred Heart Novena (June) Nine days before Feast: 7:30 p.m.
Mass Missionaries of Charity
Our Lady of Lourdes Convent
34 Aberdeen Street
Brooklyn, NY 11207
All are welcome to join us for Eucharistic Adoration and prayer on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Friday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Wednesday and Sunday: 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sister Maryann is the episcopal delegate for religious in Brooklyn and Queens.