By Sister Maryann Seton Lopiccolo, S.C.
St. John Paul II established Pro Orantibus Day (“For Those Who Pray”) in 1997 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, the feast of the Presentation of Mary, Nov. 21, has been dedicated to highlight the cloistered and monastic life in the worldwide Church.
At Dunwoodie in April 2008, Pope Benedict XVI reminded the faithful, “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 will celebrate a day to pray for and support all of its contemplative and cloistered religious on Saturday, Nov. 17. All are welcome to join in a Holy Hour, Vespers and Benediction, starting at 4 p.m. at the Monastery of the Precious Blood and St. Edith Stein, Borough Park.
The diocese is deeply grateful to God for the blessing of having five centers of contemplative prayer, namely, the Monastery of the Precious Blood, Monastery of the Visitation, Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Missionaries of Charity at Our Lady of Lourdes Convent and Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matera: St. Edith Stein Monastery. (See more information below.)
These monasteries and contemplative Houses of Prayer have been sources of grace and blessings to the 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 a bit, but the presence of these nuns who are committed to lives of prayer and solitude continue to nourish and grace the diocese. They remind all of us that we are about doing God’s work in the “vineyard” and without a store-house of prayer behind us, our efforts may fall short of God’s desires for the Church and world.
Remember in prayer these women who live their lives of commitment and prayer as the diocese commemorates their day, Nov. 17. Be assured that they continue to hold the diocese in their prayers each day.
Prayer Schedules (Open to the Public)
Monastery of the Precious Blood and St. Edith Stein Monastery
Monday-Saturday: Chapel opens at 6:20 a.m., Mass at 8; Sundays: Chapel opens at 6:45 a.m., Mass at 8:30
Mondays, Thursdays, First Fridays: Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after Mass until 12:30 p.m., 3:30-6 p.m.
Monastery of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel
Daily: Chapel is open, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., to visit the Blessed Sacrament; Monday-Saturday: Mass at 7:30 a.m.; Sunday: Mass at 8:30 a.m.
Third Sunday of each month: Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament at 3 p.m. and Devotions to the Holy Face of Jesus at 4 p.m., followed by Benediction.
Masses: Monday-Friday, 7:15 a.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.
Sundays: Adoration with Rosary and Evening Prayer, 4-5:50 p.m.
Annual Sacred Heart Novena (June): Nine days before feast: 7:30 p.m.
Missionaries of Charity
Eucharistic Adoration and Prayer: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. and 3-6:30 p.m.; Fridays: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Wednesdays and Sundays: 5-7 p.m.
Also See: Five Communities, One Purpose – Prayer