Seven Sisters Apostolate

A Seven Sister:

One Holy Hour, One Priest, Each Week,

One Heart of Prayer

 

The Seven Sisters Apostolate is a call to strengthen the Church by ensuring that a Holy Hour is prayed each day of the week for the sole intention of a specific priest or bishop—a “holy wasting” (cf. Mt. 26:10) or lavishing of prayer for his deeper conformity to Christ.

 

Seven Women

A Seven Sisters group begins when at least seven women respond to a call to the mission of the apostolate. If more than seven women desire to pray in this manner, a core group of seven should be designated while others may substitute or provide additional hours of prayer. The coordinator of a group is known as the Anchoress.

 

One Priest

The initial recipient of a Seven Sisters group should be their parish pastor. After the pastor has a committed group, subsequent groups may be formed for others, such as the parochial vicar, a retired priest, a priest serving in a non-parish assignment, or a bishop.

The group’s intention is directed towards the office of the shepherd more than the individual. In other words, the group prays for the priest until he is reassigned, at which time his successor becomes the recipient of those prayers. This helps us to guard against an undue attachment to a certain priest.

 

The Holy Hour is ideally prayed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament – either in an Adoration Chapel or in front of a Tabernacle – but not restricted to the parish of which the Seven Sister is a member.  Thus, one can remain faithful to the commitment when traveling, when a parish does not offer Perpetual Adoration, or when there is limited access to a particular church.  

 

One Hour, One Day

Each member commits to a Holy Hour on a distinct day of the week, thus covering a complete week. The commitment is to that day; the Seven Sister may pray at any time on that day. If she is unable to offer her Holy Hour, she is to secure a substitute, explaining the Apostolate’s mission. The substitute need not be a woman. If unable to arrange a substitute, the member should contact the Anchoress for assistance.

 

Holy Eucharist

The Holy Hour is ideally prayed in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament – either in an Adoration Chapel or in front of a Tabernacle – but not restricted to the parish of which the Seven Sister is a member.  Thus, one can remain faithful to the commitment when traveling, when a parish does not offer Perpetual Adoration, or when there is limited access to a particular church. 

 

One Year

This generous commitment of one hour per week of prayer is asked for a period of one year, but can remain open-ended in time as each individual discerns her call to continue. A group may begin at any time of year. The normal commitment extends from June to June, the month of the Sacred Heart. Ideally, the commitment prayer itself would be made on the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It is fitting that this commitment happens as a group, but it may be made individually if members are not able to gather together. A discernment period to continue or end a current commitment to the Apostolate precedes this during May, the month of the Immaculate Heart.

If someone assumes another’s Seven Sister position outside of the month of June, the Anchoress may either suggest an abbreviated or extended length of commitment. For example, if an intercessor cannot continue past March of a particular year, the Anchoress can suggest the new Seven Sister intercessor commit to 14 months versus 12.  Likewise, if a new Seven Sister is secured in November, the Anchoress may suggest she commit to through the following May, discerning then as to a further commitment of prayer.

 
 

OUR LOCAL SEVEN SISTERS PRAYER APOSTOLATE

 

Seven Sisters Apostolate began in the Archdiocese of St. Paul by Janette Howe when she got a nudge from the Holy Spirit that she was to invite six other women parishioners each to spend one hour a day before the Blessed Sacrament to pray for their pastor (hence 7 sisters, one for each day of the week).

In May, 2014, three Dubuque women banded together to start Seven Sisters Apostolate in the Dubuque parishes. All the parishes in Dubuque have an Anchoress and 7 sisters praying for the pastor. In addition there's a Seven Sisters team for Archbishop Jackels and many outlying parishes within our Archdiocese.

At St. Columbkille/SJTW we have seven sisters for each priest, plus five subs. Each day one woman spends an hour in any Catholic Church before the Blessed Sacrament praying for Father Gabriel or Father Hilary. Our priests are delighted with all the dedicated women who devote their time to pray for their them. They have assured me our prayers are heard.

We are always in need of more 'sisters', any age, any vocation, either as a sub or praying on a regular day each week. Prayer works. Just ask either of our priests.

Contact Leone Bergeson at 563-451-5828 or r1berge@msn.com with questions and to be included in Seven Sisters Apostolate ministry.

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1240 Rush St.
Dubuque, IA 52003

(563) 583-9117

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