Finding Peace Together in Prayer
“In the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, we affirm that action on behalf of justice is fundamental to our mission. As Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, we declare our residences to be peace sites. By doing this, we commit ourselves to use our energies and resources to pursue peace in nonviolent ways.” (August 1991)
Since making this declaration over 25 years ago, the congregation has steadfastly embraced the challenge to bring peace to our changing world by engaging in the ministries of the Church and by directing actions and intentions to problems that threaten human dignity. Prayer, an essential element of Vincentian Spirituality adopted by Elizabeth Ann Seton, animates the sisters’ vision and mission to advance peace through compassion for the poor, oppressed, and vulnerable among us. The need for prayer and action for social justice are evident in volatile world events that continually threaten peace in our global society. But in today’s changing world, many persons are impoverished, oppressed, and made vulnerable because of personal life circumstances that rob them of peace. Provincial Superior Catherine Meinert explains, “Elizabeth Seton’s conviction and courage led her to respond to the needs of her own day, but always in a spirit of peace and prayer. She was someone who embraced both.”
The Sisters of Charity have always prayed daily that the Lord will bless all of our friends and benefactors with gifts of peace, charity, and compassion for others. But as we celebrate the 400th anniversary of Vincentian Charism in 2017, we invite friends, families, and benefactors to participate in a special prayer initiative that provides us with an opportunity to do as Saint Vincent de Paul taught us, to pray with those we serve.
People often ask the Sisters of Charity to remember them for a particular intention and those requests are sent out to every sister in the province on the sisters’ daily electronic newsletter. However, there are individuals who would like a regular support person, a “Prayer Partner,” so to speak.
In our Christmas card, we sent out a medallion inviting others to be “together in prayer” with us. On one side was information about how to request special remembrance. In addition, we are beginning an initiative to connect individuals with a particular sister with whom they can communicate––by phone, letter, or email. Your “prayer partner” may just hold your name in prayer or be more involved with you by phone or other means of communication. The choice is yours. You may email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 724-836-0406, ext. 6610 or ext. 6643. Sisters Eileen Johnston and Mary Edmund Speer will be matching requestors with sister volunteers.
It is hoped that our prayer for one another will strengthen all of us and bring us closer to our God. “Together in Prayer” will connect us with all those who lack peace and feel vulnerable due to their own life circumstances, be it due to illness, financial difficulties, the death of a loved one, family problems, addiction, or any other trial. All are welcome to seek peace in their daily lives by requesting ongoing prayerful support from the Sisters of Charity through this initiative.
On behalf of all of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill, Sister Catherine Meinert invites our readers to participate in this prayer partnership. “Know that you are not alone in facing life’s challenges. We look forward to helping you find the peace you seek ‘Together in Prayer.’”