At Catholic parishes all across the state, country, and world, there are good and holy men leading people to Christ as priests. They offer their lives to Jesus and pray for all of us, their parishioners. But how often are we all, as parishioners, praying for our priest? They urgently need our prayers, as well.
About seven years ago, the Seven Sisters Apostolate was started at Families in Faith. The goal of this ministry is simple yet powerful — to pray for our priests every day of the week, all year long. Marlynn Scheef, St. Michael’s parishioner, serves as Anchoress for one of the two groups. Her role is to coordinate the apostolate. They are praying for Fr. Antony Thekkekara and now for Fr. Lawrence Vadakkan since he took over as our pastor. There are two full Seven Sisters groups at our parishes and alternates to fill in if someone can’t make their assigned day. Each member commits to praying for the parish priest for one hour, one day a week, in front of the Blessed Sacrament — either at adoration or in the tabernacle. Marlynn’s day is Monday.
“It’s amazing how a person grows in caring for the priest and their welfare,” Marlynn says. “You start to think about what they go through and what they do. It’s eye-opening to do that.”
Several times, Fr. Antony had asked Marlynn to spread the word on a particular prayer request. He has told her several times that he can feel their prayers.
Deb Eschliman, St. Theresa’s parishioner, prays on Thursdays. When she is in Arizona for the winter, she takes her prayers to her parish there.
“Our priest is our faith leader, and he always, always needs prayers,” Deb says. “There is so much being thrown at them, and prayer is the best option to help them.”
Deb likes the accountability that this ministry gives her.
“It makes me want to go in front of the Blessed Sacrament,” she says. “Life can be busy. You don’t always take the time to do that, and this is one way to be able to do that.”
The members start each year praying a Commitment Prayer on their own. Members take their roles very seriously. They can’t miss their day of prayer.
“Our priests are getting bombarded from every direction,” Marlynn says. “The devil is pretty active. Our priest doesn’t have his family around. They have a lot on their shoulders, and they can’t talk to people about it. This is a way we can help.”
Marlynn is honored to be part of this ministry. Our priests act as Jesus at times in their ministries.
“It’s so rewarding to do this ministry,” she says. “No matter what prayers you pray during your hour, things are happening.”
To get involved in this ministry, contact Marlynn Scheef at 308-223-9743. The group currently needs one more person to pray on Saturdays.