Responding to the Cry of the Blood

Earlier this year, religious congregations dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus founded the Precious Blood Spirituality Institute to promote Precious Blood spirituality to the world. The institute’s executive director is Vicky Otto, D.Min., who previously served as director of Companions (lay associates) for the Cincinnati and Kansas City Provinces of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.

In partnership with Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, PBSI will offer academic courses, workshops and retreats through the Schreiter Institute at CTU. The director of the Schreiter Institute is Kevin Considine, Ph.D.

Ever since I was little, I have always loved musicals. As I was preparing to write this article, a song by Stephen Sondheim from the musical Sunday in the Park with George came to mind. He wrote, “Bit by bit, putting it together, piece by piece, only way to make a work of art, every moment makes a contribution, every little detail plays a part, having just a vision’s no solution, everything depends on execution, putting it together, that’s what counts!” Sondheim perfectly described what has been happening at the Precious Blood Spirituality Institute over the last few weeks.

As Kevin Considine, the new director of the Schreiter Institute, and I got to know each other, we found that we were drawn to the same vision for the institutes. In our relationships over the years with the community, we often heard that people either had not heard of Precious Blood spirituality or that “Precious Blood spirituality is the best-kept secret in the Church.” Kevin and I felt that all our efforts must ensure that we move from being the best-kept secret to the best resource for the Church and the world today.

If you spend just five minutes reading or listening to the news, it becomes apparent that our world is crying out for the gifts of reconciliation and healing that Precious Blood spirituality offers. Every day another family is being torn apart because of an act of violence. We have seen division and strife in our families, our communities, our Church and the world. These divisions have escalated people’s feelings of anxiety and fear so much so that a spirit of intolerance and hatred prevails. As a Precious Blood community, we are called to stand in this painful breach to help others move away from the division. We know that the gift of our spirituality is that we can help others recognize the presence of God in the person who stands before us and celebrate the unity that comes from the beauty of our diversity. We do this when we offer a safe space for people to speak their truths and help others to listen with the ear of the heart.

As a community, we know the blessing and mercy that comes from Precious Blood spirituality, so much so that it has become part of our lived reality; the blessing and mercy run through our veins. As the institute begins, we are committed to doing everything we can to help others celebrate and embrace the gifts of this spirituality. Kevin and I know we do not do this work as a solo endeavor. We look forward to working with all our partners in the institute, including everyone in our Precious Blood family and Catholic Theological Union. We hope to build awareness in our community that will help push us out of our community circle to share our spirituality with the world. We have come to a time when we need to move to a new reality. We have a great vision and charism; it’s time to focus and make more extensive efforts to share them with the world. As Sondheim writes, as we move to the next step, “Everything depends on execution.”

You are invited to join our efforts at the institute. In the near future, we will be rolling out a website that highlights all our work and upcoming events. If you have suggestions or ideas, or would like to see something specific, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Precious Blood Spirituality Institute at 773-451-6710. If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please get in touch with me at

— Story by Vicky Otto

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