Left, People’s Companion to the Breviary, daily prayer book, candle; right, from left, Sisters Maureen (M. Adrienne) Mangen, Rita (M. Melania) Yahl, Maryann (M. Veronica) Bremke, Genny (M. Adelaide) Volk, Irene (M. Florine) Holz, Helen (M. Herbert) Weber, Katie (M. Herman Joseph/Joseph Marie) Lett, Eleanor (M. Thomas) McNally (not shown) and Nadine Kaschalk.
Although vespers is about a 15-minute prayer, the “Twelve Sisters” gathered each evening in the Alpine Room of Salem Heights have spread out their prayer and sharing time to a half hour. Using the People’s Companion to the Breviary, composed by the Carmelites of Indianapolis, we come — a few from active ministry, the majority from prayerful (sometimes busy) retirement — bringing to our 4 o’clock prayer all of you out there who have been or presently are a part of our life.
The Companion brings us not only the praise psalms of ancient Israel, but also readings from Scripture as well as from the most contemporary of our writers. Petitions from the breviary address today’s most pressing needs. To these intercessions, we add our own prayers of petition, personal and worldwide.
Sharing our own needs becomes personal, often inviting us into one another’s sacred space. We remember on individual dates the Sisters who from 1836 to the present day have slipped into eternity. Usually one or two of us share cherished memories of a departed Sister whom we knew in the past. We all feel a part of that living community we call the Sisters of the Precious Blood, 1834 until today.
“More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of” is a quote from the British poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. We hope, good reader, that you feel our evening prayer.
– Story by Sister Eleanor McNally; photos by Mary Knapke