Late in 2016, two sisters from the Congregation of Our Lady of Mercy were sent to the St. John Paul II National Shrine in Washington, DC, to minister to the many pilgrims who come to this sacred place. You will know these sisters as the community which St. Faustina entered in 1925 and received the revelations of God’s Divine Mercy for our times.
The Knights of Columbus announced the establishment of a shrine dedicated to Pope John Paul II in 2011. It has proven to be a popular pilgrimage spot for visitors to the capital, especially K of C groups and participants in the annual March for Life. The Knights first met the sisters in Krakow at the Divine Mercy Shrine. They have worked together during World Youth Day, on the film “The Face of Mercy” and other projects.
Each day at the shrine at 3:00pm, the sisters lead the prayer for the Hour of Mercy. One a month, they host “Evenings with the Merciful Jesus” for young people. Other events and scheduled exhibits are held throughout the year.
A first-class relic of St. John Paul II’s blood is contained in a glass ampoule at the center of a reliquary in the Luminous Mysteries Chapel, for veneration by pilgrims. This relic was given as a gift to Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson by His Eminence Stanisław Cardinal Dziwisz, Archbishop of Kraków and personal secretary to John Paul II.
“We understand our presence in the shrine as a continuation of St. John Paul II’s mission to spread the message of Divine Mercy,” said Sister Gaudia, “the message about God whose love is greater than we can imagine.”
It is wonderful that many people are introduced here for the first time to the Divine Mercy message. “St. John Paul II called the message of mercy the message of hope for our times,” said Sister Donata. “We believe that this shrine, which attracts more and more people from faraway places, is a special place where people find new hope, which has the power to change their lives.”
To read the whole article in Columbia magazine, click here!
In West Springfield, Massachusetts, on a busy street, up on a hill, is the Dominican Monastery of the Mother of God. Their presence there silently proclaims to the passers-by their faith in God and their desire to belong wholly to Him. Their foundress, Mother Mary Hyacinth of Jesus, entered the Dominican Sisters of the Perpetual Rosary in Union City, NJ, on September 8, 1908. She was chosen by Bishop Thomas Mary O’Leary to be the foundress of their community: “Come, come to Springfield in the name of God and Mary. This will be our gift to Our Lady on the feast of her birth.”
They eventually took on perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and went from Third Order sisters to Second Order nuns. Life in modern times is more complicated for everybody, cloistered nuns not excluded, but they have striven in recent times to strengthen the essentials of their enclosed life, striving for the one thing necessary – union with God.
In 2008, reflecting more deeply upon their contemplative vocation after the nuns’ Jubilee Year, they decided to take back their traditional veil, believing that each nun should strive to become a mini “house of prayer.” This was followed by the restoration of a simple grille in their parlors in 2011, as another reminder of their call to silence and withdrawal from the world.
Following the Rule of St. Augustine, they make solemn vows and follow Papal enclosure. The solemn chanting of the Divine Liturgy is at the heart of their day. Their Eucharistic adoration and Rosaries flow out of this wellspring of grace, while study and lectio divina are a fruitful preparation for it. They strive to make the Liturgy as beautiful as they can, all for the glory of God.
May Our Lady, who helped them to begin this work of love for God, allow it flourish through her special Motherly intercession. Amen!
That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.
For more information, please visit the Apostleship of Prayer.