Perpetual adoration: 134 years and counting

By Lili Gunderson

Lumen Reporter

Perpetual Adoration, practiced by the Franciscan Sisters of Perpet­ual Adoration at Mary of the Angels Chapel, “represents a fulfillment of a promise,” Sr. Malinda Gerke, FSPA, told Lumen. This promise includes 134 years of continuous prayer, Sr. Malinda said.

In 1865, Mother Antonia, FSPA, made the audible promise that “if God would bless this area, we would build the most beautiful cha­pel possible” and create perpetual adoration through prayer, Sr. Malin­da said. It is a promise that the FSPA has kept.

The Mary of the Angels Chapel, and the attached Chapel of Adora­tion, are the physical fulfillment of this promise, Sr. Malinda said. In the Chapel of Adoration at least two members of the FSPA and the community participate in prayer every hour of every day. The sis­ters’ change places every one to two hours, Sr. Malinda said.

The prayers are taken from an in­tention list. People can call in, write letters or e-mail the FSPA and make their prayer requests. The intentions accumulate for one week and are off the list the following Monday, Sr. Jolyce Greteman , FSPA, told Lu­men.

“There are prayers for world and for peace,” Sr. Jolyce said. “A lot of the prayers now are for fam­ily affairs, a lot for cancer patients, for healing, for jobs, and even aca­demics. You can tell when test time comes.”

“At election time, many of us pray for honest elections, and for the wel­fare of the community,” Sr. Jolyce said. “Everybody has their own way of praying, and yes, sometimes we do get word back that a prayer was fulfilled.”

One hundred thirty laypeople from the community also take part in the prayer. “It’s true the number of us, theFSPA, are declining, but that’s not why we originally opened up the prayer to laypeople,” Sister Jolyce said.

“Beginning in the ‘60s and ‘70s we opened up the prayer to laypeople on the first Friday of every month, in honor of the Sacred Heart,” Sr. Jolyce said. “So there was no need at that time of helping us keep it go­ing.”

“In the late ‘90s we opened it up to the prayer partners,” laypeople with a set time of prayer, in the Chapel of Adoration, Sr. Jolyce said. “Yes, they are helping us keep the prayer going now, but that’s not why people come,” said Sr. Jolyce. “People come out of a real need for at least one hour of the week where they can just be with God.”

When she came to the FSPA in 1956, at the age of 18, Sr. Jolyce nev­er envisioned that lay people would be a part of the prayer but she isn’t worried about how the future of the perpetual prayer will unfold, she said. “We just believe however God di­rects it, it will be,” Sr. Jolyce said.


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1 Comment

  1. luke

     /  May 18, 2012

    please pray that Jesus and the Saints intercede on my behalf and help me and Sam b together in a blessed and joyful life….we really need your prayers.


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