The Handmaids of the Precious Blood, a contemplative community that is relocating from New Mexico to the Diocese of Knoxville, continue making progress on their move.
Four nuns have established residency in the St. John House at the Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton and more than a dozen nuns within the Handmaids of the Precious Blood are expected to relocate to the retreat center over the next several months as their monastery, Cor Jesu in Jemez Springs, N.M., is closed and the property transferred.
“Another 14 sisters are expected to arrive within the year as they transition from their property in New Mexico. The St. John House has been updated and the plan is for the other sisters to use the St. Anthony House,” said Paul Simoneau, vice chancellor of the Diocese of Knoxville who is assisting the nuns with their relocation and overseeing the updating of the St. John residence.
Knights of Columbus also have been assisting in the residency updates, including erecting a sign outside the residence designating it the Cor Jesus Monastery and Papal Enclosure.
Future plans for the Handmaids at Christ Prince of Peace Retreat Center include a permanent monastic house and chapel, Mr. Simoneau said.
The monastic institute of cloistered nuns was founded in 1947 by Father Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, sP. The community of women sacrifice their lives to pray for the sanctification of the Catholic priesthood, primarily through eucharistic adoration.
Reverend Mother Marietta, HPB, the Reverend Mother Prioress of the Handmaids, has said the sisters do not just pray for priests, they live for them. The sisters accept their own sufferings and trials as opportunities to offer up sacrifice in the spirit of self-forgetfulness for priests in need and consider it only a small return compared to the immeasurable gifts priests bring to other souls in the sacraments.