The Handmaids Come to East Tennessee

David Oatney New Evangelization, Prayer, Priesthood, Vocations, Year of Faith

The Handmaids of the Precious Blood, a religious order of cloistered Sisters dedicated to praying for priests as their primary charism, have arrived in East Tennessee. For now, there are just four sisters living on the grounds of Christ, Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton, which is our diocesan retreat facility. However, the Sisters eventually plan to relocate their entire religious community to East Tennessee.

 

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Sr. Mary Genevieve, Reverend Mother Marietta, Sr. Anunziata, and Sr. Rose Philomena at Christ, Prince of Peace retreat center in Benton on May 6., 2013.

 

I hope to meet these precious Sisters one day, and I know you’ll join me in praying for them as they pray for our priests and our diocese, and for all of us. Their faces just radiate with the joy of the Lord.

 

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Sr. Rose Philomena gets ready to snap a group picture at Christ, Prince of Peace retreat center in Benton on May 6., 2013.

Doesn’t Sister Rose’s smile say “I have joy in Jesus through Mary?” I think so. It is my understanding that the Sisters spend a great deal of time in Eucharistic adoration, and that perpetual adoration is a part of their community prayer life. If so, I sure hope that they’ll include a prayer for our deaconate formation class in their prayers, because if they are spend that much time with Jesus, I already know their prayers are powerful. Here is a link to part of Eucharistic Benediction as celebrated at the Sisters’ monastery in New Mexico.

 

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Paul Simoneau, diocesan Vice-Chancellor, welcomes Sr. Mary Genevieve, Reverend Mother Marietta, and Sr. Rose Philomena at Christ, Prince of Peace retreat center in Benton on May 6., 2013.

 

You’ll notice that the Sisters wear wine-red habits and white coifs. This is to symbolize the Sisters’ closeness to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The wine-red habit represents the Precious Blood of Our Lord. The white represents the Body of Christ.

 

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My Brother Deaconal Aspirant Al Forsythe shows the Handmaids of the Precious Blood some of the outstanding artwork at Christ, Prince of Peace retreat center in Benton on May 6., 2013.

The Handmaids are praying for our priests and the People of God, so it is fair for all of us to ask in return “how can we pray for you” and “what can we do to help you in your mission of prayer.”

Finally, a special thank you to Stephanie Richer of the East Tennessee Catholic for the use of the photographs, which are taken under her personal copyright (Translation: Don’t re-use them without permission). Stephanie generously gives of her time and photographic talent for the good of the Diocese and the glory of God.