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“HELP! I Can’t find a Silent Strength Group in My Area!”
By MaryAnn Gardner
Then, why not start one yourself? If you want to pray with others for the return of your prodigals, perhaps God is calling you to form a group?
“Won’t that be difficult?”
No. All it takes is two or more people, a time & place to meet, and someone (you?) to get it organized.
"How do I explain it to a potential member?"
A Silent Strength prayer group prays for two things: for our prodigals to return to Catholicism, and for grace for each other to persevere in prayer like St Monica, and love our prodigals with the unconditional love of the father of the Prodigal Son.
"Where will we meet?"
You have two choices: meet in church or somewhere else. Ideally, you would gather to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament and then move to a meeting room for fellowship. But, the facility schedules in most parishes are already full, so discuss this with your pastor. The alternative is to meet at someone's home. Members might take turns hosting. All you need is a space in which to gather to pray.
"What prayers do we use?"
You are praying for your prodigals and for each other. Keep everyone comfortable by selecting prayers familiar to Catholics. Most groups pray the Rosary using the “Parents Rosary Novena” for the return of lapsed Catholics. Others use the “Parents Way of the Cross” from the same series (Prayers for Prodigals). Sometimes the Chaplet of Divine Mercy or other prayer is added. Each group sets its own agenda.
“When should we meet?”
Decide what works best for the group—day or evening, weekly or monthly. Set a time to begin. Allow time for informal discussion after prayer. (If you pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament, out of respect, move the discussion to another space outside the chapel area.) When you use this format, everyone can count on familiar prayers. They know what time prayer begins and ends. Those who wish to leave may do so, and those who wish to take part in discussion and social time may remain after.
“Sounds simple! What’s next?”
I will be happy to give you more information and help you get started. You’re not in this alone! Phone or email me today!
My thanks to Jane Stucker, Silent Strength prayer group coordinator at St. Joseph's Parish, Leavenworth, KS, and Susan Supplee, our Asst. Editor, who both provided information for this article. ♥