Pray without ceasing. (I Thessalonians 5:40)
“Could you men not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” (Matthew 26: 40 – 41)
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)
FOR THE FAITHFUL at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Sleepy Eye, those words from Scripture hold deep meaning. Not simply as words they should follow. But as words they do follow.
For 20 years, 24/7, the parishioners at this southwestern Minnesota prairie church have practiced Perpetual Adoration by praying. Every single hour. Of every single day. In one-hour shifts. For two decades. Remarkable.
Today they pray in the Adoration Chapel housed in a new addition to the aged St. Mary’s Church. Originally, congregants prayed in the convent chapel, then the church.
Randy Krzmarzick has taken the 5 a.m. shift for all those 20 years. He writes about his experiences in a column posted on sleepyeyeonline. (Click here to read.) It’s an interesting read, especially for someone like me, a life-long Lutheran married to a former Catholic. But no matter your faith—or not—you will find value within Randy’s honest and humorous story. He suggests that we all need to quiet our hearts and seek silence in this busy and noisy world.
Even he struggles to follow his own advice, admitting to sometimes thinking about the price of soybeans or a baseball game when he should be praying.
Life brims with distractions. We’re too busy. Too scheduled. Too whatever to notice the simple things in life. Or the people we love. Or those who are strangers and need our compassion.
There is much to be learned from the faithful of St. Mary’s in their two decades of dedication, discipline and devotion to prayer. In the silence, they have heard the quiet. And I expect, too, have found peace.
RELATED: Click here to read a story about Kathy Wichmann, who for 20 years has scheduled parishioners to fill those 24/7 prayer slots at St. Mary’s.
© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling