Women’s Apostolate of Mount Alverno prays for vocations

Photo Caption: Sharon Jokhy and Norina Sinclair, guests from St. Jude’s Parish in Peoria, join in the prayers of the Catholic Women’s Apostolate of Mount Alverno before a recent lunch.

By: By Jennifer Willems

EAST PEORIA — Prayer has power. If you have any doubts about that, just spend a few minutes with the members of the Catholic Women’s Apostolate of Mount Alverno.

The group exists for the sole purpose of praying for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life, and they have been doing it in one form or another for more than 40 years.

While many don’t know of the quiet work they do to support church vocations, Bishop Daniel R. Jenky, CSC, assured them of his love and gratitude at a recent luncheon at the Spalding Pastoral Center in Peoria. The women and their guests gathered there after a first-ever visit to St. Mary’s Cathedral and a Mass celebrated by Father Patrick Henehan, pastor of St. Jude’s Parish in Peoria.

CWA members already have the greatest “weapon” at their disposal and that’s prayer, Bishop Jenky said. “The second greatest weapon is witness and that’s what you folks are all about. You have a bishop who loves you and appreciates you and is affirmed by all you do.”

Sponsored by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, the Catholic Women’s Apostolate generally meets on the third Thursday of the month at the community’s East Peoria motherhouse. Their current moderator is Sister Rose Therese Mann, OSF, director of vocation ministry for the East Peoria Franciscans.

“I think it has a great impact,” she said of the group’s commitment to pray one hour a week in addition to the rosary, Mass and prayers offered at the monthly meetings.

“I tell the women that an hour of prayer seems like a lot, but it’s really 10 minutes a day for six days,” said Sandy Fritz, a past president of the group who has agreed to serve another term next year in order to be a mentor for vice president Gail Kruse of Chillicothe.

Their meetings also include lunch, a talk by an area priest about his vocation, and a chance to interact with The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.

“What makes this really special is you get to know the Sisters,” said Fritz, a member of St. Jude’s Parish. “Sister Rose Therese is always bringing in new postulants. . . . You feel like you’re a part of the Sisters and you get to know the priests on a personal level.”

Current president Cindy Doro of St. Mary’s of Lourdes in Metamora said she likes the community aspect of the group and the fact that they are praying together for church vocations.

“It’s a nice group of women,” she told The Catholic Post. “We not only are serious and spiritual in our prayer, but we have fun.”

New members are always welcome and Doro invited anyone who is interested in joining them to attend the next meeting on Thursday, April 19, at the motherhouse, 1175 St. Francis Lane. The rosary begins at 10:35 a.m. and Mass will be celebrated by Father James Pankiewicz, parochial vicar at St. Joseph’s in Pekin. Lunch, which is $4, follows.

For more information or to make a lunch reservation, call Sandy Fritz at (309) 691-5342 by April 16.

The last meeting of the year is planned for Thursday, May 10, and will include a May crowning.

SPALDING PASTORAL CENTER | 419 NE MADISON AVENUE | PEORIA, IL 61603 | PHONE (309) 671-1550 | FAX (309) 671-1595
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