Chillicothe group promotes prayers for bringing non-practicing Catholics back

For their work to organize the Mary and Monica Helpers at St. Edward Parish in Chillicothe, Gail Kruse and Diane Hahn received the Imperative Award at the DCCW's Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon April 14. They are pictured with Msgr. Dale Wellman, DCCW spiritual adviser. (The Catholic Post/Jennifer Willems)

CHILLICOTHE — Established as a way to pray people back into the practice of their faith, the Mary and Monica Helpers at St. Edward Parish created a prayer book that members can personalize with their own holy cards, prayers and petitions, according to Diane Hahn, president.

Two of the prayers are specific to the group, however. Hahn said if people use them — and add an Our Father, two Hail Marys and a Glory Be — it will give them the two minutes of prayer that members strive for every day.

“Anyone can give up two minutes a day. That does add up. People are willing to do that.” — Diane Hahn, president, Mary and Monica Helpers

“Anyone can give up two minutes a day,” she said. “That does add up. People are willing to do that.”

Hahn said they start by asking: “Our Lady of Good Counsel, pray for us. St. Monica, please join me as I pray for all non-practicing Catholics, especially those in St. Edward Parish (or your own parish) and those in the families of the Mary and Monica Helpers.”

The prayer continues: “Merciful Father, your loving care for us knows no end, even when we have turned away from you. Through baptism we have been united to your Son, Jesus Christ, in his Catholic Church, so that we may be nurtured by him and led to your glory. We praise and thank you for the gift of the church. We pray for N. and for all who no longer practice their Catholic faith. May their hearts be opened by the Holy Spirit so that they may return to you in the church. May our own deeds be for them an inspiration and may our words be their invitation. Increase them in faith. Fill them with your blessings. We entrust them to you. We ask this through Our Lord, Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever. Amen.”

The second prayer seeks the intercession of the Blessed Mother and St. Monica: “O Good Shepherd, you never cease to seek out the lost, to call home the stray, to comfort the frightened and to bind up the wounded. I ask you to bring N. back to the practice of the faith and to remove all obstacles that prevent them from receiving your abundant mercy, which flows sacramentally through the heart of your holy church. Through the intercession of Mary, the mother of God, their Guardian Angel(s), their patron saints and the ever prayerful St. Monica, may you pardon their sins, and unshackle them from whatever hinders their freedom to come home. For you, O Good Shepherd, loved us to the end and offered yourself to the Father for the salvation of all. Amen.”

“The whole idea is to bring people back to the church,” said Hahn, who retired as a notary for the diocesan Marriage Tribunal in 2012. “One of my goals when I retired was to help people get to heaven. It doesn’t matter what you do for 100 years here, but where you end up is what matters for all eternity.”

For more information, call Hahn at (309) 274-4921 and mention the Mary and Monica Helpers.

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