Last Sunday, going out for brunch with some fellow churchgoers, I met a dynamic young woman named Edel, after the Legion of Mary missionary Edel Quinn, who is currently up for sainthood.
Like me, she is single and chaste, and like me, she does work that is intended to help fulfill the mission of the Church.
I know several other single women who are likewise chaste and have apostolates —an apostolate being broadly defined as any outer-directed activity that is the work of an apostle, from missionary work to pro-life activism, to taking care of a sick parent, to offering up one's sufferings with the intention that God bless others.
It seems to me that the one thing we all could use is prayer. Fellowship and prayer. Two things, I mean — fellowship, prayer, and praying for one another. Wait, that's three things ...
If you're a Monty Python fan, you'll notice I left out "an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope." While that would be nice, it's not necessary for what I have in mind.
I propose starting an Edel Quinn Prayer Circle, named after the probable saint-to-be and invoking her patronage. To be a member, one has only to be a chaste single woman with an apostolate, like the Venerable Edel. One does not have to be Catholic, or even Christian, so long as one believes in God and the power of prayer.
The rules are simple. Each Sunday, I will send you the first name, e-mail address, and prayer intentions of a fellow member. Starting the following day, you will pray every day for your "prayee" and send her a simple e-mail notification every day of that week to let her know that she is being prayed for. I'll send them out in a circle so that every member will eventually have the opportunity to pray for every other member.
Beyond that, there are some protocols, which I've listed below.
If you like the idea, e-mail me at my new address, dawneden -at- gmail.com , and include your specific prayer intentions if you have any (though they are not required). Also, leave a comment below and let me know what you think of the idea, and any suggestions you might have. I'm open to suggestions as long as they do not require any work on my part other than sending out the names, e-mail addresses, and prayer intentions to members each week.
Edel Quinn Prayer Circle protocols:
I will ...
- Send you every Sunday the e-mail address and first name of a fellow member of the circle, along with the member's intentions if she has informed me of them.
- Accept your updates of your latest prayer intentions and send them to the member who will be praying for you.
- Not give out your last name or any other information about you beyond your first name, e-mail address, and intentions, which I will give only to whichever member is praying for you during a given week.
- Reserve the right to remove you from membership if I learn that you have not been sending out prayer notifications with the required frequency (a bare minimum of four times a week — but ideally every day). I will also reserve the right to remove you if you violate any of the other protocols listed in the "You will ..." section below.
You will ...
- Commit to sending your prayee a prayer notification every day. The notification can be as simple as "I'm praying for you," or it can be more detailed, e.g. "I'm praying for your intention of _____," or "I'm praying that God will bless you today," etc.
- Refrain from giving your prayee any of your own intentions unless she asks for them.
- Refrain from asking your prayee for any personal information other than what I have given you.
- Refrain from giving your prayee any information about yourself, how your day was, what you've been through, etc., unless she asks for it. This is very important. Even if your prayee's intention is, for example, that you pray for her recovery from a certain disease, and you yourself have had that disease, don't reveal it unless she asks you. Your task is only to give to her through prayer — not to shift the focus to yourself, however well-intended you may be.
- If your prayee asks you about yourself, reveal only what you wish. You are under no obligation to reveal anything personal to her, only to let her know that you are praying for her.
- Notify me if your prayee or the member who is praying for you violates these protocols.
- Keep me updated on your intentions, if any.
UPDATE, 7/14: Getting a great response, which makes me very thankful. If you are writing, please mention what is your apostolate (as defined above), as this is only for chaste single women with apostolates. Thanks!
UPDATE, 7/15: Many thanks to everyone who's written in. Each of the six respondents who fulfill the membership requirements (being a chaste single woman with an apostolate — see details uptop) has received details on her first prayee. If you would like to join in time for next week, please e-mail me.