Sister Dolores Cook receives prayer requests
in her ministry at St. Mary of the Angels in Williamsville, N.Y.
World Wide Web extends presence of prayer
Each day, prayer requests from people around the globe land in the inbox of Sister Dolores Cook’s computer via the congregation’s website, www.sosf.org. Sister Dolores shares these requests with the centers of prayer in convents throughout the congregation. Prayer requests are then brought to the attention of sisters residing at convents in various ways including prayer lists and bulletin board postings. In turn, these intentions are remembered by the sisters during Masses and in daily prayers.
Most especially, sisters in our health care units who dedicate all of their waking hours to prayer are our ‘powerhouses of prayer,’ and give great attention to these requests. “I consider it a sacred trust” says Sister Dolores. “People look to us to pray for them as they looked to Francis. They trust in the prayers of the sisters.”
From as near as sisters’ families, friends and coworkers and as far as Vietnam, Germany and Africa, and throughout the U.S., prayers are requested for employment, health, family situations, and countless special intentions. Some requests come with detailed information and even family photos. Such was a request from Charles in Africa who asked for prayers when he feared losing his job. Over time he and Sister Dolores have developed a relationship and he continues to request prayers for individuals and situations. He also keeps her up-to-date with his family and sends photos. “I value this ministry,” says Sister Dolores, “because we are to be women of prayer. People look to us to pray for them, to be their intercessors.”
Another aspect of Sister Dolores’ ministry is reconnecting with those who have requested prayer. “It is most important to get back to people from whom we have heard,” says Sister Dolores. “They are reassured and comforted that the sisters do take their requests to prayer.” In turn, thank you notes are received such as this one from parents grieving over the death of their only son. “Thank you for standing with us in daily prayer for God’s mercy and peace in our great pain and ongoing sorrows. Please continue to pray with us daily for God’s peace and eternal rest.”
“We may not have a physical presence with these people, but they do search for us,” Sister Dolores explains. “It’s our job to pray and to do it daily.”