‘The Pink Sisters’ form unbroken chain of prayer

Catholic sisters spread love all around by putting it into action and lifting it into prayer.

As part of National Catholic Sisters Week, we often celebrate the way they live out the Gospel amid neighbors in need. Perhaps harder to spotlight is the twin pillar to those noble deeds: quiet prayer, the spiritual underpinning to it all. 

The Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters are a cloistered congregation who have dedicated themselves entirely to the contemplative life through perpetuation adoration. Their website notes:

"Freed from distractions, our hearts expand to include every need and distress. Before the Eucharistic Throne, we adore God on behalf of our brothers and sisters throughout the world."

They are known as “The Pink Sisters” due to their magenta habits, and their continuous prayer has made headlines.

“For more than 100 years, the cloistered nuns known as the Pink Sisters have worked in shifts to ensure nonstop prayer in Philadelphia’s Chapel of Divine Love,” noted a widely picked up Associated Press story that ran a year ago.

“We want young ladies to see how beautiful the life is and how truer the joy when it is without the trappings of material things," Sister Maria Clarissa, then 55, told the AP, articulating a goal in keeping with NCSW. "We do our part in addressing these challenges, but at the same time, we leave it to the Lord. He's the one who calls."

The article goes on to note:

“It is a selfless life, focused on offering intercessory prayers on behalf of people they will never meet living in places they will never see. They pray most of the day, together and individually in shifts before the Blessed Sacrament, generally waking up at 5:15 a.m. to prepare for the first daily service, going to bed after the 8 p.m. final prayers.

All the sisters have jobs. Some craft Mass cards and rosaries, the sales of which support the convent. Other sisters respond to letters and answer the phones. Some callers are lonely; others are suicidal. Just listening, the sisters say, seems to make a difference.”

Sister Mary Angelica, then 55, told the AP she wants people who have lost touch with their faith to know there is always someone praying for them, "no matter what their need may be."

The sisters follow current events, but the newspapers they receive don't include the sports or entertainment sections, according to the AP.

"We try to be as simple as possible so we can focus on the Lord," Mary Angelica said. "We are simple in everything, even meals – though on special occasions, we have ice cream."

About Christina Capecchi

Christina Capecchi is an award-winning journalist from Inver Grove Heights, Minn. She is the author of the nationally syndicated column “Twenty Something,” which appears in more than 50 Catholic newspapers across the country. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, The Washington Post, America, The Chicago Tribune, The Star Tribune and The Pioneer Press. She also provides contracted editing and writing services. She holds a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s from Mount Mercy University.