Mother's Prayer Groups
compiled by Catherine Fournier
It seems that prayer groups of mothers seeking to grow in their faith through their vocation are springing up all over the place. Praise God the Spirit!
If they are organized enough have a 'mission statement' or short text to place in local parish bulletins, they frequently describe themselves like this:
We are a small group of mothers and 'mothers-to-be' who meet weekly for prayer and friendship.
Through praise, we hope to draw closer to Christ Through prayer, we hope to grow in Christ Through intercession, we hope to build and minister to Christ's Church.
We affirm motherhood and are affirmed in our motherhood through our consecration to Mary.
It is in our daily duty, in the small 'yesses' of our everyday life, in the small crosses that we are called not only to carry but to embrace, that we grow in holiness and sanctification.
It is in our daily prayer that we gradually come to know God's will for us. It is by His grace that we seek to grow in acceptance and obedience.
This is our call, our vocation.
One mother described her prayer group this way:
"Well, our group started after a retreat for mothers. Four moms organized a bi-monthly group on the advice of a priest/spiritual director, and modeled it on the "Apostolate of Holy Motherhood" book. The group grew quite large and this same priest asked those of us in another part of town to start our own group rather than travel the 30 min. each way. So we now have 2 "Apostolate" prayer groups.
We try to have a core group of four moms to plan, publicize, lead and organize. These moms rotate about every 12-18 months or so. One mom will lead for a month at a time (2 meetings). The leader will call ahead of time and arrange for: a Rosary leader, a Scripture reading with meditation (always the upcoming Sunday Gospel), and a reading from the Apostolate of Holy Motherhood book.
My group meets every 2nd and 4th Friday at 7:00p.m. We pray the Rosary at about 7:30-8:00. The leader begins the Rosary and then a different mom will lead each decade. The prayers we have added at the end of each decade are "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph we love you, save souls. Save the consecrated, save the unborn", and "Mother, by this golden chain I want to tie all children to your heart." We pray aloud all our intentions before we start. The person who reads the gospel reading offers a short meditation and the reader of the book just picks a page and reads it.
After the prayers, we either study "Beginning Apologetics" or we invite a speaker. For example, one meeting we had a local speaker come to talk about Saint Joseph. Other meetings concentrated on the Divine Mercy devotion. Once in the summer we have a pot-luck/book review club. Each mother brings a book to recommend and tells about it.
One fruit of our group has been praying for moms in labor. We developed a very informal phone chain and moms can call one of us when they go into labor and we will usually contact several moms who will pray for the labor and delivery throughout the day. We have had people call our group because they knew we had this apostolate and we've prayed for moms in labor from CA to NY. We also try to provide meals for a week when one of the moms in the group has a need; usually childbirth or difficult pregnancy.
We close the meeting with either a Consecration to the BVM or prayers for the Pope. That's our prayer group."
The local mother's prayer group in Domestic-Church.Com's area is called Mothers in Christ:
We meet on Wednesday mornings between 9:30 and 11:30 am. Our children are welcome, and though toys are set out in other room for them they wander in and out while we pray. (One small boy loves to dance when his mother is singing.)
Our first hour is spend in praise and prayer. We sing a few songs, pray a decade of the Rosary (all the children's attention spans can manage), read a section of Apostolate of Holy Motherhood, then meditate, and offer our intentions. These are frequently personal, but at other times concern our priests, suffering mothers and children around the world, and other larger issues.
The second hour, we adjourn to the kitchen for coffee and snacks. We give the children juice and cookies, while we enjoy coffee, tea and some gooey goody. Our conversation is usually inspired by our intentions and concerns. We have discussed everything from uninvolved husbands, modesty in 11 year old girls, to medical concerns.
At Christmas time, we have a cookie exchange and potluck lunch. At the end of the school year, we hold another potluck lunch, and we meet once or twice over the summer at a member's cottage.
There are as many possibilities for mother's prayer groups as there are communities in the world. Each will be subtly different depending on the age, experience and interests of the mothers involved. But each will have the same aim: to provide support and friendship to sisters in Christ, to help each other grow in faith, and develop our vocation.
If youhave a mother's prayer group in your area, write and tell us about it.