Prayer groups finding grace at home

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Prayer groups finding grace at home
The St Joseph’s Glenorchy prayer group gathering in prayer in February. Photo: Gareth Higgins

Social distancing measures mean that prayer groups across Tasmania are currently unable to participate in communal prayer. 

However, this has not stopped many prayer groups from finding inventive ways for regular attendees to increase their prayer efforts within their homes.

Des Mortimer of the Apostolate of St Joseph prayer group – which before coronavirus met every first Wednesday of the month after morning Mass at St John’s Church in Glenorchy – said members of the group were still united in prayer.

The group had started a new 33-day prayer program which culminates in participants making a personal consecration to St Joseph, the foster-father of Jesus, Mr Mortimer said. 

“He [St Joseph] always played a role in protecting the Holy Family in difficult times so he is appropriate for these times.”

Janet Hoare, a parishioner of Launceston Parish, said that three members of the prayer group who meet every Monday evening at the Church of the Apostles in Launceston to pray the rosary, continue to pray together daily via messenger. 

“It’s the next best thing to meeting in person,” Mrs Hoare said.

“Even though we are apart, we are together as one in prayer.”

Mrs Hoare said it was “very comforting” to know that regular attendees of the prayer group were also dedicated to their prayer life during this time. 

“Prayer has always been the go-to in times of sickness and death - at this time I feel we need prayer so much more.”  

The president of the St Camillus Conference of Saint Vincent De Paul, Don Mills, said that members of the group have agreed to pray the rosary on the first and third Saturdays of the month at the approximate time they previously met to visit patients of the Royal Hobart Hospital. 

“Praying for special needs, in particular hospital patients, is required more than [in] normal times,” Mr Mills said.    

Father Gerald Quinn CP, who leads multiple prayer groups in Hobart including the ecumenical prayer for Mothers and Unborn Babies and True Love Waits at St Therese’s Church in Moonah, and the monthly prayer group for Tasmanian politicians at Parliament House said regular attendees were still “greatly enthusiastic” about praying for the special intentions of their respective prayer groups at home.

“God hears all prayers - prayers move mountains,” Fr Gerald said.