Friday, March 9, 2012

Handmaids of the Precious Blood

Handmaids of the Precious Blood   Main Site

Handmaids of the Precious Blood (Institute on Religious Life)

Founded 1947; Cloistered
Located in Archdiocese of Santa Fe (New Mexico); Archdiocese of Chicago (Illinois); Diocese of Knoxville (Tennessee)
Motherhouse moved from New Mexico to Benton, TN, until their new monastery is built in the diocese of Knoxville (reported 11/10/2013).
Pontifical status as a fully cloistered contemplative community in 1992.

 "Cloistered Nuns offering their lives for the sanctification of priests in Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration."

 "For Christ in His Priest"

Left:  "Scapular Emblem pays tribute to the Blessed Trinity in its three sided shape, Our Lady in the blue outline, and the Priesthood in the Holy Spirit being called down upon a golden chalice." Right:  New Rosary Crucifix
Right:  Titled on their webpage:  "Adore the Lord in His Holy Court"

There are several pages on their website dedicated to Blessed John Paul II - obviously, the Holy Father was a great inspiration to them. They say, "As a Pontifical community, our love for the Church is expressed in our unswerving loyalty and fidelity to the Holy Father, the Vicar of Christ on earth."

 "As our Founder so clearly stated, our life 'is tied, anchored, bound, fastened, and focused in the Blessed Sacrament.' This is our apostolate, which allows us to extend our love for Jesus and our gratitude to Him to every hour of the day and night. Each Sister enjoys at least one daily Holy Hour in addition to several nocturnal Holy Hours each week."

Left:  This is so gorgeous it looks photoshopped. But no --late foliage is still breathtaking at Christ, Prince of Peace Retreat Center in Benton, TN where the Handmaids are moving temporarily (Fall of 2013). By the time you read this, they may be all the way moved.

Back to the serious stuff.

"We wear a full length wine red habit, a scapular with an attached Trinitarian emblem, a long white veil, cincture, and Rosary. The wine red color symbolizes the Precious Blood and our white veil symbolizes the Eucharist. A simple silver ring is worn by perpetually professed Sisters."

"By the call of God we form a true family, like the first Christian community. We are gathered in His name around our Mother Prioress, a true spiritual mother and friend. Together we seek the Will of God from moment to moment in faith and simplicity. This brings a peace like unto that of the Holy Family, whose hearts were completely united."

"The fruition of the Handmaids' life of prayer and self-immolation is to be realized in a hidden life of deep personal sacrifice and constant prayerful intercession in the interest of the holiness of all priests and in behalf of the needs of all souls."  Any practicing Catholic can send them their mailing address, and they will assign you a priest to pray for daily. See Adopt a Priest.  I will mention this again before the post is through.  Why?  I think it is an a crucial ministry for our day (and any day).

Above:  At a Eucharistic Congress with their new shepherd, Bishop Richard F. Stika of Knoxville, TN. This was a Congress for the diocese, and five thousand attended.  I don't think there are that many Catholics in the Metropolitan area where I live.  Practicing Catholics anyway.  Incredible attendance.  Makes me want to move to Tennessee.

  • 5:30 AM Rising and Breakfast
  • 6:30 AM Matins and Examen
  • 7:20 AM Lauds, Benediction, Mass, Terce, First Rosary
  • 9:00 AM - 11:45 AM Work Period
  • 11:45 AM Dinner followed by Sext and Litany
  • 1:00 - 1:45 PM Free Period
  • 1:55 PM Second Rosary
  • 2:15 - 4:25 PM Work Period
  • 4:25 PM None, Third Rosary, Vespers, Prayers for Priests
  • 5:30 PM Supper
  • 6:30 - 7:00 PM Recreation
  • 7:00 - 8:00 PM Studies, Spiritual Reading, Lectio Divina, Special Projects
  • 8:00 PM Examen and Compline
  • 8:30 PM Sacred Silence
I am going to sneak this picture in and maybe no one (clear throat) will object.  Fun in the sunshine, and everybody who can should try it.

Spirituality: Handmaids (they have their own Rule of life, being Eucharistic, Marian, and Sacerdotal); Our Blessed Mother and the Rosary; Blessed John Paul II  They are separate and distinct from other Orders which share the title "of the Precious Blood"

Devotions: Prayer - Communal 3X daily (separate from Holy Hours); Scripture and other spiritual reading; Habit - traditional; Eucharistic Adoration, one hour a day per Sister, as well as some night time Holy Hours; Divine Office - chanted, communal; Rosary - three daily during Holy Hour; Meditation; Silence - Grand

About five hours a day are spent in the chapel, not counting Adoration Hours.  I do hope I have most of the above correct.  Just take it for granted they pray a bunch, and most of it in community.

Apostolates: Prayer (for priests and all souls), spiritual works of mercy

Ages upon entrance: 19-39
Belated vocations? No
# professed sisters or nuns: 17 (11/10/13)

Handmaids of the Precious Blood
Cor Jesu Monastery
290 Locke Lane
Benton, TN 37307

Please note:  the Sisters prefer mail or email communication
Vocation Email

Candidates will join the community for 2-4 weeks, and then move on to a 3 month aspirancy program either at the Motherhouse or by correspondence.

They offer many opportunities for both lay and religious External Apostolates.

This is an ethnically diverse community, with Sisters from many places in the US and internationally (however, you must be able to speak English).

This and that:
  • Pray for a priest.  I do.  What, you think I just write these things for fun?  Adopt A Priest
  • Web Devotions:  Benediction, Stations of the Cross, Precious Blood Chaplet, Rosary of Our Mother of Sorrows.
  • Two ministries that are new to me are listed on their links page, and I think would be of great interest to my readers. I will put this on my main blog eventually. They should be more well known than they are (or maybe I've been oblivious). On further inspection, I see that Encourage Priests is part of the Catholics Coming Home movement - and they have made terrific videos.  Spectacular - and inspired.  If you've never visited their site, please do - Catholics Come Home. 
  • EncouragePriests
  • Courageous Priest
  • Latest revision: 11/13/13.  Not yet revised on new web site.  
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