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Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose Gloria Marie Jones speaking to the sisters.

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Local sisters create collective prayer movement for election ‘civility’
September 20th, 2016
By Christina Gray

Over 60 sisters from about a dozen Bay Area communities committed on Sept. 10 to eight weeks of “intense contemplative prayer” with the intention of shifting pre-election public discourse from vitriol to “conversations marked with respect and care for the common good.”

In less than one week, the movement has a Facebook hashtag – #contemplativepower – and has gone national, according to Dominican Sister of San Rafael Carla Kovack, vocations director for the order.

“Our world is in chaos and it really needs the spiritual energy that comes from women who have practiced prayer for 40, 50, 60, 70 years,” she said “We need to focus that energy for the good of the world. Maybe that’s our role at this point in time.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary Sister Nancy Sylvester had been invited to San Rafael that day for a workshop on “communal contemplation” and the Dominican sisters opened it up to all women religious in the Bay Area, said Sister Carla.

Dominican Sister of Mission San Jose Gloria Marie Jones spontaneously posed a challenge at the end of the event attended by Sisters of Social Service, Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sisters of the Good Shepherd, Adrian Dominican Sisters, Daughters of Charity, Sisters of the Holy Family, Sisters of Mercy, and Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose.

“We’ve spent the day galvanizing this contemplative power that we’ve been gifted in who we are,” she said. “What if we all focused it for the next eight weeks on civil dialogue, on conversations that are marked with respect and the common good?”

With that question the movement was born.

“We do this believing there is power in holding the space to envision this reality as we open ourselves to God working within us,” Sister Carla said.

From September 22, 2016 issue of Catholic San Francisco.


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