Prayer Service before the Blessed Sacrament October 5, 2012 Remembering Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini

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1 Prayer Service before the Blessed Sacrament October 5, 2012 Remembering Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini Opening Song (An appropriate Eucharistic Song) Opening Prayer We begin our prayer, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen The Lord be with you. And with your spirit. Jesus, we gather here in your presence to praise and thank you for the gift of your love in our lives. We come before you to celebrate this time with you who are the center of our lives. As we share this time together we ask that you open our eyes and hearts to your mission of love and service to those most in need in our neighborhoods and the world. As we take this time before your sacramental presence fill us with your joy and peace. You who live with us now and forever. Amen. 1

2 Reader We join with our brother and sister students in the Archdiocese of Chicago and around the world to pray before the Blessed Sacrament for an end to violence. We do this in memory of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini, an Italian immigrant, who with courage and determination walked our city streets as a sign of Christ s love. In Chicago, Mother Cabrini helped poor Italian immigrants by opening schools and hospitals to teach and to heal just as Jesus did. She honored the Heart of Jesus as a symbol of his great love for others. She spent many hours before the Blessed Sacrament in prayerful presence to the Living Christ whose spirit guided her mission. She said to her sisters and friends, Remember that the Blessed Sacrament is like a pillar of fire that is our light and guide. We, too, like Mother Cabrini come before the light of this sacrament to renew our commitment of service to others. With our Hearts and Hands project we give witness to our loving service to those in need. Today in our prayer we will hear some of Mother Cabrini s favorite scriptural readings and pray her favorite prayers. In her spirit we gather before the Eucharist remembering her life and mission among us. Liturgy of the Word Reading Philippians 4: 4 7 Response I can do all things in God, who is my strength! Psalm 136 R. Praise the Lord, who is so good: R. Who alone has done great wonders R. Who skillfully made the heavens, R. Who spread the earth upon the waters, R. who made the great lights; The sun to rule the day and the moon and stars to rule the night, R. who gives food to everyone; R. Praise the God of heaven, Response I can do all things in God, who is my strength! Gospel John 13: Song This Little Light of Mine Afro American Spiritual. Arr. By James Moore, Jr., 1987, GIA Publications, Inc. 2

3 Reflection ( or other appropriate person such as a deacon, principal or teacher may give the reflection. The reflection may be interactive giving students opportunities to share their insights about what it means to live the Christian life. Describe how Mother Frances Cabrini lived the Christian life. Compare her life with Christ s life among the poor and rejected of society. Incorporate the story of Jesus washing the feet of his disciples, one of Frances Cabrini s favorite stories about Jesus, showing him as a model of service. Use Paul s words to live as joyful followers of Jesus who model kindness to everyone. Talk about the symbol of Hearts and Hands reflecting the Heart of Jesus loving us so greatly and showing that love in service to others. Refer to the Hearts and Hands projects that students are doing to remind them of how Mother Cabrini helped others throughout her life. Connect these thoughts to the Eucharist as the Living Christ constantly showing love for us. Refer to the quotation from Mother Cabrini, Remember that the Blessed Sacrament is like a pillar of fire that is our light and guide. Ask the students about how the Eucharist is a light and guide for them.) Prayer Activity (Done some days or weeks before the prayer service) In preparation for this prayer service, have the students research the life of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini. Locate places in Chicago where she and her sisters lived and worked. Describe her special love for the Blessed Sacrament and the Heart of Jesus. Identify the community of sisters founded by Mother Cabrini, the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and their work. Describe what Mother Cabrini was doing on the day that she died. Identify Mother Cabrini as the first U.S. citizen to be canonized as a saint. Describe why we are remembering Mother Cabrini now in Chicago (September 30 th is the reopening of the Shrine of Mother Cabrini in Chicago. Visit the website of the shrine at Have the students draw a heart a little larger that the size of student s hand from red construction paper. Then have the students trace the shape of their hands from other colors of construction paper reflecting the color of their skin. Cut the drawn hand and glue it to the heart. Have the student write (or draw) on the hand something that he/she (or the class) will do in service to others. Reserve a special place in the classroom or area where the entire school might exhibit these drawings with an image of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini for public witness in the school. Junior high and high school students may want to do power point presentations on the ministries of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart and their Associates. Find a way to support immigrant ministry in Chicago Or, contact the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart to have someone come to the class to talk about the mission and charism of the community. Find a way to support that ministry. At the prayer service, have a representative from each classroom lay one of the Heart and Hand drawings on or near the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is exposed. Prayers Response for the Activity: 3

4 Guided Meditation Guided meditation on the love of Jesus for each of us A guide will lead the students to a time of quiet before the Blessed Sacrament. S/he will have the students look at the Blessed Sacrament and then close their eyes. Have them imagine a special place for them in the heart of Jesus. Imagine how Jesus love for them feels. As they imagine this, ask the question, What does Jesus want to tell you? What do you want to tell Jesus? As your hands rest on your lap, think about them in the hands of Jesus. How does Jesus want you to use your hands? After some time have the students open their eyes very peacefully. (If a small group invite students to share an insight from this experience.) Silent Prayer Song Intercessions Response After the meditation, take time to be in silence before the Blessed Sacrament. This can go on for as much time as can be allowed, even up to minutes. Inform the students that they should sit comfortably with hands on lap, eyes closed or looking at the Blessed Sacrament. Let their awareness be directed to simple quiet as a form of prayer. Jesu, Jesu Text John Ghana Folk Song. Trans. By Tom Calvin, b Acc. By Jane Marshall, b Hope Publishing Co GIA Publishing Company. (May be used below or design your own.) R. For our churches and schools, that they may be places of love, peace and service to others, we pray R. For world leaders and for people whose countries are in conflict, that nonviolent negotiation may be the first way to end conflict, we pray R. For all the families of children and teens who died from street violence in the past year, that we will not forget their lives and will work for peace, we pray R. For our own families, that we may live together in our homes where harmony and respect for everyone are practiced every day, we pray R. For immigrants especially those who are poor and abused, that we may realize our call as Christians to love others as we would want to be loved, we pray R. For our own needs, that during this time of prayer we may experience God s great love for us, we pray 4

5 Closing Prayer (Led by the ) Our Father Sign of Peace Let us prayer the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi for world peace. Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy; O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in pardoning that we are pardoned. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (Recited or sung as appropriate) (The invites the assembly to greet one another with the sign of peace explaining that it is the peace of the Eucharistic Presence that we recognize in one another. It is this peace that we extend to the world.) God, Who called Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini from Italy to serve the immigrants of America, By her example, teach us to have concern for the stranger, the sick, and all those in need and by her prayers help us to see Christ in all the people we meet. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Taken and adapted from The Roman Missal Amen (All leave quietly by bowing or genuflecting before the Eucharistic Presence if there is no benediction.) Benediction and Reposition (Follow the standard ritual of Eucharistic Benediction with the hymn, benediction, prayer response, reposition and closing hymn.) 5

6 Note: This prayer service is designed to take as much time as is appropriate for the entire school or individual classes. Timing is based on the traditional devotion of the Holy Hour. However, the objective is to pray this ancient form of prayer before the Eucharist as Catholic school students unite around the world on October 5 th to pray for peace in the world, our neighborhoods, cities and families. If you cannot do the prayer on October 5 th you may want to choose another more appropriate date. We are praying together as the Christian community in gratitude for the gift of Jesus in our lives and for the gift of peace in our families, neighborhoods and world. We are also celebrating the life and work of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini who served the poor of Chicago. This is in concert with the reopening of the National Shrine of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini located at 2520 North Lakeview, Chicago. His Eminence, Francis Cardinal George, OMI, will preside at the reopening of the shrine on September 30, Starting October 1, 2012, students and teachers can visit the shrine for tours. If you wish to do this, you can contact Mary Beth Hughes at We are using the prayer service as an opportunity to remember and celebrate the life and service of Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini in Chicago. You need to contact your pastor to arrange for the exposition of the Blessed Sacrament for this prayer service. He may wish to preside or provide a substitute if you want to include Benediction. Please give a copy of this program to the so that timely preparation can be made Reflections from Students about Eucharistic Adoration I really liked going and sitting quietly in front of Jesus and Just talking to him and having him help me with my problems. I want to go again. 8 th grader I never get to sit quietly and Jesus talked to me. 3 rd grader Jesus took all my cares away. Senior I felt I was never alone. It was peaceful and quiet. 2 nd grader I felt God was in my heart and was touching me. 2 nd grader Now I know I can talk to Him about whatever I need to. 7 th grader Sitting quietly with only and best friend I felt like my life changed and God was with me. 6 th grader This made me think I would try to be a better person. 5 th grader This holy hour had a great impact on me. It sparked my feelings and I felt good. My favorite part was the silence and we got to pray and talk to Jesus. Going to adoration inspired me to go to Mass on Sundays and other days if possible. It inspired me to try not to sin. 6 th grader 6

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