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sisters of st joseph of carondelet | prayers please

Send a prayer request to us from your smartphone. Download our free Prayers Please app by searching "Prayers Please" in your app store--look for the hand and heart!

Prayers Please App Brings Your Intentions to Sisters

The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet have always known how to respond to the needs of the times. In 1650 six Sisters in Le Puy, France “divided the city” and found those people who most needed their care and attention.

Today, with so many relying on technology—and so many needing care and attention—the sisters are still reaching out and responding to needs. One of the newest ministries of the Congregation of St. Joseph of Carondelet is Prayers Please, a free prayer request mobile app with accompanying website www.prayersplease.com.

The idea for Prayers Please surfaced at a meeting of the congregational communications directors in 2011. Keeping in mind the goal of “being and acting as one,” the communicators collaborated on developing a mobile app to accept prayers, a concept that was underdeveloped in the app world.

Through the app, people can submit their prayer intentions anonymously or with a name at their discretion. Collected requests are forwarded to the sisters in the communities of the congregation, which includes the provinces of St. Louis, Albany, Los Angeles and St. Paul as well as the vice provinces of Hawaii and Peru.

Each province receiving the requests handle them in a variety of ways such as forwarding the list to the retired sisters and adding them to the prayer books in the chapels and recognizing the requests at Masses and prayer services.

Sister Mary Vincent, who collects the prayer requests for the St. Paul province, says most of the prayer requests she receives are for the sick, but another big topic is prayers for men and women who can’t find work. “I can see that there is a lot of pressure on them to take care of family when they have inadequate means to do that.”

There are an average of 100-150 prayer requests received each week, but a recent Google ad campaign generated nearly 4,000 new requests in six-weeks.  The requests come from all over the country and the world. Prayer requests can be offered in English or Spanish—the ones that come in other languages are translated via a computer translation program.

Some individuals send request every week—some more often. The app standardizes requests to 125 words, but each request is as unique as the people sending them. “Sometimes a person’s request is like a story. Some area stated in just a few words," says Sister Mary. “Other people will plea for multiple prayers in one request.”

To develop the app the communicators turned to the John, Marie and Joseph Whalen Foundation, Inc., for a funding grant. They have applied for another grant from the Whalen Foundation that will be used to streamline the apps internal system and help advertise its availability.

“The response we are seeing speaks to people’s belief in prayer and a real hunger for connection and help,” says Ann Thompson, St. Paul’s communications director. Our intention now is to get the word out that our congregation will pray for you. It is an honor for the sisters and, if I do say, they are really good at praying!”

The sisters are also "really good" at following their mission: building relationships. “So many people today don’t’ have a sense of connection. What is so important to them is that another person is listening to them,” says Sister Mary. “They see that they can respond quickly on their mobile devices…and that the sisters’ prayers do make a difference.”

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