A Monastery, of Sorts, Opens to the Laity

Initiative Promotes Eucharistic Adoration

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ROME, MARCH 2, 2004 (Zenit.org).- An initiative involving Eucharistic adoration has grown to almost 1,000 members in just three years.



The "invisible monastery," as it's known, was instituted in the Center of the Union of Major Superiors of Italy (UMSI).

Comprising women religious, as well as priests, men religious and seminarians, the initiative this year opened its doors to the laity, the director of the UMSI center, Sister Maria Rosa Lo Proto, told Vatican Radio.

"The 'invisible monastery' is made up of persons who are dedicated to Eucharistic adoration at fixed times during the day," she said. "Each person chooses an hour to pray for priestly and religious vocations. We have succeeded in covering the whole day and night."

A monastery is a place "where people are removed from the world to dedicate themselves to prayer, penance and contemplation."

In this context, the term "invisible monastery" alludes to the "spiritual building based on removal from the world, to hear God who speaks, and to adore God who loves," Sister Maria Rosa said.

Once a week the monastery becomes "visible." Every Saturday, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., in the Church of St. Mary of Peace, near Piazza Navona, the rector of the church, Monsignor Gino D'Anna, presides over a "visible" adoration.

"Through this visibility, other persons can accept the message, join us in prayer, and make this praying monastery ever greater," Sister Maria Rosa noted.

"The source and summit of our plan is to pray for vocations to the master of the harvest and to ask for help for families, because families must be supported not only by words but also by prayer," the nun added.

The UMSI is an organization of pontifical right. It expresses and fosters communion among women's religious institutes in Italy.