Little Miracles Prayer Ministry is a special activity supporting expecting mothers in the parish community at St. Benedict’s parish. The parish uses technology to assist in encouraging prayers for those in imminent need. We asked organizer Rema Celio a few questions about their unique ministry
1. What is Little Miracles Prayer Ministry?
The Little Miracles Prayer Ministry is an online prayer group that allows parishioners to connect to each other in a very profound and meaningful way – through prayer. Often in parishes it is difficult to have people participate in many activities. We can all pray though! Little Miracles is our way of praying for expectant mothers as they go through their pregnancy. They or a family member can sign up to have the prayer team pray for the mother and the safe delivery of her baby.
2. Why did you establish this ministry? What was the need or opportunity you were addressing?
I was speaking to St. Benedict’s pastor, Fr. Mario Villaraza, about the parish needs for families. I run a mother’s prayer group in the parish and I wanted to do something that would not be as formal and would allow for families, men, and women to participate, but without the obligation of attending a meeting.
What if we could involve people in an activity that they could do from the comfort of their own home? We can all pray, and if we had a cause (babies) it would be a double blessing. People will be actively involved in participating and we would be praying for the souls of babies before they are born.
3. How does it work? Who is involved? What does it take to run this ministry?
The structure of the ministry is simple. In September of 2017, announcements were made after the masses about the ministry. There is a list of people who are on the prayer team (the prayer warriors) and then I have a list of people who are requesting prayers. These are usually pregnant women. Sometimes grandparents will request prayers for their children who are having babies.
Each member of the team is given an electronic copy of the Novena to St. Gerard Majella and we pray that novena for the mothers. Currently, there are 16 women we are praying for. This ministry is very easy to run. All it takes is to maintain a database of people who are praying and a list of women who are expecting. Once a mother has her baby, she will share the news with me, and send along a picture, which I then share with the group.
If a mother is experiencing difficulty in her pregnancy, she may request additional prayers, which I send out to the group. It really is a beautiful thing to pray for new life.
4. What are the fruits are you seeing from this ministry?
I have seen more people engaged in communicating with each other. There is a lot of excitement both from mother and from people on the prayer team. Some of the mothers have been so happy and have contacted me to express their gratitude for our prayers:
“Thank you and thank you to the whole Little Miracles prayer team! Clara was born on November 10th, at 3:19am. Thank you for your continuing prayers.”
“Thank you for this! I came home from church on Sunday feeling quite happy to hear news of this new ministry! It seems like it has come at the perfect time - I'm almost 6 weeks along :) I'm excited, grateful, overjoyed, overwhelmed, and scared, hoping that everything will be okay! Any additional prayers are most welcome!”
From a Grandmother: “Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing. This is a beautiful thing.”
And from the prayer team members: “Thanks for sharing. I'm so happy to be praying for these babies and the parents too!”
5. What advice or tips would you have for a parish or a group interested in doing this? If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?
It is not difficult at all. I keep anonymity, meaning I do not share emails with people. In this way, people do not feel pressured about having to share personal information with others. My advice would be to keep promoting the ministry. Sharing and spreading sources of inspiration are wonderful ways to make positive and lasting impressions on people.
I would love to have a presentation mass in honour of the little ones welcomed in our midst. This is our first year and I have requested that a mass be said in honour of these Little Miracles. With the help of some industrious and caring parishioners, Rosaries have been made for these children. Each child will receive a rosary and a booklet on How to Pray the Rosary, pitched at the level of a small child.