Family Donates to Water With Blessings

Donna and KellyThey look a little strange. They’re called socks. And we needed 50 of them.

That’s when Donna, left, and Kelly D., a mother and daughter team from Canfield, graciously crocheted all the socks needed for this year’s Water With Blessings mission trip. These socks protect part of the water filtration systems from damage.

Kelly volunteers with our Service Learning Program and works at the Motherhouse, too. We’re grateful for her and Donna’s contribution to our project!

In December, Sister Norma Raupple is leading a group of young women on the mission to bring clean water to God’s thirsty children at the U.S.-Mexico border, where water on both sides is terrible.

all socksThis is the second year for our WWB mission trip. The nuts and bolts are this: “Water Women” are trained in how to use water filtration kits, which cost $60 apiece. In exchange for a kit and training, “Water Women” agree to help five other families – sharing, not selling, the clean water. Last year, our Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown group delivered 50 units, ultimately giving 250 families clean water.

The trip not only helps these families, it provides a chance for young adult women to deepen their relationship with us while participating in an international service experience. And it was a chance for donors – many our family, Associates and friends – to be part of a wonderful ministry. Their help was immense when we had to fix frozen pipes last year.

We’re behind on funding for this year’s trip. If you or your group – maybe a church group or just your crowd of friends – can sponsor at “Water Woman” at $60 please contact Contact Sister Norma by email or at 330.792.7636.

All donations help and are greatly appreciated, so if you can give more or less than $60, please consider contributing to this worthwhile ministry.

Read more to learn more about the WWB program, founded by Kentucky Ursuline Sister Larraine Lauter.


Ursuline High School Celebrates The Feast of Saint Angela

UHS Dr Linda MillerUrsuline High School, founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown over 100 years ago, celebrates an annual prayer service to honor St. Angela Merici, our founder.
Snow days postponed this year’s service until a few days after her Jan.27 feast day,but the energy and faith it inspired were worth the wait.
Dr. Linda Miller, one of our Associates and an instructor at the high school, delivered a wonderful reflection with beautiful imagery on how we are all connected to St. Angela–to all saints!–and to our Lord Jesus Christ himself.
We videotaped that talk so we could share it with the world.

Also, our own Sister Regina Rogers,vice principal at the school,led the entire service and delivered a final blessing for the assembly, comprising the student body, teachers and guests.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Living My Faith: An Associate Reflection

lindyRecently, Associate Lindy Kubic, [center of picture] was a panelist for the First Friday Club of Greater Youngstown. Lindy’s presentation was What Faith Means To Me As Professional Adult.

Lindy works at St. Elizabeth Heath Center main campus as a certified Histotechnician.  She prepares the biopsies for the doctors to read in the pathology lab.  Lindy reflected that working for a Catholic hospital is rewarding for her because she enjoys helping others, and Catholicism has always been apart of her life.
Lindy grew up Catholic in the Diocese of Steubenville, and attended parochial schools.  During her high school years, she was encouraged to have community service hours in order to graduate.  This was her first step of learning about small and large communities.
Read and reflect on her presentation to learn the effect of those first years of service! Reflection For First Friday Club_Lindy Kubic

Water With Blessings Update

Uniquely Ursuline! Sisters, Associates and Young adults bringing Water With Blessings to God’s thirsty 1521780_10153632333480599_690473656_nchildren in Brownsville Texas and Matamporos Mexico.

Imagine if our water weren’t safe to drink, bathe in, or wash dishes in. Residents along the Texas/Mexico border are living with that reality. Now our own Sister Norma Raupple headed there with a group of college volunteers and enough local donations to help 250 families.
Share our experience!


Vaya Con Dios

Picture 076Imagine if our water wasn’t safe to drink, safe to bathe in, or safe to wash the dishes with.  Many people who live near the Mexican Border are living with that reality.  Our own Sister Norma Raupple is heading there to help through a program called Water with Blessings.
Sister Norma, Sister Larraine Lauter, an Ursuline Sister from Kentucky, and six college students/volunteers with ties to the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown set out for a 7-day service trip to Brownsville,Texas, Dec.14.
Ursuline Associates in Youngstown have agreed to be partners in this endeavor. With the help of a few others, they have raised $3,000 to purchase water purification systems and materials ($60 each).
Ursuline Associates from Texas and Mexico are doing the groundwork by purchasing buckets for the systems and inviting 50  young mothers to participate in the project. ). Each mother will in turn help four other families. That means 250 families will soon be able to enjoy safe water.
Sr. LarraineWater with Blessings is a nonprofit organization started by Sister Larraine.
Be sure to follow our Social Media pages in the next few days. Our group will send photos and highlights of their trip which we’ll post.
Click here for more information on the Youngstown Project.

Brigid Kennedy: Friend, Co-Worker, Inspiration

Each day, people of faith are inspired and strengthened by the spiritual presence of others. Here is one such story.
brigid kennedyBrigid Kennedy, Co-Director of the
Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown HIV/AIDS Ministry and an Ursuline Associate, offers her “witness” to living the Gospel through the charism of St. Angela Merici, founder of the Ursuline Sisters:
I have been around Ursuline Sisters my whole life. My Aunt Betty Kerrigan (an Ursuline Sister), family friends, at St. Rose and at Ursuline High School. I learned to try to live values like charity, service and justice.
I had Sr. Pauline Dalpe as a teacher in 3rd grade, and we boycotted Nestle for unscrupulous business practices with infant formula and Third World mothers. I’m not sure how the rest of the 8-year-olds felt, but I was pretty sure that writing letters and giving up Nestle Crunch was pretty important stuff.
And of course I was raised Catholic; it was in my bones, almost genetic, and cultural in an everywhere-ness kind of way. But somehow, for me, those two streams, service and faith, didn’t really converge.
And then I began working in AIDS Ministry, and everything changed. Not long after I started as a volunteer, I remember asking Sr. Kathleen Minchin for something to read about service having a spiritual dimension, and I wasn’t even sure what words to use. I didn’t know then that I was being called and feeling being called to live the Gospel. And that it would change everything.
I have worked and sometimes lived with the community for over 16 years, much of my adult life. And I have been transformed by those experiences. As for living the Gospel, in some ways I have it easy, because the poor and the sick are always right in front of me at work, and I go home to children who’ve been wounded in terrible ways. But I often fail. I let doing the work get in the way of connecting with the people the work is supposed to help. I let ego or comfort or fear keep me from being open to loss and pain. Sometimes it’s just as simple as not being present to the ones I’m with. I’ve got to recommit to it every day sometimes many times in a day. So what the community gives me and many other Associates is the support to keep doing the hard work of the Gospel, the context to explore and articulate it, and the shelter in which to be vulnerable and transformed by it.
Recently, Jesuit Fr. James Martin offered as an evening reflection the following questions: What have I done for the poor? What am I doing for the poor? What am I going to do for the poor? 20 years of AIDS Ministry and so many other examples from this community answer the first two questions well. The third question, what will you do for the poor, is for the Ursuline Sisters to answer in the coming days. The Associates are along for the ride. And I am confident, to borrow from St. Angela, that we can all be ready for big surprises.

Water With Blessing

Water With BlessingsUniquely Ursuline! Sisters, Associates and Young adults bringing Water With Blessings to God’s thirsty children in Brownsville Texas and Matamporos Mexico.
We have been talking and praying for months about the possibility of taking Water With Blessing to the U.S. Mexico border as an Ursuline project.
Learn more: Water With Blessing Fact Sheet
How you can partner with us: Water With Blessing Partnership
Water With Blessings Youngstown


Aimee Morrison, Ursuline Associate, Honored As Distinguished Alumni

The Feast of Saint Ursula Liturgy was celebrated October 21,2013 at Ursulie High Scool and the 25th annual Distinguished Alumni Awards were presented.
aimee-morrisonEach year, this award is given to graduates of Ursuline High School who have distinguished themselves by dedicated service to our school and to the community at large. This year’s recipients were Aimee Amendolara Morrison (’79) and Thomas Murray (’72).
Aimee Amendolara Morrison graduated from Saint Christine School. She was a member of the Ursuline High School Class of 1979. She attended Bowling Green State University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education majoring in American Studies. Following graduation in 1983 she worked at Laurel High School in New Castle, Pennsylvania in the Social Studies department. In 1986, Aimee married Peter Morrison, a member of the Ursuline Class of 1978. They have two children: David, Ursuline Class of 2007, and Megan, Class of 2009. The Morrison’s are members of Saint Charles Parish where Aimee has taught CCD, worked on the Festival committee and was a member of the St. Charles Home and School Board. Aimee owned and operated “Aim to Please,” a gift basket company until she returned to teaching at her Alma Mater in 1997.
She is a very active participant in many activities and committees at Ursuline. She has long served the Auction Committee lending her expertise making gifts baskets. She is the faculty representative to the Youngstown Diocese Confederation of Teachers Executive Board. Aimee is also the faculty liaison to the Ursuline Home and School Association and served as a mentor teacher in the Resident Educator program. She also served as the Sophomore Class Advisor for 14 years and created the Pen Pal Project between third graders at the elementary feeder schools and the tenth graders at Ursuline.
In 1998, Aimee created the Students of Stewardship (S.O.S.) Club and had done most of her community service through S.O.S. Locally, S.O.S. participants have served dinner at the Rescue Mission and the Dorothy Day House, helped at the Casa Madre House and Habitat for Humanity as well as carried signs at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Aimee has planned, organized and traveled on nine mission trips: five to Matamoros, Mexico to help the Ursuline Sisters build houses, two trips to Appalachia with “Young People Who Care” and two trips to El Salvador with Epilogos Charities building houses. She is currently planning a third trip to El Salvador in Spring of 2014.
Aimee became an Ursuline Associate for the Ursuline Sisters this year. She was the recipient of the Golden Apple Teaching Award in 2003 and the Outstanding Educator Award by the Industrial Information Institute for Education in 2006.
Read Aimee’s acceptance speech: Distinguished Alumna Award

Doing Justice With A Compassionate Heart

Love never failsThe Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown commissioned six new Associates for the feast of St. Angela Merici in 2013. General superior Sister Nancy Dawson offered this reflection:

“I am positive that the words St. Angela has for us this night are these: “I am always in your midst.”

This is a night that all of our Ursuline Sisters and all of our men and women Associates really treasure – not only because it fulfills her promise, “I will always be in your midst,” but because on this night we are assured that the charism of Saint Angela Merici and her gifts will continue through each of these Associates – these six new Associates who are formally commissioned tonight. What a promise.

If we do justice, we are promised – and this is a famous saying in scripture that the Ursulines really like – if we engage in justice we are promised in scripture that all of us who instruct and do justice will shine as stars for all eternity. Let we Ursuline Sisters and Associates light up the skies, not in eternity but in the present, as we brilliantly shine with other stars of the past illuminating compassionate hearts and a spirited justice and action for the common good. Let that be our prayer at Mass tonight.

God bless you on this wonderful occasion, wonderful night, wonderful continuation of Angela’s charism.”

A Time of Celebration

The end of January is a time of celebration for the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown and Ursuline Sisters across the globe.

Jan.27 is the feast day of our founder, St.Angela Merici. Not only do we celebrate this wonderful and wondrous woman, we also welcome our newest Associates – Catholic adults who formally share in our values and mission.

2013 Ursuline AssociatesThis year’s group of Ursuline Associates all enjoy a career common with many of our Sisters – teaching! With the statue of St. Angela in our Motherhouse lobby, meet Aimee Morrison, Linda Lucarell Miller, Brian Smith, Jean Moran and Dan Wakefield. Missing from the photo are Terry Supancic and Kathy Lattanzi.

Amy teaches English at Ursuline High School. She also is the adviser of the Students of Stewardship Club (SOS), “which is devoted to sharing the time and talent of its members,” she says. “We try to align ourselves with projects run by the Ursuline Sisters.”

Also a UHS instructor, Linda teaches religion and is the liturgy coordinator. She earned her doctorate in ministry last year, completing her doctoral dissertation project on the charism of St. Angela Merici at UHS, which was founded by the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown. “I am most looking forward to shared prayer and companionship on the journey with the amazing women who are Ursulines,” Linda says of becoming an associate.

Brian’s an instructor at UHS as well, teaching Spanish.

Although retired from teaching, Jeannie continues to volunteer at the school where she taught and serves as an advocate and aid to an underprivileged single mother and her children. “It is important to me to become an Associate of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown because the Ursuline Sisters gave me so much, and I would like to give back,” she shares.

Dan is a high school history teacher and the Social Studies Department Chair at Ohio Connections Academy, an e-school serving students across the state of Ohio. He’s volunteered with our HIV/AIDS ministry since 2000, serving with Casa Madre, our program for children. :Becoming an Associate has allowed me to formalize my commitment to the work of the Ursuline Sisters,” he states.

Kathy is a retired teacher and principal who worked for the Sisters in the past. “I look forward to assisting them in their work in any way that I can because I believe in their work,” she says.

As a Pastoral Associate at St. Joseph Church in Austintown, Terry works in parish religious instruction. Terry says the Ursuline Sisters’ “inspiration and charisms have been a big part of my own value system and ideals for work. I am eager to help the Sisters in any way possible to continue their important presence in this diocese.”

The new associates will be formally welcomed during Mass at the Motherhouse Chapel Sat., Jan. 26, with a reception to follow. We now have nearly 60 Ursuline Associates.

Ursuline Associates in Action

Alma Ciriello, Ursuline AssociateEvery day, we Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown further the mission and ministry of St. Angela Merici in the Mahoning Valley and beyond.
But we’re not the only ones.
Our Associates – Catholic women and men who share our values and mission but are not called to become a nun or a priest — are making a real difference in our community. Take Alma Ciriello, who is being featured in this month’s Catholic Extension Magazine for her work in the diocese’s Hispanic Lay Leadership Initiative. Alma, an immigrant from Mexico, serves as Hispanic Coordinator for Stark County.
Alma is one of more than 50 Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Associates. “They join us in our prayer. They are volunteers in many of our ministries. They’re here at our funerals and our celebrations, and we support them in what their ministries are,” states Sister Norma Raupple, Director of the Associate Program. “It’s a mutually enriching experience for both the Sisters and the Associates.”
Associates “maintain their own lifestyle, and participate in the Ursuline Sisters’ ministries as their interests, talents and time allow,” notes Sister Nancy Dawson, General Superior. There are no financial or legal obligations, she adds.
If you’d like information on becoming an Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Associate, Email Sister Norma Raupple or call 330.792.7636.
To learn more about the program, watch this short video.

Sister Nancy Dawson’s Reflection on the Occasion of Acceptance of New Associates

Joy filled the chapel of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown Jan. 26 as a celebration took place honoring two events: the Jan. 27 feast day of Ursuline Sisters’ founder St. Angela Merici and the welcoming of seven new associates. The Associates program is a way for the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown to further the mission of St. Angela. Watch this video to enjoy the beautiful reflection offered by Sister Nancy Dawson, General Superior.
Text of Sister Nancy’s Reflection on the occasion of acceptance of Associates

The Ursuline Sisters Accept Seven New Associates

On Jan. 26, the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown celebrated two events: the Jan. 27 feast day of Ursuline Sisters’ founder St. Angela Merici and the welcoming of seven new Associates. We now have more than 50 Catholic Adults who are Associates – local lay people who share our values and mission. Watch this video to see the ceremony that welcomed our latest group of Associates.



Text for Acceptance of Seven Associates

Our Newest Associates

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown will welcome seven new Associates during a ceremony and Mass Thursday, Jan. 26 at our Motherhouse Chapel. The Associates program forges a deeper relationship between the Ursuline Sisters and Catholic adults who share our values and mission. The program also is a way for the Ursuline Sisters to further the mission of St. Angela Merici, the 16th-century Italian saint who founded the Ursuline Order more than 475 years ago. Her feast day is celebrated Jan. 27. These new Associates join 45 others in the program, now in its 11th year. Sister Norma Raupple, standing second from left, is the program’s director

Ursuline Associates Make a Difference

Four Times a year Ursuline Associates provide and serve a meal at the Dorothy Day House at 620 Belmont Ave. These men and women enflesh the spirit of St. Angela Merici today.
St. Angela,the Founder of the Ursuline Sisters, challenged people to live a deep spiritual life and to let their faith overflow into service. The Associates live a life of prayer and service in their daily lives and also participate in the many ways the Ursuline Community responds to the needs of the times through outreach to those who are marginalized in society today. St. Angela lived 500 years ago but her presence is with us today as we strive to live the Gospel.

The Associates who prepared food and served at the Dorothy Day House on July 13th were: Patty Canton, Patty Ewing, Mickey Fata, Colleen Flannagan, Jackie Fyock, Sean Fyock, Laura Kotheimer, Lindy Kubic, Sr. Norma Raupple, Sr. Isabel Rudge, Scott Schulick, Monique Smith. Other Associates helped by preparing part of the menu: Peg Eicher, Peg Mills, Flora Schneider, Jo Subler,Rose Mary Yaniglos.

This enriching opportunity provides Associates a chance to nurture relationships among themselves as well as with the guests at the House.      

It is also a way to make a difference in the lives of others and to allow ourselves to be challenged.



Renewing Friendship at Summer Gathering of Associates

Associates, Sisters and Guests exchanged lively conversation and warm greetings at their “annual picnic” on June 26th. The time together began in the gathering space outside of the Motherhouse chapel. During the prayer we reflected once again on the presence and vision and spirit of our Founder, St Angela Merici. The picnic food included delicious casseroles, salads and deserts contributed by the Associates as well as Chicken and beverages. Summertime allows for relaxed and animated interaction among us as we share our journey of faith.

An Annual Celebration of Community

Ursuline Sisters, Members of the Company of St. Ursula and Associates throughout the world remember their “Mother” and Founder, St. Angela Merici on January 27th each year. In Youngstown, Ohio, the Spirit was alive and well as the entire Community of Sisters and Associates gathered for Mass and Dinner. After Sister Nancy Dawson’s challenging words to us, seven men and women came forward to enthusiastically announce their decision to be associated with the Ursuline Community. The Sisters proudly responded by expressing their intent to share their lives, their prayer and their ministries with the Associates. Angela was among us as we enjoyed each other with hospitality,encouragement and renewed energy.

Saint Angela Today – Alive in Us

The entire Community of Ursuline Sisters and Associates gathered to celebrate the gift of St. Angela, their Founder. They celebrated their lives and their faith with the Eucharist and a special meal. They were inspired and challenged by the message of their Superior, Sister Nancy Dawson. Seven new Associates were welcomed. They brought new life and energy to the enthusiastic gathering.

A Consecrated Life

Seeds of the Ursuline Charism were planted in Matamoros Mexico in 1997 when five Ursuline Sisters arrived in Brownsville, Texas to serve at the Border. Sisters Maria Teresa DeLlano (Roman Union Central), Michelle Guerin (Roman Union East), Elizabeth Miller (Ursulines of Chatham), Gia Mudd (Maple Mount), and Norma Raupple (Youngstown) gathered in order to live among the people and offer service. Within the first year there were women who were attracted to the spirit and vision of St. Angeal Merici. They soon began a process to become Ursuline Associates. Silvia Alonso was one of these women. Silvia came with a friend to the house where the Sisters lived to participate in “Via Cruces” during Lent of 2000.

In 2006 Sister Norma and four Associates made a pilgrimage to Italy sponsored by two Ursulines from Brown County. The highlight of the trip was spending time with two members of the Company of Angela known as “The Secular Institute of St. Ursula”. Through research of Mary Cabrini Durkin, we were connected with Mirella Turri, the Director of the Company in Trent, who speaks Spanish. Mirella spent the afternoon with us giving us an orientation to the original model of Angela’s Company. This was the beginning of Silvia’s discernment to learn more about the Company. Eventually the Company in Trent, Italy, discerned that they would give birth to a new Company in Mexico.This would be the first in a Spanish-Speaking Country among the International Federation of Secular Institutes.

Silvia began the formation process three years ago. Silvia has become accustomed to living her new way of life which is similar to religious life. She has been in dialog with Mirella each month and has reflected with Sister Josefina Granada from Iguala, Mexico,regularly. She visits the Mexican Ursulines for community gatherings and retreats in Puebla. Sister Miriam Fidelis from the Cleveland Ursulnes and the Associates in Brownsville also support Silvia. Since she retired after 28 years of teaching, she has dedicated herself to evangelization, religious education and pastoral ministry. She serves in “Los Pinos”, a very poor area where the people are trying to build a small church in their colonia. Silvia’s mother , Santos, who is also an Ursuline Associate, lives with her.Their home is the gathering place for immediate and extended family where all find a place of welcome and love.

Silvia made her vows of poverty,chastity and obedience on November 25, 2010. This is the day that St. Angela officially started the first Company in Brescia, Italy in 1535. At this time the women did not live together in convents but gathered for prayer and support. This original model is the model of the members of the Federation which Silvia has become a part of. Mirella and two other members from Trent, Italy, the priest from the diocese of Matamoros, Silvia’s family and two Associates witnessed her profession of vows.

Scott Schulick – A New Ursuline Associate

Scott says “The spirit and mission of the Ursuline Sisters and the impact they have had in the past and the present is what drew me to the program”.  Scott has known the Ursulines since attending Ursuline High School.  He is a believer in education and sees that  the Ursuline Sisters have been in the forefront of education in the Mahoning Valley through the years.  Scott is Vice President, Sr. Trust Investment Officer and Treasurer at Farmers Trust Co.  He also serves as a Trustee of  at Youngstown State University and various other community organizations.  He is an active member of Our Lady of St. Carmel.

Sean Fyock – A New Ursuline Associate

Sean is is the Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity of Mahoning County.  He also serves as the Youth Minister at St. Edward Parish.  He and his wife, Jackie sponsor pilgrimages to El Salvador every year. St Charles parishoners offer their time and service to their  “Sister Parish” in El Salvador.   Sean and Jackie live close the the Motherhouse and are able to join the Sisters for evening prayer at times.

Jackie Fyock – A New Ursuline Associate

Jackie is an active member of St. Charles Parish where in addition to an annual pilgramage to El Salvador she participates in the Social Justice Commission,  JOY Parish Renewal and serves as a Eucharistic minister to the homebound.  She strives to deepen her spiritual life and believes that being associated with the Ursuline Sisters would be a source of strength.  She works as a home-health aide and enjoys the outdoors.

Alma Ciriello – A New Ursuline Associate

Alma appreciates her association with the Ursuline Sisters because it is a way to help people who need help.  When she came to the United States, she received help and advise from others. Now she believes that it is her turn to give back to people who need a hand.  Alma does this through volunteering at Beatitude House “The Potter’s Wheel”  by tutoring others who need to learn English as a second language.  She also works at Humility of Mary Health Partners: Immigrant Outreach to widen her contacts with those who are in need.  Alma maintains a full schedule at YSU where she has been on the deans list for the past two years.  She is studying geriatrics.  She lives in Youngstown with her husband and sons and belongs to St. Brendan parish.

Nicole McElroy – A New Ursuline Associate

Nicole is a doctoral student and graduate assistant at Akron University where she is also involved in research.  Previously she traveled to Germany where she taught and studied as a Fullbright Scholar.  During her time as a student at YSU, Nicole was a regular volunteer at Beatitude House where she enjoyed sharing her time with the children.  Nicole says “The Associate program has really helped me grow spiritually and has added a new dimension to my relationship with the Ursuline Sisters”.

Monique Smith – A New Ursuline Associate

Monique states “The Ursulines are out in the world living the call of Christ”.  Monique lives her call as a teacher at Summit Academy Community School in Warren.  She is a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Youngstown where she was part of R.C.I.A.  She continues to serve in the parish in many areas. Monique enjoys time with her family. As an Associate, she continues to serve her Church and Community while strengthening her relationship with God.

Ursuline Associates gather for a Retreat Day with Fr. Mike Woost

Ursuline Associates are women and men who live the gospel message in the spirit of St. Angela.  They are in relationship with the Ursuline Sisters in many ways throughout the year.  One of the places where they give service together is the Dorothy Day House.

The Sisters and the Associates take time each year for retreat.  Fr. Mike Woost from St. Mary Seminary in Cleveland was the retreat director for the Sisters last June.  On Saturday,  November 20,  he offered a retreat day,  “Living Life as a Contemplative in Action”,  for the Associates and members of the Company of Angela.  There were thirty men and women who took time out of their busy lives to participate in this day of prayer.