How do we start a Prayer Group of the Association?
Here are some easy ways to do this:
- One way is to ask the priest to give a small talk asking people in the church to sign up.
- Or allow you to speak to the people at Church and tell them about the Association and ask them to sign up.
- Or distribute a flyer and ask people to sign up. (Click here to download the flyer)
- Or put a notice in the weekly bulletin of the Parish that all who are interested in starting a club with devotion to Mary should meet at this time and place.
- Or another way is to ask people to come together at your house for a prayer group each week. You can also put it in the bulletin or have the priest announce the meeting will be at your house.
Here is what the Miraculous Medal prayer group is about.
Before you ask the priest to give a talk to have people sign up, you must be able to explain to him what joining the Miraculous Medal means. In other words, what would you like him to say? Perhaps he will let you speak at the end of Mass and then you can ask the people from the pulpit to sign up.
- It is a prayer group that prays to Mary, the Blessed Mother by saying her novena. And by doing this, prays to God.
- It thanks Mary for her great love to them as our Mother, and of course, thanks her for her great sacrifice in being the Mother of God, Jesus Christ our Lord.
- The prayer group dedicates itself to helping bring Jesus Christ and devotion to Mary into the world.
- It shares with each other during the meeting, the favors that it prayed for and has now received through Mary’s intercession.
- One way it brings Christ and Mary into the local place is by wearing her Miraculous Medal. The story about the gift of this Medal to St. Catherine Laboure will be told to people.
- It asks Mary to help the members in their faith and in their own lives.
- It asks Mary to help others in their lives.
- Most importantly, it asks Mary to help people make a good confession and return to the Church.
- By bringing people to pray in a group, it helps them get to know each other, be friendly with each other and pray together or share their faith.
The end of the flyer or announcement or this little talk always includes the first meeting date, the place and the time and that the meeting will be less than 1 hour. If they would like to come, ask them to sign a sheet in the back of church or fill out the flyer page and give it to you or leave it in a box. If they cannot come at that time sign the sheet also. Try to make it as convenient as possible for the people.
At the First Meeting:
Try to have the following ready before the people arrive:
- The Novena Prayers in their language. Have enough copies for everyone to have and take home. It can be a simple print out of the page on the website. (Click here to download the flyer)
- A statue of Mary, preferably like the Mary on the Medal, with her hands outstretched on a table. However, any statue of Mary will do. If you do not have a statue of Mary, use a Crucifix. If nothing use a lit candle.
- Have a small lit vigil candle light next to it.
- Have chairs around the table.
- Paper and pen at each seat.
- An empty bowl or basket for intentions.
- Suggest that the group be approximately 15 – 20 people. If more than this, consider starting 2 groups at two different times, etc.
- Consider if a name for the group is needed. You can name the group Miraculous Medal Prayer Club or group etc. If you need to have a second group, then start putting names before the “Miraculous…” For example “Holy Trinity Miraculous …” or “St. Joseph Miraculous…”
After all have gathered and sat down, Welcome them and, as the leader, explain what the Prayer Group of the Miraculous Medal Association is. Use the nine points from page one. Answer any questions. FOR QUESTIONS ABOUT TIME AND PLACE AND DETAILS, TELL THEM THAT THE GROUP WILL ANSWER THESE AT THE END OF THE MEETING.
Next, ask everyone to take the paper and pencil and write down their intentions that they want everyone to pray for at this meeting. For example, “For my Father’s operation” or “For a cure for the cancer of my friend.”
Fold it so that it is private and put a date on the outside of the intention. At the end of the meeting, all should take their intentions home or if possible, making sure of secrecy, leave them at the statue of Mary for the week. If not, destroy them. Mary knows their intentions.
Pass the bowl or basket and put the intentions in it. Place the bowl by the Statue of Mary.
The Novena Prayers
As the leader, start the Novena Prayers. “In the name of the Father…” The prayer “Come Holy Spirit” is very important to us and to Mary. When the Spirit came to Mary, Christ was made incarnate, present in the world. We want Christ present at our meetings. Click here for the Novena Prayers.
Ministry or Good Work of the Prayer Group
When you finish the Novena Prayers, ask the group what they might do individually or as a group or part of a group to help the parish or one or more people who are in need. Anything from being a reader at Mass to helping the Church athletic club to helping the food pantry or visiting the sick and home bound. Let the group add their comments and thoughts. (About 15 minutes).
- At the first meeting ask everyone to go home and think about these activities.
- At the second meeting ask people to volunteer to do them.
- At the third and successive meetings ask people to report on their activities.
- Keep a list of what people do and when.
Next, when you have their attention, talk about “House Details”.
- Make sure that everyone has signed the list of names AND has contact information – email or cell phone number. You do not need addresses, etc. unless you want them.
- At each meeting from here on, there will be attendance taken according to this sheet. It is important for everyone to know that they are wanted and needed.
- Ask the group if this should be the time and place of the meeting each week. If they want to change it, try to get everyone to agree.
End of the Meeting
End the meeting by praying the Rosary. Alternate the decades and prayers so that as many as possible can be involved.
This should be enough to get going for the first couple of meetings. As the group continues, you can add things that will help the meetings become more interesting. You can alternate doing some of these things at each meeting as long as you prepare for it and tell the group that is what will happen at the next meeting. No one likes surprises. Think of adding one or more of the following AFTER the Novena Prayers and before the Ministry or Good Work of the Prayer Group:
- Have a brief message about Mary. This should be about 5 minutes or less.
- This can be the different parts of the story of how the Miraculous Medal was given to St. Catherine Laboure. OR
- This can be an explanation of one of her titles. OR
- It can be what you think of Mary OR
- What she means to you OR
- How you came to know Mary OR
- An explanation of a Feast of Mary that is near.
- Read the Gospel for the next Sunday and ask the group to tell you how it helps them (do not ask for a sermon or what the definitive meaning is).
- Share stories that they know about intentions that Mary has answered. Ask to share Favors received from the Blessed Mother and then the leader at the end of each favor, says “we thank you Mary”, and all say “Amen” after each one.
For further information about the Miraculous Medal Association read our Statutes here.