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Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer

News of the Diocese

August 16, 2023

Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer
Planning to begin for next Nine Nights of Night Prayer

Round eight of Nine Nights of Night Prayer concluded Aug. 15 on the feast of the Assumption with the traditional ice cream social at each of the nine host locations.

After prayer, everyone was invited to enjoy a bowl of the custom ice cream flavor Black Madonna (of Montserrat), crafted by Country Parlour Ice Cream Co., with input from Father Damian Ference, vicar for evangelization. The dark chocolate ice cream with sweet, dark bing cherries earned positive reviews from many.

(See photo gallery above.)

Host locations were the Center for Pastoral Leadership (Resurrection Chapel) in Wickliffe; Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lorain; St. Anthony of Padua Church in Lorain; St. Bridget of Kildare Church in Parma; St. Jerome Church in Cleveland; St. Joseph Church in Cuyahoga Falls; St. Peter Church in Loudonville; St. Stanislaus Church in Cleveland and St. Wendelin Church in Cleveland.

Susan Kidd, director of operations and communications for St. Wendelin Parish said the parish embraced the event.

“We had 65-plus people in the church for the last Night Prayer (Aug. 15),” she said, adding average attendance was in the 20s most of the other nights. This session was Aug. 7-15.
“The feedback from folks was wonderful. They loved the time -- short, prayerful, uplifting, soul calming, beautiful. Thank you so much for asking us to be a part of Nine Nights of Prayer,” Kidd told Father Ference.

As the event gains traction throughout the eight-county diocese, Father Ference said many people have been introduced to Night Prayer, which he describes as “an ancient and brief – yet meaningful – way to conclude the day.” Father Ference said having nine different churches host the event each time also allows people to visit new worship sites. “People can go to the same church each night or visit a different one,” he added.

More than 40 people stayed after Mass on Aug 15 to pray Night Prayer at St. Anthony of Padua Church in Lorain, located on the shore of Lake Erie. Father Edward Smith said he was pleased with the turnout as parishioners and guests gathered in the church lobby to enjoy their ice cream. Diana Lesiecki, parish business manager, scooped the ice cream, which drew rave reviews. Father Smith also noted that the parish is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year.

A group of youth ministers who attended the Blessed Carlo Acutis Institute at the Center for Pastoral Leadership last week participated in Night Prayer at the CPL and traveled to nearby St. Stanislaus Church another night. For some, it was their first visit to the shrine church which is known for its beauty and ornate interior. The historically Polish parish also has a rich history of hospitality. Father Eric Orzech, pastor, welcomed visitors to Night Prayer and encouraged them to learn about the parish and its history.

Father Ference said he is pleased with the success of Nine Nights of Night Prayer. When he introduced the event in 2021, he said the plan was to have nine new parishes host the prayer for nine nights leading up to each Marian feast day. The next session of Nine Nights of Night Prayer will begin on Nov. 30 and will conclude on Dec. 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception.

The nine host parishes will be announced soon. Meanwhile, Father Ference said he is working on the next custom ice cream flavor.

“I’m thinking maybe it will be a vanilla ice cream with a caramel ribbon and some pretzels,” he said. “The pretzels have knots and would tie into Our Lady, undoer of knots.”

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