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ALLOUEZ — When you walk into the day chapel at St. Matthew Church on a Tuesday evening, it seems at first to be more like a family gathering for Thanksgiving. There are warm hugs and welcoming handshakes; small talk about sports, the weather or a recent illness. But then there’s a peace that descends on the chapel as the prayer service begins.
Photo: Sam Lucero
The rosary or evening prayer group is led by any one of the members who begins by asking for prayer intentions for parish and family members, along with prayers of praise and thanksgiving. Jim Ball, one of the original members of the prayer group, leads the rosary but others chime in as well to lead a decade. The rosary is followed by the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions and then closes with evening prayer.
This group of anywhere from 10 to 20 parishioners has been meeting since the Lenten season in 1999. Tom Schumacher, a 58-year parishioner and one of the group’s charter members, explains, “At the beginning, we had Stations of the Cross and said the rosary. When Lent was over we wanted to do something different. So we added the Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions and then evening prayer, which is a compilation of inspired prayers. The format is consistent every Tuesday and lasts about 30 minutes.”