My prayer corner

“The modern saints by Gracie” facebook page has asked people to share their prayer corner. Here are two photos of the place where I pray in a small room set apart in my house here in Plan Grande, Concepción, Copán, Honduras,

On the upper left is the San Damiano Cross mounted on a piece of wood. I Huntington, Indiana, I mounted it on a piece of wood from St. Feliz Friary. In the mid-1970s, they were doing some renovations of the sanctuary and I believe this may have been part of an altar rail. I cherish this because Blessed Solanus Casey, OFM Cap, had lived in that friary,

On the upper right is a cross I put up composed of pieces of paper with laments. I did this about the beginning of March this year, in light of the pandemic.

In the center is an original icon of Mary and Jesus, written by Yaroslav Surmach Mills.

The image of Saint Francis was a gift from Assisi from my former pastor who died a few years ago from cancer.

The image of Saint John the Baptist is the first icon I had. I purchased it at Mount Saviour Monastery, near Elmira, New York, which was the place where I returned to the practice of the faith in the early 1970s, after about a year alienated from the church.

On the far left is an angel which I purchased in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I believe it is in the style of the nearby Missions.

On the far right is an icon of Saint Oscar Romero, whose beatification and canonization I was blessed to attend.

In front of the icon of Mary and Jesus there are four small pieces.

There is a piece of the Berlin Wall which a couple I know gave me after their visit to Berlin.

There is a piece of a tile of a house in Hiroshima which was a gift from Sister Mary Evelyn Jegen, a sister of Notre Dame de Namur, who was a co-founder of Pax Christ USA and whom I knew from the board of the Fellowship of Reconciliation.

There is a piece of what I think is a small bone (or olive pit) which I found under an olive tree in Lydda, Palestine – now in Israel. A friend’s mother and grandparents (Orthodox Christians) had lived there until they were forced out in 1948.

About 2001 I participated in a Mass in a small unfinished chapel in Los Leones, Canton Platanares, outside Suchitoto, El Salvador. There, on July 24, 1980, the seminarian Othmaro Cáceres and twelve young people with him were murdered by a death squad.

At the front is a wooden cross, made locally from a cross I purchased in the Pauline Sisters’ shop in New York City a few years ago. We had copies made to give to the sick, since the cross fits comfortably int he hand.

Around the cross is a thirty three bead “rosary” which I use for praying the Jesus Prayer each morning.

A small angel and a small dove were gifts from two young women I worked with when I was a campus minister in Ames, Iowa.


Other Images from my Prayer Room

Saint Oscar Romero and Saint Lawrence
Dove of cloth made by a friend many years ago.
Poster of two martyrs beatified inGuatemala about two years ago.
Saint Benedict the Black (gift of a Franciscan friar in the late 1950s) and an image of Mary (Guadalupe) bought in a market in Guatemala City.
Between them is a gift from the Iowa City Catholic Worker, Jesus in the boat with the disciples. The image is from the Andes.
There is also a shell with the Our Father carved on it; this belonged to my father. There is also a hand cross with the image of the Australian Saint Mary McKillop.
Icon of Elijah the prophet and a carved wooden cross from Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala,where BlessedStanley Rother were martyred, 1981.

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