By Anne Marie Amacher
DAVENPORT — A ministry of healing through prayer and Scripture will be offered during Lent at St. Alphonsus Parish in Davenport.
Marcia Moore, a member of the parish, director of Eagles’ Wings, a ministry in Davenport that offers Christian counseling, spiritual direction and retreats, and who has been involved in healing ministry for more than 30 years, learned of a program called Afterglow of the Eucharistic Ministry through Msgr. Marvin Mottet, a retired priest of the Davenport Diocese.
The ministry started in the Diocese of Toledo, Ohio, in the 1990s; it includes Scripture and passages from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
“The Eucharist is healing,” Moore said. “We are all called as faithful to pray for others and that is what this ministry does.”
Moore had a meeting with her pastor, Father Thomas Parlette, for another purpose. She discovered that he was a convert to the Catholic Church as was she. As she was about to leave, she asked him what he thought of the healing ministry. “He said, ‘tell me about it.’”
Moore had previously talked with a woman from the parish in Toledo where the ministry originated to learn about it and how it was formed.
Moore explained to Fr. Parlette that the woman had known people who left the church because they felt no one listened, cared or prayed for them. The woman thought about it and decided a ministry that uses traditions of the church could promote healing.
Moore said the ministry will be offered after the Saturday 4 p.m. Mass. Following the conclusion of Mass, people can come forward to ask for a prayer for physical, emotional or spiritual needs. So she thought this ministry would be a good fit for the parish.
After Fr. Parlette gave his permission, Moore went to the parish council, which also gave its support to the ministry. She has a total of 12 people who will go through training for the healing ministry this month. Two teams of two people plan to be available after the Mass each week.
“In training the volunteers learn about confidentiality of a person’s request, they are not to give advice, they are to listen, they are to give back to the Lord and they can bless that person.”
People’s requests might include praying for themselves or a loved one who is ill, for strength to get through an issue or “whatever is in their heart that needs healing and strength,” she said.
After Mass, a person seeking healing goes up to the team of two. That person is “greeted in Jesus’ name.” Then the person identifies what he or she seeks. The team asks the person to focus on Jesus. There is prayer and anointing with oil that has been blessed.
Moore plans to begin the program during Lent at the church.