Evenings are often the hardest time of day to get through, for people who are bereaved - but that's when a nun in New Orleans begins her work - praying with people around the world who have lost loved ones. Sr Shirley le Blanc, a Sister of Charity, started up the All Souls Apostolate of Prayer a couple of years ago. She told ICN: "I felt the grace to move with what I felt was the will of God in a personal ministry to pray for deceased souls. "I took my mission to the internet and have reached people around the globe who do believe in the power of prayers for their deceased loved ones. I answer every one who leaves an e-mail address. I spend many late night hours reaching across cyberspace to them." She said: "Some of their stories bring tears (often). I had no idea there were so many suicides in this world. The other evening, she said: "I pulled up my posts for new prayer requests and one solitary soul was asking for prayers for four murdered people. I think it takes courage to write and place a name in the hopes of a little solace and comfort for their loved ones to be remembered so specially." A native of Louisiana, Sr Shirl lives in New Orleans, although her order's Motherhouse is in Cincinnati. She was given permission to go home to take care of her mother before she died, and stay with her family - but will eventually return to Cincinnati, where there are 700 sisters. (330 in the infirmary). She said: "As the year draws to a close I communicate with our Sacristan at our Motherhouse and she schedules Masses throughout the year for All Souls Apostolate of Prayer. I then, in turn, attach a copy of those Masses to the people who write in and post a prayer request to my web site. "So many times it leads to further communication especially if their grief is still present." she said. "I am especially touched by the number of men who lovingly offer their mothers up for prayer. Just recently an 11 year-old child reached out one night in cyberspace to ask for prayers for her Mom and rain for her Dad as the remote farm in Colorado was suffering from drought conditions and she didn't know what to do." To visit the Apostolate of Prayer click on: www.geocities.com/asap_online
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