All Night Vigil Is Hidden Source of Spiritual Vitality

Parish

Our Lady of Peace
New York
New York
United States

More Info

For more information, contact Mario Bruschi Director; Office of Devotees of Padre Pio at 212-838-6549.

Young people and Catholics of all ages flock to this All Night Vigil for prayer, confession, and fellowship.

"I have seen that the vigil is the perfect place for today's young people, so many of whom are frustrated and lack direction. First of all it is a place of prayer. And the breaks are a time of sociability, of Christian brotherhood and sisterhood." Mario Bruschi, All Night Vigil Coordinator

The need it meets

A spiritual and spiritually transforming alternative for late-night weekend activities, the All Night Vigil provides both a prayerful and social atmosphere. Parishioners and other participants are given a non-threatening opportunity to regroup spiritually, receive the sacraments, and make a fresh start in their Christian discipleship.

Where it came from

In 1960, Pope John XXIII officially recognized the importance of the All Night Vigils. The Pope opened the last part of the Fatima Secret and later met with the Bishop of Fatima, who subsequently wrote to all other Bishops throughout the world to start All Night Vigils of prayer and reparation to Our Lady of Fatima. The All Night Vigil was formalized in the United States in 1969 by Father Archangel Sica O.F.M.

How it works

The Devotees of St Pio of Pietrelcina hold an All Night Vigil every First Friday of the month, from 9:00pm on Friday to 6:00am on Saturday. Two priests take shifts hearing confession throughout the Vigil. Hymns are interspersed throughout the prayers and devotions.

The following schedule was developed by Fr. Archangel Sica O.F.M., but it is flexible. We have compiled the prayers in a Vigil Book that is made available to all participants.

  1. Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament
  2. Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary
  3. Prayers to Our Lady, the Sacred Heart and the Holy Spirit
  4. Silent time for private personal prayer and meditation
  5. Chaplet of Divine Mercy
  6. Mass (this occurs around 11pm, so that people can go to confession beforehand)
  7. Before the final blessing, the priest processes through the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament. Mass concludes with the Angelus before adoration continues.
  8. After Mass, for those who wish, we have a 45 minute snack/coffee break in the parish hall. Some people go home at this point, others are just arriving.
  9. Resume adoration with the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary
  10. Time for personal prayer
  11. Stations of the Cross (plenary indulgence)
  12. Another snack/coffee break around 3am
  13. Resume adoration with the Glorious Mysteries
  14. Litanies and other devotional prayers
  15. Solemn Benediction
  16. Mass at 5am

The results

  • Initially the Vigil had 25-50 participants.
  • It increased gradually to our current attendance of 200-300 every month; this has been going steady for 37 years.
  • Seventy percent stay for the entire Vigil.
  • An average of 75 people go to confession during each Vigil.
  • Many participants (including entire youth groups) come regularly to the Vigil from other parishes, even from out of State.

We believe that most of the benefits have been invisible. The measurable benefits have occurred in individual lives:

  • Increased faith in the True Presence of our Lord in Blessed Sacrament
  • Answered prayer requests, both spiritual and material
  • Conversions of heart and overcoming of habitual sins
  • Families growing closer together

A strong sense of spiritual community has emerged among the participants. The Vigil has therefore become a staple ingredient in many participants' spiritual lives. It has also become a place to invite friends, family members, and acquaintances who are going through difficult times or who are curious about growing in their faith.

Key elements

  • A pastor willing to have an All Night Vigil in his parish
  • Priests willing to celebrate Mass and hear confessions
  • A dedicated, organized lay director to serve as coordinator
  • A responsible prayer leader
  • A parish hall/room available for the coffee/snack breaks

How to implement it

  1. Announce the start of the All Night Vigil from the pulpit at all parish Masses
  2. Announce it in the bulletin
  3. Advertise in newspapers, radio, etc.
  4. Word of mouth will increase participation

Rev. Bartholomew Daly, M.H.M. is pastor of Our Lady of Peace.

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