The ministry of intercession is gaining importance and visibility on Taipa Island, thanks to the spiritual seeds that are being sown by the Associação Piedosa do Escapulário do Carmo, or Pious Association of the Scapular of Our Lady of Carmel. Established less than a year ago on the initiative of Father Domingos Un, the parish priest of Our Lady of Carmel Church, the Association started to collect intercession requests last October and, ever since, its members have already prayed for the intentions of over 130 people, the Associação Piedosa revealed earlier this week.
Of the 137 requests that it has collected, the vast majority concern health issues. Over the last seven months, the association has received 43 requests of intercession for the sick and 24 requests made by people who asked the association to pray for their own health or the health of specific persons. Thirty-three other requests were directed towards specific intentions.
A significant part of the intercession requests were addressed by Catholics from Taipa Island, but the Association’s members also prayed for the intentions of people from other local parishes or even from outside Macau. “The intentions for which we pray are from people who have something to ask from God. Some, their family members are sick and they ask God to grant them health, but there are also those who come to us so that we can pray for more earthly matters,” one of the members of the Associação Piedosa do Escapulário do Carmo told O Clarim, adding, “Most of the requests are made by Catholics, but not all of them attend Our Lady of Carmel Church. We have even collected intercession requests from abroad.”
The organization amasses 20 to 30 new intercession requests every month, a trend that appears to be on the rise. The requests are usually deposited in a box that was placed in Our Lady of Carmel Church, outside the sacristy. The way in which prayer requests are processed may have convinced many to contact the Association so that it can intercede for their intentions. “Since we introduced this project, we have been collecting 20 to 30 intercession requests every month. But this number is on the rise. On the one hand, people are now more aware that we are doing this kind of service. On the other hand, I think they feel touched by the fact that someone cares about them, particularly those who are not in the habit of asking for help,” the same source told O Clarim.
Intercession is the act of requesting God for spiritual or temporal favors i.e. praying to God on behalf of oneself or others.
In the Association’s case, there are about thirty volunteers that intercede every month for the intentions of other people, in what they see as one of the most beautiful forms of communion. “Our aim with this service is to promote a culture of appreciation and care for one another. We took inspiration from the Carmelite sisters, who are in the habit of praying for the intentions of the faithful. That was what led us to promote this practice starting from October 2021. We have about 50 volunteers in the Association. About 30 of these regularly take part in the intercession movement,” the member of the Associação Piedosa do Escapulário do Carmo told O Clarim.