The Cloistered Contemplative Community of the Handmaids of the Precious Blood was founded on May 25th, 1947 (Pentecost Sunday) by Father Gerald M.C. Fitzgerald, s.P.
Vocational Inquirers: We are looking for women of deep faith who have the willed desire to give themselves utterly and totally to Christ in lasting commitment for the sake of His Priests.
Life: We are a cloistered contemplative community with pontifical status, dedicated to the sanctification of priests and committed to living an intense life of prayer centered around the Person of Jesus Christ, truly Present in the Eucharist, and deeply loyal to Him and His Church.
Some aspects of our Life:
Love of the Mass: We treasure the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as the highest act of worship offered to the Blessed Trinity. There is no greater gift on earth or a more efficacious prayer for the salvation of souls.
- Eucharistic Adoration: As our Founder so clearly stated, our life “is tied, anchored, bound, fastened, and focused in the Blessed Sacrament.” This is our apostolate, which allows us to extend our love for Jesus and our gratitude to Him to every hour of the day and night. Each Sister enjoys at least one daily Holy Hour in addition to several nocturnal Holy Hours each week.
- Divine Office: The entire Liturgy of the Hours in English is chanted daily in chapel together by all the Sisters.
Love of Our Blessed Mother and the Rosary: We have a deep, filial love for Mary, the first Handmaid of the Lord. We seek to imitate her fiat and contemplate Christ with her in faith, particularly in the Rosary we pray daily in community before Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
- Personal Prayer: Since prayer is the life and strength of our own souls, and the soul of our apostolate, we take seriously the need and the importance of faithful, daily communion with God.
- Spiritual Reading: Every day we set aside dedicated time to prayerfully read Sacred Scripture and other holy works.
- Silence: Our practice of silence is a means for preparing us for communion with the living God. Interpersonal relationships also have a place as we live our community life in charity and self-forgetfulness.
- Religious Habit: We wear a full length wine red habit, a scapular with an attached Trinitarian emblem, a long white veil, cincture, and Rosary. The wine red color symbolizes the Precious Blood and our white veil symbolizes the Eucharist. A simple silver ring is worn by perpetually professed Sisters.
Formation: Under new regulations from the Holy See (cf. Instruction Cor Orans “Praying Heart” on the life on cloistered nuns), our Aspirancy Program now consists of at least 12 months of spiritual and human formation, and our Postulancy one to two years. The Novitiate has a duration of two years and the Juniorate a total of five years. Initial Formation, therefore, will be no less than nine years and not more than twelve.
Spirit: Pro Christo In Sacerdote Suo. For Christ In His Priest. Our spirit is that of unbounded love of Jesus Christ in His Priests. All that we do, in union with and in imitation of the Precious Blood, is directed so that priests be holy priests. We offer ourselves in immolation and reparation for all priests, particularly for those who have lost sight of their sublime calling, praying for the grace of their conversion. We sacrifice our lives completely for the souls of priests, mindful of the vast numbers of souls just one priest can influence in his lifetime.
External Apostolates: (Ways we share our charism with the outside world.)
International prayer apostolates open to laity, clergy, and religious. As these are prayer associations, they are open to members of third orders as well. Lay Associates and Confraternity Members fall under the umbrella of an Adopt A Priest program, seeking to promote support and prayers for priests.
- Lay Associates of the Priesthood: Since its inception in 1977, over 30,000 lay men and women have enrolled and received the first name of a priest to pray for daily. Daily prayer for the priest assigned to them is a member’s only requirement.
- Confraternity of Mary, Mother of Priests: Functions just as the Lay Associates, but open to priests, religious and deacons.
- Oblates of the Precious Blood: For laity, priests, religious, and deacons who feel more closely drawn to share in our life and charism of praying for priests. The Oblates were established on the Feast of Corpus Christi, June 21, 1981, under the encouragement and direction of the Servant of God, Father John A. Hardon, S.J. An Oblate’s main purpose is to promote the glory of God through personal holiness, and prayer and sacrifice for the sanctification of priests. Candidates, upon acceptance, undergo a one year formation course by correspondence before making a Solemn Resolution of Love. This program is currently being updated.
Handmaids of the Precious Blood
Cor Jesu Monastery
596 Callaway Ridge
New Market, TN 37820
** For Vocation Inquiries, please email or write.
We are represented in the Diocese of Knoxville with our motherhouse located in New Market, TN.