McGrath Institute invites participation in prayer pilgrimage with the saints

By Anna Bradley

Praying With The SaintsPraying With The Saints

Notre Dame, IN — The saints lead us to Christ. By deepening our relationship with the saints as they teach us how to pray, we are invited into their dialogue of love and can better know and serve the Lord. As a means of cultivating this relationship, the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame is offering an opportunity to make a prayer pilgrimage with the saints.

Praying with the Saints emerges from the belief that the best way to come to know the saints and to grow into the love of Christ with them is to practice praying the way the saints themselves prayed. The series launches on January 1, 2021 and invites participants on a daily journey of prayer with four particular saints, each of which will be featured for three consecutive weeks. 

The series will begin by praying into silence with St. Teresa of Avila, under the guidance of Dr. Leonard DeLorenzo, Director of Undergraduate Studies and Academic Director of Notre Dame Vision at the McGrath Institute. The second module will teach users how to pray with joy like St. Francis of Assisi, under the guidance of Sr. Ann Astell of the Notre Dame theology department. The third module features St. Bernadette and her praying of the rosary, guided by Dr. Katie Cavadini of the theology department. The fourth module is guided by Dr. John Cavadini, McGrath-Cavadini Director of the McGrath Institute, and teaches participants how to pray the psalms with St. Augustine.

Each three-week module will begin with a short presentation about the featured saint and his or her particular prayer before guiding participants through the daily practice of prayer. The modules conclude with an invitation to offer the fruits and struggles of the previous week in one final prayer of dedication at the Sunday Eucharist or as part of an act of spiritual communion.

“The four saints in our series are so well known that we might forget that we have only just begun to discover who they really are,” said Lenny, creative director of the series. “We want to risk getting to know them on their own terms, which means letting them share with us how they received and responded to Christ in prayer. Praying with the Saints is a way for each of us to grow in sanctity on a day-to-day basis, first by learning about how these saints prayed and then actually praying as they prayed. The greatest distance is sometimes between the mind and the heart: this series takes us on that journey, step-by-step.”

To sign up for Praying with the Saints, a project of the Sullivan Family Saints Initiative, visit

Contact: Amy North, Program Director of Communications, 574-631-2894,