Arima’s Precious Blood Prayer Group celebrated its 50th anniversary in October. Core members submitted the following article which traces their history.
“This cup is the New Covenant in My Blood which will be poured out for you” (Lk 22:20)
In 1971, Ursula ‘Aunty Babsie’ Bleasdell (dec), after praying for some time was inspired to start a prayer meeting at her Ave Maria House at 47 Green Street, Arima. In a very short time, the meeting grew too big for the house with people overflowing to the yard. She then, after praying, approached the Prior at the Holy Cross Chapel seeking permission to have the meetings at the chapel. This was granted for Thursdays.
After prayer and fasting, the name for the prayer meeting was given – Precious Blood Prayer Group. The group was led by Aunty Babsie with 12 members of the group: sisters, and brothers, young and senior.
This group was one of the first prayer groups in Trinidad or, I am daring to say, in the Caribbean, for Aunty Babsie went and formed other groups throughout the region.
Our group grew in numbers so quickly that even the benches from the kindergarten at the back of the chapel had to be used. People from all over the country attended the meeting; people from east, west, north, and south of the country came to sing, praise and worshipped the Lord.
At every meeting, the Holy Scripture was expounded in great depth on our faith in Christ Jesus. A youth group was later formed, and which met at one of the family homes of the mother group. When this youth group stopped, another one began some years later at the Ave Maria House led by Mary Persad, a covenanted member. Destined for Christ Youth Group was formed some years later.
As the meeting grew, Precious Blood began having days of renewal with different prayer groups on weekends. By now prayer groups began to spread throughout the country.
We then invited members to become covenanted members of the group by committing themselves to the different ministries —visiting the sick and ensuring everyone was cared for in one way or the other. Smaller groups within the covenant group were formed so relationships could be fostered to build community.
Up to present time, prayer meetings are held on Thursdays at 7.30 p.m. at Holy Cross Chapel, Arima under the guidance of Eusebia Garcia and ably supported by a team of seven other core members. Our elders continue to guide and support the current core and members with their wisdom.
Our group’s anniversary is celebrated on the fourth Thursday in October every year. Our mission is ‘To see the Church, The Body of Christ come alive and to grow in Holiness. We must be Holy as God is Holy’.
Members are involved with several ministries outside of the prayer group. They also meet every Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Santa Rosa RC Church for intercessory, healing and deliverance ministries.
Our members assist any priest in their deliverance ministries wherever and whenever they are needed.
Life in the Spirit seminars are conducted within the community and with other prayer groups. Growth classes are held every Monday at 7 p.m.
Our women’s ministry, Precious Daughters of the Beloved meet every third Saturday at Holy Cross Chapel. Members also assist the cluster in different ministries.
We wish to thank our former leaders Roy Medina (dec), Una Bartholomew (dec), Anne Lee King (dec), Illtida Nicholas, Fr Paul Bousignac, Anne Marie Richardson and Courtney Auguste for their continued support in the past.
To our benefactors, all others who served and supported the group in any way, we thank you. Thank God for His wisdom and guidance for the past 50 years.