ABOVE — Joyce Wells of Portland makes her first promises as a member of the Widows of Prayer. She’ll wear the widows insignia, pray for priests and live a life of holiness and prayer. Benedictine Abbot Jeremy Driscoll and Suzanne McKenzie, Oregon’s first Widow of Prayer, officiate.

LEFT: Mary Jo Hettwer of Silverton makes her second promises. The ceremonies took place at Mount Angel Abbey. The Widows of Prayer began in Wisconsin in 1994 and McKenzie professed vows in Oregon in 2019. “The goal is to turn your entire life into a prayer,” McKenzie told the Sentinel in 2020. “Oregon needs more prayer warriors. People need a purpose. This is a very big purpose.” (Photos courtesy Suzanne McKenzie)