Our Sorrowful Mother's Ministry

Our Mission

The mission of OSMM is to bring people closer to Christ. We hold monthly retreats that feature holy priests who instruct and serve as retreat masters. Our retreats include presentations by priests and speakers, daily Mass, Confession, Holy Rosary, Prayer Teams and time for individual prayer and meditation.

Our Prayer Teams pray with and for people for their personal intentions. They also pray with those who suffer minor spiritual warfare and who are seeking healing.

Our aim is to provide a place of love and mercy to all who come here and to encourage reconciliation and unity for their lives and with God.

History of the Ministry

About twenty years ago, Debbie Pryor and Vanessa Keck were each looking to deepen their faith and renew their connection to the Catholic Church. God’s plan began to unfold as they met through a mutual friend and began to visit religious sites and attend conferences together. During this time, they regularly attended healing services in the St. Louis area presided over by Fr. Peter Rookey eventually bringing him to Vandalia to hold a healing service at their home parish. Though he had many followers in St. Louis, Debbie and Vanessa were asked to escort him whenever he was in the area. This began their deep friendship with Fr. Rookey as they would pick him up at the airport and then drive him to parishes and hospitals to pray for the sick and dying. Through the providence of God, he became their friend and mentor.


By 1997, their faith had grown and they desired to share the full truth of the Catholic faith to everyone they knew. After attending a conference in Chicago they returned feeling disillusioned because too many conferences seemed to have an emphasis on money and secular concerns, so they decided to sponsor their own conference. Though they did not realize it at the time, they were being called to be a voice in the wilderness.


The ministry they formed was named Our Sorrowful Mother’s Ministry. It was a natural choice since their home parish in Vandalia is called Mother of Dolors and Fr. Rookey is a priest of the Servants of Mary who have the Sorrowful Mother as the principal devotion to their order. God’s plan continued to be revealed. Five retreat weekends were held in 1998 in addition to the annual conference. It was the first of the annual conferences that continue until today.  The ministry continued to grow rapidly. The following year, five more retreat weekends were held, but that year over 1500 people attended the annual conference. Read the complete history...



Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother


Bethany House


Mary and Martha


Holy Sepulcher