“How to disarm the human heart in the presence of violence is the searching question that challenges us today. Contemplative prayer unfolds an experience of love which is the moving force of peace. How wonderful that we are all called to touch this power, the source of our own peace as well as that of the world.”
Sister Lilla Hull was born in Glencoe, Illinois and grew up in Chicago, joining Maryknoll in 1939. Six years later, she asked for assignment to the Maryknoll Sisters Cloister. Maryknoll Sisters Foundress, Mother Mary Joseph Rogers, described this call as “a different kind of work to do. An integral part of the Congregation, these Sisters are called to live their lives in prayer and sacrifice for the support of all missioners, especially Maryknollers, and the missionary endeavor of the universal church. Sister Lilla served as president of the Association of Contemplative Sisters in the United States. She has given retreats and reflection days for Maryknollers in Latin America and Asia as well as the States.
With others she founded the first cloister outside of Maryknoll, NY, with a prayer presence adjacent to Navajo tribal lands, near Gallup, New Mexico. Their chapel was shaped like a Navajo hogan where the Indians could come to pray, and talk. They also shared a common well which was on the Sisters property. These neighbors were compatible as the Navajo distance themselves from the city in order to live more fully in harmony with nature.
When the Contemplative Community decided together to respond to invitations to both Guatemala and the Sudan, it meant leaving the Navajo. Sister Lilla spent ten years in the Contemplative Community in Lemoa, Quiche, Guatemala, an Indian community that had suffered massacres during years of violence. Presently Sister Lilla continues as a Spiritual Director in NY.