The first Pentecost Novena was made at the direction of Jesus, when He sent the apostles back to Jerusalem to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit on the first Pentecost.

It’s the only novena officially prescribed by the Church, and the faithful of the Diocese of Allentown are invited to participate this year by registering for “Be Not Afraid,” a Pentecost Novena Retreat sponsored by the Institute for Ministry Formation at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, Pa.

The word “novena” is Latin for “nine”. Novenas are a traditional form of prayer consisting of public or private prayers repeated for nine consecutive days.

The Pentecost Novena runs from May 22 through May 30. For more information, and to register, visit