LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — A group of Wisconsin nuns say their order has been praying nonstop for hundreds of thousands of people for the last 137 years.

The La Crosse-based Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration claim to have been praying night and day for the suffering longer than anyone in the United States — since 11 a.m. on Aug. 1, 1878.

Some 180 lay people, or "prayer partners," help the 100 sisters. Usually the nuns take night shifts and lay people cover the days. Sister Maria Friedman says she never has problems finding people to help.

People can submit requests in person, by phone, email and online. One recent recipient of prayers was Laura Huber, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. She says she felt "warm and loved and cared about by strangers."