Eucharistic adoration: Parish marks 10 years
CLARENDON HILLS, Ill. (Catholic Explorer) - A myriad of believers chanted as they participated in an outdoor eucharistic procession Feb. 3 on the grounds of Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills.
REAL PRESENCE - Bishop J. Peter Sartain participates in a eucharistic procession Feb. 3 at Notre Dame Parish in Clarendon Hills. The procession marked the 10-year anniversary of the parish’s offering of extended adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Adoration is not held around the clock or every day at the parish. But, the Eucharist is exposed in the monstrance for a total of about 70 hours during week days in the parish’s eucharistic chapel, according to parishioner Philip Dalen. The chapel, which seats about 12 people, is located inside the church building. The retired police officer and his wife, Anna Marie, coordinate the scheduling of adorers. They are members of the parish’s 14-person adoration committee.
Before the procession, Bishop Sartain served as principal celebrant of the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Mass at Notre Dame Parish. After his homily, he took the opportunity to bless the faithful adorers. He asked for the Lord’s blessings upon them as well as those considering the possibility of praying before the Blessed Sacrament during adoration periods at the parish. “May they find comfort and strength” as they worship in the chapel, he said.
One hour per week
Nearly 200 scheduled adorers volunteer one hour per week to pray near the Blessed Sacrament inside the chapel, noted Philip. The idea is to maintain a presence in the sanctuary throughout the entire time the Eucharist is exposed on the altar, he said. Other believers can enter and pray anytime during the adoration periods. “They can spend only five minutes if they want to,” he stressed.
Jesus loves the human race “so much that he wanted to stay with us,” said Anna Marie. Through Christ’s institution of the Eucharist “he found a way to be with us,” she said. “The Lord is really there,” she added, talking about God’s presence in the Eucharist.
Along with other adorers, Anna Marie said she often prays for an increase in vocations to the priesthood as she meditates before the Blessed Sacrament. “We can’t do it without the priests,” she said, speaking about the Eucharist. She vowed that she and others will continue to prayfor the leaders and priests of the diocese during adoration periods.
Other surrounding faith communities, including Holy Trinity Parish in Westmont, Visitation Parish in Elmhurst and St. Isaac Jogues Parish in Hinsdale, offer adoration around the clock every day or extended adoration periods throughout the week. “I think it’s on the rise everywhere,” Philip said.
The Dalens have four adult children and six grandchildren. Philip said he wishes adoration had been made more available when he and his wife were raising their children. He said adoration seemed to halt at many parishes in the 1960s following the Second Vatican Council. The family man said he was delighted when Pope John Paul II began encouraging the faithful to rekindle the devotion at Catholic faith communities.
Describing the experience of adoration, Philip said, “You get a sense of quiet, calm, peace and joy.” Stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the world and praying in the serene atmosphere is something “I look forward to.” He added, “It’s a wonderful devotion.”
The husband and wife agreed they are confident the number of scheduled adorers will continue to rise at Notre Dame Parish as more and more people experience prayer in the adoration chapel. The members of the parish’s adoration committee want to recruit enough people to stage adoration around the clock in the chapel, Philip said. “We’re hoping for perpetual adoration someday.”
Recruiting new ‘adorers’
The adorers are continuing to encourage teens and young adults to participate in the chapel, Philip mentioned. The group often places advertisements about adoration in the parish bulletin. But, getting new people “is very difficult,” he admitted. They have jobs and family obligations, he said. “We just want them to know that they are welcome anytime” to meditate on the gift of the Eucharist, to give thanks for their blessings or to ask the Lord for help, he added.
Extended adoration has been “wonderful” at Notre Dame Parish, Father Robert Schuler, pastor, told the Catholic Explorer. The adorers are “so dedicated to the Lord and faithful to their commitment to adore the Blessed Sacrament,” added the priest.
Christ’s “body, blood, soul and divinity” are present in the Blessed Sacrament, said Cathy Hubeny, an adorer at the suburban parish. During adoration of the Eucharist, she and her husband, Jack, often ask the Lord to protect and care for their family members, she said. The husband and wife have seven adult children and 10 grandchildren.
“It’s not a chore to be there … It’s a privilege to sit before the Lord,” said Patricia Laffey. She and her husband, Myles, pray at 10 a.m. every Thursday in the adoration chapel. “The Lord has given us seven days, we can spend one hour before him,” she said.
This story was made available to Catholic Online by permission of the Catholic Explorer(www.catholicexplorer.com), official newspaper of the Diocese of Joliet, Ill.
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