Today’s Catholics are bombarded daily with overwhelming news of everything going on throughout the world. From the endless news cycle to perpetually scrolling social media, we see so much stress and frustration with society and our culture. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI gave us an antidote to this anxiety when he said, “In the world there is so much noise, so much bewilderment, there is a need for silent adoration of Jesus concealed in the Host… It is a source of comfort and light, particularly to those who are suffering.”
Spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a beautiful gift that is offered here at St. Patrick’s Parish. This effort to offer adoration frequently in the parish began in 2019 when Fr. Michael Goodyear felt a strong call to grow the offering of adoration in the parish. He asked several parishioners to form a committee to find a space to put a chapel in the existing facility. One of those committee members was Jim Pierson.
Just before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, the committee decided on the library area of the parish. The pandemic slowed the start of this project but didn’t stop it. With the celebration of Corpus Christi Sunday in 2020, the parish dedicated that weekend specially to kickstart the opening of the adoration chapel.
“We would have loved to have perpetual adoration from the start, but we weren’t able to do that,” Jim says. “So it began immediately after morning Mass and ended at 7 p.m. Here we are, three years later and those are still the same hours. From that initial energy at the start until now, we have hit a bit of a plateau.”
As Catholics, we believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As we are currently celebrating the Eucharistic Revival, taking advantage of spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament is a special way to revitalize this vital part of our faith. While it is true that we can pray anywhere, we are reminded of His Presence when sitting in front of the Eucharist. The inscription on the altar in the adoration chapel is the motto of St. John Henry Newman, “cor ad cor loquitur” — “heart to heart.”
“There are stories of people who have life-changing experiences in adoration,” Jim says. “For me, it has always been more gradual. I feel such a closeness and intimacy with Him when I sit in adoration. The small space of the chapel means that you are physically so close to the Blessed Sacrament.
“When we are traveling in the mountains, I experience God’s majesty in the mountains and the beauty of the earth,” he adds. “But in adoration, the closeness to His Presence in the Eucharist and the heart-to-heart conversation is such a wonderful thing to experience.”
Those who commit to this Holy Hour fill their time with prayers such as Lectio Divina, the Rosary, and the Divine Mercy Chaplet. Some might write in a prayer journal or read spiritual books. It is also a time to quiet our minds and our hearts so we can hear God’s voice in our own hearts.
“I have felt a push from the Holy Spirit to grow the Eucharistic Adoration past our current plateau to truly be perpetual — a full 24 hours a day,” Jim says. “From the time that I approached Fr. Quezada about it and when we did a weeklong perpetual adoration in June, I leaned on the Holy Spirit and He came through. We did this in honor of the first year of the Eucharistic Revival. We began on Sunday after the 11:30 a.m. Mass and had adoration around the clock for the week leading up to Corpus Christi Sunday.
“Our parishioners really stepped up to support this,” he adds. “We would like to make that leap to have this available for our community all the time.”
Committing one hour of your week to spending time in the presence of God is something from which everyone can benefit. Those who have committed this hour to our Lord have found it to be such a blessing in their lives. They have dedicated that time to quiet their hearts and minds, slow down from the rush of this busy life and, in that time, find peace and a deeper relationship with Christ.
“When I first began this, I didn’t have much experience with adoration, but I embraced this calling to help lead the adoration efforts here and my life has truly been blessed by it,” Jim says. “I like to think that it has changed me. I have become more Christ-centered in my life and I have certainly been strengthened by it. It has helped with my spiritual maturity as well.”
To sign up for an hour, or to help extend our offering of perpetual adoration, contact Jim Pierson at email@example.com or 719-964-6792 (call/text), or Anne French at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-243-1422.