Just like Peter, James, and John in the Garden of Gethsemane, many of us find spending a quiet hour with Jesus difficult at first. When making a holy hour, it helps to begin with five or 10 minutes and then work up to an hour. As a parish, we had the same strategy seven years ago. What began as an hour here and there, increased to 12 hours a day, four days each week. On Feb. 11, 2017, we began to hold Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and our parishioners have stepped up to sustain this for seven years.
Linda Oppelt coordinates Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, which requires the combined effort of our roughly 150 committed guardians — many of whom have committed to more than one hour a week.
“Often a person will sign up for one hour, not sure how it will go,” Linda says. “After they’ve been doing it a while, they realize they really like it and sign up for more.”
What seems difficult at first — whether it is because we have a busy schedule or we aren’t sure how to spend an hour in prayer — becomes something to look forward to every week. The chapel has many books, Bibles, and rosaries available for use, but Linda notes that many parishioners who commit to an hour eventually set structured prayers aside to simply rest in Jesus’ presence and pray from their hearts.
“Sometimes there is a barrier of fear as someone wonders, ‘What could I possibly do in silence for that amount of time?’” Linda says. “You can gradually work up to it. Any relationship that is important to you, you need to spend time nurturing — and there’s no relationship more important than our relationship with God.”
Just as the graces from Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration have filled our parish, so do those graces fill the lives of those who give that time to Jesus.
“The common thing people share is their sense of peace, regardless of what is going on in their lives,” Linda says. “Spending that time with Jesus fills you with an internal peace that allows you to confront what is happening in your life in a more grace-filled way.”
The Divine Mercy Chapel, though locked with a coded lock, is available any time of the day or night for parishioners, whether they have signed up for an hour or wish to stop by spontaneously. For anyone who doesn’t know the code to enter, Linda’s phone number is posted on the door.
To celebrate our seventh anniversary, Bishop Golka will be joining us for the 9 a.m. Mass on Feb. 11, followed by a small celebration in the parish hall. Additionally, Holy Apostles will be hosting an educational display about Eucharistic miracles that weekend, on Ash Wednesday, and the following weekend. Please join us in deepening our love for our Eucharistic Lord!
If you have any questions about Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, to commit to an hour, or to become a substitute, contact Linda Oppelt at 719-338-4348 or firstname.lastname@example.org.