In His Presence

“I hope that this form of Adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”

St. John Paul II spoke these words in an address at the forty-fifth International Eucharistic Congress, in Seville, Spain in June of 1993. It is fitting, and I would say, Providential, that today, his feast day, we open our Perpetual Adoration Chapel, joining the many who have answered this beloved pope and saint’s call.

For ten months, much work has been going on here at St. Peter’s to make this possible. It has been a true and humbling blessing to watch so many people in our parish come together to make this happen. They have been planning, praying, organizing and recruiting. They have torn down and built up walls, designed spaces and hung doors. Some among you have nearly taken on full time, unpaid jobs, for which we will never be able to thank you enough. Over 200 people have committed their time, as scheduled adorers, substitutes and hourly coordinators. The response has been overwhelmingly positive.

Has it been daunting? Yes. Stressful? A bit. Exhausting? Most certainly. Will it be worth it? Absolutely. Yes. There have been signs of God’s hand in this all along the way. When you are in the chapel, you can feel the rightness of the place. You can’t help but feel that, in at least this one thing, you’ve understood His will and you’ve responded in a way that pleases Him immeasurably. I have watched as everyday struggles have become extraordinary miracles. As doubters became adorers, and roadblocks became solutions, Christ, through us, has created a place where we can go to Him and simply be near Him.

If you have talked to someone who visits Eucharistic Adoration, (or maybe you yourself are one) you have likely heard from them how transformative the experience is. I will tell you that building a chapel, and all the organizing that goes into filling it, are transformative as well. My faith has been tested. There are powers that would triumph in a failure, and they have not been shy about making this known to me. My faith has been strengthened. I trust in Him with more confidence than ever before. God won’t allow us to fail when we seek His Will. The more obstacles that came along, the more God provided.

My return to faith was inspired by the One True Presence of the Eucharist, that’s true, and, for me, the Blessed Sacrament has always been at the core of my relationship with Christ and His Church. This has not changed, nor did I expect that this project would do so. What did surprise me was how much I still had to learn about this devotion. Time and time again, I, and others on the Adoration Team, attended information sessions or meetings and talked about our experiences. We shared with others the history and theology of this holy practice.

I discovered that however well we explain Eucharistic adoration, I needed to accept that, because of its very nature, there would always be some lingering mysteries about the Eucharist that were beyond my human reasoning. This is a good thing. We live in a world which drives us to know every last detail of everything we do. We measure our steps, we monitor our carbs, we tap into social media to read about the minutia of our acquaintance’s lives. Adoration invites us to prayer, from a place of trust and deep faith. We are encouraged to come without a task list or our own agenda.

Embracing this chapel took a tremendous leap of faith by our parish. By now, I shouldn’t continue to be surprised by the remarkability of this community. Your efforts, your encouragement, your personal commitment, and most of all, your prayers have created an oasis of rest and peace in a world of demands and noise.

May God bless us and bless our time in Perpetual Adoration. Because of His Infinite Love, we are opening the doors of St. Peter’s Perpetual Adoration Chapel this weekend. I pray that you are looking forward to your time with Him as much as I am!

Lisa Amos

Pastoral Associate

 

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