Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
When I was introduced to Eucharistic adoration twenty-five years ago, I had no idea I was being introduced to a spiritually impactful practice, one that has been a source of help in my spiritual life ever since. It is a practice that is known by other names, such as Exposition, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, or even simply “Adoration.” Whatever the name, it is a devotion that leads us to deeper reverence for Jesus in the Eucharist and to real growth in prayer and contemplation. If you have never experienced Adoration, it is fairly simple. The Eucharist is placed on the altar in a vessel called a monstrance for the prayerful devotion (adoration) of the faithful. Sometimes adoration takes place for a brief amount of time: for example, on Wednesday evenings, we have adoration from 7 – 8 PM in the church. At other times, adoration may be extended, as it is on the First Friday of the month when we have adoration from 9 AM – 9 PM in the chapel. A practice that has grown in popularity over the years is perpetual Eucharistic adoration. Perpetual adoration gives people the opportunity to find a refuge of prayer and silence at any time of the day or night. Many parishes that host perpetual adoration have sent numerous young men to study for the priesthood, young women to convents, and have high levels of engagement and participation among their parishioners.
A while ago, the Lord placed on my heart a desire to see perpetual adoration begin here at St. Pius X in our beautiful chapel. During the quarantine days of the pandemic, I was moved to see how many people came regularly to pray in the chapel, and how they did so with such regularity that I could almost set my watch by when their cars would appear in the parking lot. The chapel is already open 24 hours a day. How powerful it would be, I thought, if the chapel was not simply open, but occupied by someone praying at every hour! In order for perpetual adoration to be a reality, we would need many people to commit to an hour of prayer each week, at a specific time. We would need adorers not only from our parish, but from our neighboring Catholic communities. I envision St. Pius being more and more a center of prayer for our town and surrounding area, and I am convinced that this is not simply my idea, but is a reflection of the desire of Jesus for our parish.
This year, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops launched a period of Eucharistic Revival (www.eucharisticrevival.org). It calls the entire Church in the US to a deeper love for Jesus who feeds us in Holy Communion. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament allows us to prolong our communion with the Lord in prayer. As the Eucharistic Revival in our country progresses, I hope that a new center of perpetual prayer in Fairfield may contribute to the renewal of the Church both locally and nationally. Not long after the Eucharistic Revival was announced, I was approached by a young woman who has a burning passion for the Lord in the Eucharist. Angelica Martinez has graciously volunteered to help launch our adoration effort. I would ask you to please keep this special intention in prayer, and ask God to grant us the volunteers and adorers we need in order for Perpetual Adoration to become a reality at St. Pius X. If it is at all possible, I would love for this to begin on the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, May 13, 2023. As you pray, you may feel an inspiration from the Lord to make a commitment to a regular time of adoration. Please contact Angelica (email@example.com) if you would like to assist in this important prayer ministry.
I am away from the parish this week for a little vacation before Lent begins. As always, I am incredibly grateful to Fr. Silva and Fr. Blatchford who so generously cover Masses and sacramental needs while I am away, to say nothing of taking care of Duke in my absence. I am also indebted to our parish staff. Without their hard work, very little would happen here. They are a gift to me…and also to Duke, who will surely be checking their garbage cans for leftover fragments of lunch. You are all in my prayers, and I ask again for your prayers for our effort at starting perpetual Eucharistic adoration.