All Things Are Possible Through Me
This June 17th the entire Church celebrates the Feast of Corpus Christi (The Body and Blood of Christ). It will be a particularly special day for my parish, Sacred Heart of Jesus, Webster, Massachusetts, because it will be the fifth anniversary of our Chapel of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. The chapel has been an immense blessing for our community and the surrounding area. It is what I call the "ongoing miracle on Main Street," which is where the chapel is located. It resides in what had been an abandoned convent. Let me tell you how this miracle came about.
Nine years ago I was living at the Fraternity of Priest’s Visitation House in Steubenville, Ohio while auditing classes at Franciscan University during my sabbatical. I was deeply impressed with the Portiuncula, the Chapel of Perpetual Adoration on Campus. The sight of students and faculty praying reverently before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament bolstered my faith and invited me to become more prayerful. However, I had to see with my own eyes what I had heard; that there were people actually there at two and three in the morning. So one morning I drove to campus through the deserted streets and entered the Portiuncula at 3:30a.m. and found that I was not alone. That night I prayed, "Lord, if there was one blessing that I could ask for my parish it would be this; a chapel of perpetual adoration where people could quiet themselves in Your Presence, share with you their struggles and fears, listen to your assurance that they are loved, and grow in holiness."
I have to confess that I doubted that that prayer would ever be accomplished, but it was an ideal for which to strive. When I arrived at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish I initiated Eucharistic Adoration on the First Fridays. However, it was a struggle to get it started, and it was only mildly successful. Myself and two others filled in quite a few of the hours. Then in 1995 at the regional celebration of Corpus Christi the Bishop said he would like to see a Chapel of Perpetual Adoration open in our corner of the diocese. One man, Ed Malley, just recently retired from the phone company, heard the bishop’s request as a personal invitation to him. He asked me if it would be all right if he pursued this, and the rest is history.
What a marvelous history it has been! What miracles of grace and healing love have flowed into people’s lives. Keeping their "appointment with Jesus" each week has helped so many people to live better, and others to die well and at peace.
The youth group meets most Sunday nights and as part of their regular routine they visit the [PEA]Chapel together for twenty minutes. I can see some vocations budding, for more than one has found their way back during the week. A high school boy and his dad keep their hour together. At a retreat recently this young man didn’t hesitate to say that he plans to go to the seminary someday.
The celebration of Mass is an inexhaustible mystery. Without a doubt it is our greatest treasure. It is like a swift river of grace flooding into the heart of every believer. It is a refreshing bond of love with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet for many of us the celebration of Holy Mass passes too quickly.
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament affords us an opportunity to more leisurely absorb what can at times be too difficult to grasp at Mass. We come to realize that Jesus is actually here with us, and that with Him at our side all things are possible.
Promoted by the Holy Father, Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration has become a growing phenomenon throughout the Church. As it is here in Webster, it is primarily a work of the laity. They have initiated it and have kept it going. And as happens every so often, the fervor and devotion of the faithful has inspired their priests to persevere with greater zeal in fulfilling their vocation. It is, I believe, a part of God’s plans for renewal.
(The above article, is written by Fr. Mike Roy, of Webster, Mass.)
Start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in your parish today!
"How can this be?" "The Holy Spirit will come down upon you and the power of the Most High will overshadow you" (Lk. 1:34-35). The angel explained to Mary how she was to become the mother of God. The power of God was manifested at the annunciation and Jesus came into this world (as a tiny embryo) inside the womb of His virgin mother. Likewise a tiny piece of bread, The Host, becomes the body of Jesus—by the power of the Holy Spirit—every time the Priest prays the words of consecration at every Catholic Mass. (Excerpt from our pamphlet "Adoration for Children.") Let us say "yes" like Mary so that PEA may be made possible in every parish!
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