Tag Archives: eucharistic adoration

Ineffable Power of a Still, Small voice…

Providence legate Jason Macari likes to think of perpetual adoration as the nuclear power plant of his parish. It’s an analogy he first heard Deacon Paul Lambert use during work on an adoration chapel for St. John Vianney Parish in Cumberland, RI, after the parish council voted to make 24/7 prayer before the Eucharist a top priority

‘…sense of power emanating from this place…’

“I had the sense of power emanating from this place as people were spending time in prayer with the Blessed Sacrament,” Deacon Lambert said. “. . . You can talk about parish missions, retreats or a catechetical program, but if 200 to 300 people are coming to the parish to pray one hour a week, I can’t think of anything more significant in terms of the spiritual life of a parish.”

Jason’s wife, Martha Anne, had experienced that power at her parents’ parish, St. Casimir in Elmira, NY, where her mother and aunt started the perpetual adoration program 25 years ago. Martha Anne had wanted to see it happen at St. John Vianney, but until now, the parish had only offered monthly adoration.

When perpetual adoration was suggested, Fr. Raymond Theroux, St. John Vianney pastor, confessed he was a bit skeptical that the parish of 2,400 families could fill the openings needed to maintain the ‘round-the-clock schedule. “We have a lot of good people, but I never really thought we would get enough to sign up for regular attendance.” After presenting the plan to the parish and several surrounding parishes, however, most of the time slots were filled with two “adorers” for each hour.

Evolution of a grand, prayerful space

For the adoration chapel, Father Theroux proposed using a former sacristy that had been converted to his office, saying he would be willing to relocate to the rectory. Initially, Jason, a parish council member who oversaw the project, thought they could paint and carpet the room, add some chairs and place the monstrance holding the Blessed Sacrament on a counter. “But one thing led to another,” he said, “and as I kept on looking, I really felt very strongly that the space wasn’t adequate.”

Because the room felt cramped, Jason asked permission to remove cabinetry and a low tile ceiling, revealing a cathedral ceiling above. As the room opened up, he said, “It felt much more grand and spacious and fitting for a prayerful space.”

Once that happened, Deacon Lambert added, “It was kind of the beginning of a mutual excitement about possibilities.”

The project snowballed when Martha Anne learned that the chapel at nearby Mount St. Rita Health Centre was being demolished and that many of its artifacts were available for the taking. Deacon Lambert recalled that the chapel had beautiful marble tile with gold inscriptions and when he saw one that read: “O Mystery of Faith, O Sacrifice of Praise, O Holy Bread, O Chalice of Perpetual Salvation,” he thought, “Oh boy, this could really work if we could fit it into the wall.”

After Jason confirmed the idea with some measuring, the next step was getting a group of parishioners to remove the tile, which was in four 2-by-4-foot sections, each weighing about 200 pounds. “None of us had done anything like this,” Deacon Lambert said. But after 30 minutes, the crew had dislodged the first piece, and over the next several hours, were able to remove the entire inscription intact. Then they got the idea to fill the wall behind the Blessed Sacrament with more tile. Jason came up with an estimate and in another day, they had the pieces they needed.

They also retrieved sections of a brass communion rail, including two gates, which were turned into custom kneelers for the adoration chapel. Another section of the rail will eventually be placed outside the chapel at the entrance.

With the cost of installing the tile and the addition of a separate heating and airconditioning system and four stained-glass windows, the budget grew from about $10,000 to $100,000. This required naming a committee to undertake a fundraising campaign that is close to reaching its goal. “It got more expensive,” Jason said, “but it became a more reverent space for the Blessed Sacrament.”

Fitting dedication on Mercy Sunday

The project took nearly nine months to complete. “It probably should have taken three or four months,” Jason said, “but it’s in God’s time and as we were thinking out loud about things and how they were going to be configured, it kind of took its own course. For the first few months, it felt like we weren’t doing anything but thinking through aspects of the chapel.”

Along the way, parishioners learned about the availability of the marble from Mount St. Rita’s and one of them, Mike Arico, devised a unique design for a monstrance that had been in use at the parish for 23 years. The top portion, which has a sunburst motif, is now embedded in a piece of tile and the base is in a wooden pedestal, tying it into the design of the church.

The result, Jason said, has been a “mini-church” that is part of, not separate from, the main church. His favorite feature of the chapel is the marble wall with the “O Mystery of Faith” inscription. “I love the inscription and I love the fact that the green marble is so grand and makes you feel like it’s a special place.” At the same time, he said, “There’s something intimate about the space. It’s just the right size. You feel like you’re able to be with God in a very intimate space. It’s not too big or too small.”

Those who cannot come to the chapel can view the monstrance and make a virtual holy hour online through a link to a live video stream on the parish’s website.

St. John Vianney’s adoration chapel was dedicated in April on Divine Mercy Sunday, and the theme of that feast is reflected in the four stainedglass windows that are being made and have yet to be installed. The windows depict the Divine Mercy image, the prodigal son in the gospel of Luke, Mary visiting Elizabeth and proclaiming God’s mercy in her Magnificat and St. John Vianney, known for his ministry of hearing confessions.

Although Jason’s background is in mechanical engineering, commercial real estate and consumer and medical products, he agreed to take on the job of general contractor for the chapel as a labor of love. “I’m not really a construction guy,” he said, “but it felt like a full-time job for a while.”

A cousin and several friends who are carpenters provided additional help, as did some of Jason’s employees at Macari Development, Inc., a real estate development firm.

Knowing He hears and is there

Now that the chapel is nearly complete and perpetual adoration is underway, Jason said he can’t help but think of Pope St. John Paul II, who once prayed that every parish would have a perpetual adoration chapel. “Watching it go into our church, I really started understanding what he was thinking when he said that. . . . Everything seems to work better and everyone seems to be more a part of the parish.”

He added, “I really believe it’s the foundation that everything else will be built on. Adoration is at the core of who we are as Catholics.”

For Martha Anne, adoration has taken her spiritual life to a different level. “Adoration allows me to go and constantly be in God’s presence and I know that God hears me. When I bring my intentions to Him, I really feel like He’s there and I feel like in adoration so many of my prayers are answered. It has made my spiritual life alive and when I leave that room, I don’t just leave Jesus there, I take Him with me. . . . He’s always in my heart and I can take him to others because I really feel such a deep spirituality when I come before Him in the Blessed Sacrament.”

For help in setting up a parish perpetual adoration program, contact the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament, Plattsburgh, NY.

JUDY ROBERTS is a Legatus magazine staff writer.

21 Ways to Worship

This short, inspired book is sure to help you get the most out of your Holy Hour . . .

21 Ways to Worship
Ignatius Press, 2012
176 pages, $14.95 paperback

If you’ve ever struggled with making a Holy Hour, Flynn’s new book, subtitled A Guide to Eucharistic Adoration, is a great resource to help you develop a deeper, more intimate relationship with our Eucharistic Lord.

In simple-to-understand language, Flynn offers sage advice on how to get the most out of your time with Jesus. From journaling and surrender to visualization and the role of Mary, this short, easy read is a delight for those who need a little help in front of the Eucharist!

Order: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Come, let us adore Him

Legates take on Eucharistic Adoration Initiative in lead up to the 25th anniversary . . .

Keith Armato

As Legatus progresses toward its 25th anniversary next year, members are embracing one of the Church’s most powerful acts of piety in preparation: Eucharistic adoration.

Throughout the centuries, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist has led to the development of multiple devotions, one of the most popular being adoration.

Embracing this devotion will allow God’s grace to surge through the lives of individual members — and Legatus as a whole. So promises Keith Armato of the Chicago Chapter, a member of Legatus’ board of governors and a main proponent of the “Eucharistic Adoration Initiative.”

“The initiative came out of discussions among the Chicago host committee for the 2011 Summit,” explained Armato, who served as Summit chairman. “We talked about ways to enhance participation at the Summit’s adoration chapel. Then some members mentioned how good things in their lives were due to a commitment to Eucharistic adoration. There was powerful testimony, and somebody mentioned how good it would be if we encouraged adoration beyond the Summit as a way of strengthening Legatus. So I put together a proposal to the board of governors.”

Charles LiMandri

Like his fellow board members, Charles LiMandri was not a hard sell when Armato presented his proposal.

“In the 10 or so years that I’ve been doing Eucharistic adoration, I find that for me there are no longer any gray areas surrounding important societal issues of concern to serious Catholics,” he said. “These include contraception, abortion, same-sex ‘marriage,’ embryonic stem-cell research, human cloning and euthanasia. I earnestly believe that the increased reverence for the Blessed Sacrament that comes from the practice of Eucharistic adoration has afforded me the clarity, conviction and courage to speak the full truth of our Catholic faith on these and other crucial issues that define our culture.”

Adopted by the board of governors, the proposal for the initiative reads, in part:

Concept. As we approach our 25th anniversary, the Legatus Board of Governors has established a Eucharistic Adoration Initiative where, from the close of the 2011 Legatus Summit to the opening of the 2012 Legatus Summit, we seek commitments from Legates for one hour of adoration before the Blessed Sacrament with the specific intention of prayers of petition for the success of Legatus in accomplishing the mission to study, live and spread the faith in our business, personal and professional lives.

Goal. To have one hour of adoration by at least one Legate on each day of the year.

Intended benefits. The gift of God’s grace to our organization that in faith we seek through this initiative; the gift of God’s grace to our chapters, forums, board of governors and other groups of Legates as we focus together in petition to God for the success of Legatus; and the gift of God’s grace to the individual member of Legatus in contemplation of the Legatus mission, as we focus in prayer of petition before the Blessed Sacrament.

In addition to benefiting the individual adorer (the Church grants a plenary indulgence for spending only 30 minutes before the Blessed Sacrament), Armato predicts that participating in adoration as a group activity will “strengthen a chapter and get members to focus on Legatus’ mission.”

Progress

Since the initiative launched in February, the response has been encouraging, Armato said. “I’ve been keeping track with a calendar, and I’ve already gotten a lot of e-mails from Legates across the country talking about what a powerful experience this has been — including some who’ve done it for the first time and found it very rewarding.”

At the Summit, multiple Legates made adoration commitments for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until the 2012 Summit. Legatus’ Chicago, Jacksonville and Baton Rouge chapters have already pledged a full month of adoration.

The momentum must continue and grow even bigger, however, and Armato encourages Legates to contact him personally to make a commitment to adoration. Adorers are especially needed Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Matthew A. Rarey is Legatus Magazine’s editorial assistant.

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To participate, contact Keith Armato

E-mail: karmato@unionstreettin.com

Fax: (312) 803-1644

Mail: 427 N. Prospect Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068