FAQs: New Perpetual Adoration Chapel

monstranceWe know that many of our parishioners may have questions about our Divine Mercy Perpetual Adoration. We’ve assembled a list of common questions that we’ve heard. If you have a question or concern that isn’t addressed here, please let us know! You can message us on our Facebook page or email Paul Koors at divinemercypea@gmail.com.

 

General Questions about Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration

What is Eucharistic Adoration?
The Eucharist is the physical Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Lord, Jesus Christ, and it is one of seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, whereby bread and wine are completely transubstantiated into the real presence of Christ. During Eucharistic Adoration, the Eucharist is displayed in a monstrance (a vessel used in Roman Catholicism to display the consecrated Eucharist) flanked by candles in which the Blessed Sacrament is exposed and adored by the faithful.

What is Perpetual Adoration?
Perpetual Adoration is Eucharistic devotion whereby members of a parish unite in taking hours of adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament (in most cases, exposed), both during the day and throughout the night, seven days a week.

Where may Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration take place?
While adoration may take place in a Church, perpetual adoration must take place in a chapel that is not being used for mass. St. Matthew’s chapel will be located in the former Spirit room or youth room, a 33′ by 18′ room in the basement of the Church, which will seat 24 in comfortable individual chairs with kneelers.

Why is Perpetual Adoration so important?
Perpetual Adoration is YOUR personal time with Jesus Christ. It integrates the entire faith community of St. Matthew into one perpetual prayer, uniting us in our intentions and concerns, increasing our prayer time and devotion. Many miracles and blessings have been associated with perpetual adoration.

What blessings / miracles are associated with Perpetual Adoration?
Documented blessings include: increased vocations to the priesthood from parishes with perpetual adoration, increased parish-wide goodwill offerings, both monetarily and in volunteerism, healing of troubled marriages, healing of diseases and sickness including some that were medically incurable, increase of morals and return of lost sheep, deeper personal understanding of the mysteries of our faith, and an unshakable inner peace.

I already go to Mass every Sunday, pray privately at home, and try to be a good person. Why should I go to adoration? Isn’t Christ in each of us? God hears my prayers even at home already, right?
Yes, Christ is in all these things, and all these things are good. The reason we go to Adoration is similar to why we go to Church: to worship as communion/community and to build our relationship with God and others. We find our spiritual nourishment, and we encounter God. The Eucharist at its pinnacle is the consecration and consumption, becoming our spiritual food, but it also is so much more than that. Because Christ is dually both God and man, one cannot separate the divine nature from the physical. The consecrated host becomes truly the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus. While many struggle with this great mystery, both today and in Jesus’s time, it is part of the foundation of the Catholic Church, and the basis for Eucharistic Adoration.

What is the difference in having Christ in the Tabernacle versus Christ in the Monstrance?
The Monstrance allows for a more personal experience with Christ in the Eucharist. God gives the Church the sacraments because he seeks to interact with us physically as well as spiritually. In the same way that a visit would be more personal than a phone call or email, spending time with Him near the monstrance, gives us real personal time that we just cannot experience in prayer alone or hidden by the tabernacle. We exalt Christ and honor his sacrifice when we display the Eucharist. We can see the elevated demand placed on protecting the Eucharist when in exposition and that should give us a notion of the intimacy that comes from that same vulnerability.

How will Perpetual Adoration work at St. Matthew?

What is the time requirement of adoration?
Adorers make a commitment to the Lord to be with him for a one hour time frame on the same day each week. Adorers may take as many of these one hour shifts as they like, but need to commit to that same hour every week.

What happens if our schedules change or we go on vacation?
While you should make every effort to spend your hour with the Lord each week and try to be steady about it, we know your schedule will change. Each hour of adoration will have an Hourly Coordinator assigned to it to make sure each hour is covered. The Hourly Coordinator assigned to your hour will be able to help you switch your times or find a replacement. Please let your Hourly Coordinator know about scheduled absences at least a week in advance. If you are sick, please just let your coordinator know as soon as possible to schedule a substitute.

Why is it so important that someone is always present?
In the Catholic Church, we have many sacramentals: the rosary, holy water, the bible, a crucifix, statues of Angels and Saints, etc. These are holy items that are given due respect for what they represent. The Eucharist is not a sacramental, but a sacrament. It is not just an item that reminds us of Christ, but it is the physical body of Christ himself. The exposition in the monstrance leaves Christ vulnerable and must be properly attended at ALL times. Just as a Marine would never leave the body of a another fallen Marine behind, faithful Catholics would never leave Christ’s Body unattended, EVER.

What would happen if no one shows up to replace my scheduled adoration time?
It is extremely unlikely that this will happen, but there is an extensive contingency plan in place. Father Sill has requested that three adorers be present at all hours, every day of the week. You will not be alone. If you need to go to the bathroom, you will freely be able to do so. The hourly coordinator will confirm that everyone scheduled will be able to come and will make arrangements that no less than two adorers are present even when multiple people cannot make an hour. The chances of a single person with a no-call no-show absence is slim, but for three people all at that same hour to all miss their time with a no-call, no-show absence is extremely unlikely. Adorers that repeatedly disrespect their position by missing their scheduled time with no courtesy call will be replaced, so there is no extended burden on their counterparts. Despite the unlikeliness of such a scenario, should it happen, the hourly coordinator for that hour would then be assigned to cover the deserted hour. Should he not be available (although he is required to be) then the 6 hour shift supervisor that supervises him would be next in line, followed by the PEA director. Additionally, a directory of adorers and substitutes will be available near the sign-in, so there are many, many levels of protection available against this type of event.

Do people no-call no-show often?
No. Other perpetual adoration chapels in the area have fewer levels of protection against this than we do, and they report that it is HIGHLY uncommon to experience this. People who take the time to adore for one hour a week love Jesus, and do this out of love for him. Substitutes for other parishes reported being called once a year to fill in so it is not something to worry about.

What safety measures are in place? Will everyone have access to the Church?
During the day, everyone will have access to the Church, as they do now. At night, once the doors are locked, the door leading downstairs on the back side of the Church will be fitted with a fingerprint reader. Per Bishop Frederick Campbell’s request, all members of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration will need to go through a small but formal catechesis class, which will enrich their experience in adoration. At the end of the class, you will be allowed to register your fingerprint to gain access for entering the Church after-hours. This will keep vagrants and panhandlers out, creating a safe environment at night. Extensive video surveillance will also cover the inside of the building and the nightly entrance. Also, because three adorers are generally present at all times, there should be no situation where anyone is alone without help. A phone will be available in the hall for emergencies.

There were no kneelers in the 3D renderings. Please tell me there will be kneelers!
Absolutely, there will be kneelers on the backs of chairs and near the alter. There is some discussion on having some mats available if anyone feels the need to pray in a prostrate position before the altar.

How is the chapel cleaned?
The director of Perpetual Adoration will assign someone(s) to clean the chapel every Friday from 11:00 pm to 12:00 am. The Blessed Sacrament will be reposed during cleaning.

I’ve never done Perpetual Adoration before! What do I do?

What is the proper attire for adoration?
Whatever is comfortable, but be conscious of the presence of the Lord.

What do I do in adoration?
You have a lot of choices here. You may pray an informal prayer, sit in silence, read a book (a chapel library will be available soon), pray the rosary, meditate on the Eucharist, contemplate the saint’s lives, just clear your head, listen to a recording of your favorite Catholic speaker quietly through your headphones, etc. The key is general reverence with an emphasis on quiet. This is not a competition to see who can be the most pious, but this is YOUR personal time with God. As Father John Ricardo says, “Just waste some time with Him.” If God was not behind the veil of the Eucharist, what would you do? Christ says we are no longer servants but friends, so just spend some time with your friend. He loves you and is calling you.

How do I genuflect during exposition of the Blessed Sacrament?
The Vatican states that proper respect is shown by bending down with our right knee until it touches the ground with a slight pause to show our humility and reverence before God. This is still the rule even during exposition, although the common practice is to bow on two knees when before the monstrance. The attitude with what you do it with is more important than the form, and it should never be done for show. Additionally, if your knees are bad, you should not worry about this at all.

Can I bring my kids?
Yes, absolutely. Adoration is for kids and whole families too. Just make sure that they are old enough to understand how to be quiet. Kids under the legal age cannot be assigned an hour on their own, but they may adore with their family.

Popes and Saints on Adoration

Pope Francis
Consistency is forged in the heart through (Eucharistic) adoration.

Pope Benedict XVI
Adoration is not a luxury but a priority…

Pope John Paul II
In order to evangelize the world, we need experts in celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Holy Eucharist ” As a bishop and later as Pope he would even write much of his work before the Blessed Sacrament and his secretaries tell us that they would sometimes find him lying prostrate before the Tabernacle in the middle of the night. Before each of his missionary journeys he would spend prolonged periods in Eucharistic Adoration. This is why when he arrived in a country the presence of the Lord was radiating from his very person.

Pope Paul VI
Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord”

Pope Pius XII
This practice of adoration, in fact, is based on strong and solid reasons. For the Eucharist is at once a sacrifice and a sacrament; but it differs from the other sacraments in this: that it not only produces grace, but contains in a permanent manner the Author of grace Himself. When, therefore, the Church bids us adore Christ hidden behind the Eucharistic veils and pray to Him for spiritual and temporal favors, of which we ever stand in need, she manifests living faith in her divine Spouse who is present beneath these veils, she professes her gratitude to Him and she enjoys the intimacy of His friendship.

Pope Benedict XV
You must propagate veneration of the Most Blessed Sacrament with all your might, for the devotion to the Holy Eucharist is the queen of all devotions.

Pope Pius X
Perpetual Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament is the devotion which surpasses all others!

Saint Augustine
It is our duty to adore the Blessed Sacrament. No one receives the Blessed Sacrament unless he adores it…and not only do we not sin by adoring, we do sin by not adoring!

Blessed Mother Teresa
I make a Holy Hour each day in the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. All my sisters of the Missionaries of Charity make a daily Holy Hour as well, because we find that through our daily Holy Hour our love for Jesus becomes more intimate, our love for each other more understanding, and our love for the poor more compassionate. Our Holy Hour is our daily family prayer where we get together and pray the Rosary before the exposed Blessed Sacrament the first half hour, and the second half hour we pray in silence. Our adoration has doubled the number of our vocations. In 1963, we were making a weekly Holy Hour together, but it was not until 1973, when we began our daily Holy Hour, that our community started to grow and blossom.

That is why I encourage you to make your Holy Hour through Mary, the cause of our joy, and you may discover that no where on earth are you more welcomed, no where on earth are you more loved, than by Jesus, living and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The time you spend with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the best time that you will spend on earth. Each moment that you spend with Jesus will deepen your union with Him and make you soul everlastingly more glorious and beautiful in Heaven, and will help bring about an everlasting peace on earth.

When you look at the crucifix you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves you NOW. I beg the Blessed Mother to touch the hearts of all Parish priests that they may have Eucharistic Adoration in their parishes, and that it may spread throughout the entire world!

Archbishop Fulton Sheen
The only time our Lord asked the apostles for anything was the night he went into agony. Not for activity did he plead, but for companionship.

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque 
My greatest happiness is to be before the Blessed Sacrament, where my heart is, as it were, in Its centre.

St. Katharine Drexel
My sweetest Joy is to be in the presence of Jesus in the holy Sacrament. I beg that when obliged to withdraw in body, I may leave my heart before the holy Sacrament. How I would miss Our Lord if He were to be away from me by His presence in the Blessed Sacrament!

St. Therese of Lisieux
O Jesus! on this day, you have fulfilled all my desires. From now on, near the Eucharist, I shall be able To sacrifice myself in silence, to wait for Heaven in peace. Keeping myself open to the rays of the Divine Host, In this furnace of love, I shall be consumed, And like a seraphim, Lord, I shall love You.

St. Paul of the Cross
Let weak and frail man come here suppliantly to adore the Sacrament of Christ, not to discuss high things, or wish to penetrate difficulties, but to bow down to secret things in humble veneration, and to abandon God’s mysteries to God, for Truth deceives no man—Almighty God can do all things. Amen.

St. Bernadette Soubirous
The Eucharist bathes the tormented soul in light and love.