Going from no adoration to a full schedule of perpetual adoration in just one month -- and sustaining it for years.
"This is one of the best
things that has happened at my parish! I see adoration as a kind of 'spiritual
engine' of the Church because as we are honoring our Lord good things are
happening in our Church. It was organized in such a way that no one person ever felt overwhelmed." Father Dave Heney
The need it meets
Father Dave Heney has a deep devotion to the Eucharist. He wanted to institute perpetual adoration, but didn't know how to make it work - until this happened.
Where it came from
A couple of St Paschal Baylon asked the pastor, Father Dave Heney, if the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament could come educate the parishioners about the Eucharist. A Missionary priest preached on adoration at all the Masses one weekend and stirred up great interest. The couple organized the follow-up along the lines described on the Missionaries' Website.
How it works
A priest spoke at all the Masses about Eucharistic adoration and encouraged parishioners to sign up.
Volunteers are grouped in teams with captains.
Each captain oversees 7 hours a week, the same hour each day of the week. The captain keeps the slots filled and substitutes ready.
"The most needed hours" are posted in the church bulletin.
An annual weekend event ("Is God calling you?") features talks about Eucharistic adoration along with promotional materials. Parishioners are encouraged to invite seven other people to come to adoration.
A book in the chapel records the hours adorers spend praying for vocations.
From 6 AM to 10 PM the chapel is open. At 10 PM there is a self-locking door with a code. No drop-ins are allowed during late night. The code is changed every 6 months and this helps facilitate contact with the late night adorers.
A shelf with a library of books of "what to do" when in adoration is carefully monitored by the priest and his leadership team.
700 parishioners signed up after the very first invitation, filling a 24/7 adoration schedule.
Over 100,000 people have adored here in the first three years.
Fr. Dave has seen increased participation in Mass and parish life.
Fr. Dave attributes at least two vocations to the adoration hours dedicated to that intention
Fr. Dave noted that every day people thank him for the chapel.
The adorers have become a dynamic community within the parish.
The chapel has also drawn visitors from other parishes.
The pastor must support Eucharistic adoration.
Two trusted parishioners must lead the effort, especially through attracting and mobilizing responsible team captains.
A large sign and a well-lit parking area and pathway make the chapel safe and easy to find.
Silence is maintained at all times in the chapel, which has simple decor, comfortable chairs and kneelers -- not church pews.
How to implement it
Ask an organized couple that works well with the priest and parishioners to help with sign-ups immediately after the talk on Eucharistic adoration.
Details and resources (step-by-step instructions, sample schedules, etc.) can be found at the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament Website: www.ACFP2000.com.
To schedule a Missionary to preach on adoration, email the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament at ACFP2000@aol.com.