Brother John Raymond Pope John Paul II has said, "The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic adoration." The Pope in 1981 began Perpetual Adoration in his parish__St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. In 1989 I met a Maryknoll Missionary Fr. Gerald Farrell in Korea while attending the International Eucharistic Congress there. Fr. Farrell had started Perpetual Adoration in parishes in Korea. He had learned about doing this from Fr. Martin Lucia, a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts. Some years back Fr. Martin had begun promoting parish adoration while working in the Houston, Texas area. Fr. Martin expanded his promotion of Perpetual Adoration from the United States to many countries all over the world. He founded the "Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament" to help him to do this. Another person who had helped Fr. Farrell start adoration in Korea was Mr. Owen Traynor in Los Angeles who originally gave financial support for this work. Then Mr. Traynor founded the "Universal and International Public Association of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration" erected by The Pontifical Council for the Laity. When Fr. Farrell began starting Perpetual Adoration in parishes in Korea he placed the work under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Wouldn't you know it, the first place to invite him to start it was the Parish of Immaculate Heart of Mary. Unfortunately, within two years Fr. Farrell had developed severe rheumatoid arthritis. So he trained a Third Order Carmelite layman, Simon Pak, who I met, to take over his work. Simon far outdid his teacher. Within 1 1/2 years Simon had helped to spread P.A. to forty-four parishes in ten Korean dioceses. Can the laity start Perpetual Adoration in a parish__you bet! Another interesting person I met at the International Eucharistic Congress in Korea was Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez, then Vicar General and Chancellor for the Archdiocese of Manila, Philippines. He was in charge of the Perpetual Adoration apostolate for the whole country. In that country there were about 152 Perpetual Adoration chapels as of 1990. I have been there. I almost tripped over people in the adoration chapels because there are so many in them. Lay people are very instrumental there in promoting this great work. Between 1980 and 1989 at least 500 Perpetual Eucharistic Chapels had been started throughout the world: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, Ireland, Korea, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the U.S. I am sure many more countries have it by know__so why not your parish! Before joining my community I used to lead a rosary group in my parish church. Over time I began to experience the loneliness of Jesus left alone most of the day in a locked church. I am not unique in this experience. An artist friend of mine has spent many ours before the Blessed Sacrament in prayer and had a similar experience. Whe I heard about Perpetual Adoration I thought this would solve the problem of Our Lord's loneliness. I talked to the pastor but he was not encouraging. I tried to show a video after Mass about Perpetual Adoration. In trying to get to church to show it I had a flat tire and the car almost fell off the jack. It was a bit discouraging when I got there because hardly anyone showed up to see the video. But I did not give up. I went to another parish and the priest there was more encouraging. He offered to build a special chapel for it. So if you can't get your parish to cooperate, try another one! So how do we do start it? First, you don't have to do it alone. I know of two groups that will help you. You can write to The Apostolate for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration started by Fr. Martin Lucia at: P.O. Box 46502, Mount Clemens, Michigan 48046-6502 U.S.A. or call 810-949-0046 to book a priest for a Sunday to begin adoration in your parish, if your pastor permits it. They will send you the relevant material and a parish kit to get it started. The priest will stay for a few weeks until Perpetual Adoration is established. The other group started by Mr. Owen Traynor called the Association of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, 660 Club View Dr., Los Angeles, California 90024, U.S.A. Tel. (310)273-3856 or FAX:(310)278-3021, will help in a similar fashion. One of the important points to keep in mind is that Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration depends on lay involvement. The priest cannot do all the adoration himself. He needs committed lay people willing to help organize it and keep it going. Why does it have to be Perpetual? Experience has shown that people are more responsible in keeping their Holy Hour with Our Lord when it is Perpetual. My Maryknoll priest friend Fr. Farrell explained that three pastors stopped having the full twenty-four hours a day adoration and limited it to only the day hours. The result was that the whole program failed. He says that he found "that the sacrifice involved in nighttime adoration appears to be a necessary ingredient to the success of this program." Adoration did continue, though, in parishes that had twenty-four hour adoration seven days a week. It even worked for those parishes that did 24 hours a day but less than seven days a week. Of course, it's better to aim for all seven days. Why establish it? First, we know that the Sacred Heart of Jesus has asked us to make a return of love to Him in this sacrament, and of course, this is echoed by His Mother's Immaculate Heart. The reason to establish it is as simple as one word__love. Jesus loves us and cares that people spend time with Him. Imagine how happy Our Lord will be if we bring people in our parish to love Him with Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Our Lord told Josefa Menendez, a holy sister in the earlier part of our century, to "Love, for love is reparation and reparation is love...Tell Me that you love Me. That is what I like best to hear, for I hunger for love...I want you to burn with desire to see Me loved." This echoes the words of Our Lord to St. Peter after the resurrection when he asked three times, "Do you love Me." And Our Resurrected Lord and the Holy Eucharist are one and the same person. Jesus told this same sister that at the Last Supper "It was bliss for Me to think of all those to whom I should be both Companion and Heavenly Food, of all those who would surround Me to the end of time with adoration, reparation and love." On the other hand, imagine how sad Jesus will continue to be in our locked parish church if we don't start it. Jesus told this same sister that at the Last Supper He was grieved "at the many who would leave Me deserted in My tabernacle and who would not even believe in My Real Presence...Sacrileges and outrages, and all the nameless abominations to be committed against Me passed before My eyes...The long, lonely hours of the day and of the night in which I would remain alone on the altars...I desire that My love in the Blessed Sacrament should be the sun to enlighten every heart and the heart to reanimate every soul...It is this love that keeps Me a prisoner in the tabernacle. For nearly twenty centuries I have dwelt there, night and day, veiled under the species of bread and concealed in the small white Host, bearing through love neglect, solitude, contempt, blasphemies, outrages and sacrileges." I ask you to try something. Go in a big empty church and sit in the front pew. Then look around the church. What do you feel__lonely. How much more for Our Lord who is dying to be with us. There are other reasons for have Perpetual Adoration in your parish. From experience in parishes with it there has been: a. Increased Mass attendance and Confessions. b. Increase in priestly and religious vocations. c. The return of fallen-away Catholics and conversions to the faith. d. A heightened spirituality among parishoners. e. Marriages restored. f. Healings. g. Greater unity. h. Inner peace. So we can see from all this what an enormous benefit Perpetual Adoration can do for our parish. But even with all this Perpetual Adoration can do even more. Recently a religious teaching brother related to me how he asked his students to raise their hands if they loved Jesus. They all raised their hands. Then he asked them to raise their hands if they knew Jesus. Not one student raised his hand. Can we really love someone whom we don't know? How do we get to know somebody? Not just by hearing about them. We have to meet them. Even the best pen pals who have been writing to each other for years are still not satisfied until they meet each other face to face. As a matter of fact, why do conferences invite speakers? Why don't they just show video tapes of the same speakers? It's because we all know something is different about a personal encounter. Now we can have a personal encounter with Jesus almost anytime we want by the grace of God. And I find, as in human relationships, the less the crowd the more intimate the encounter. You know the old saying, "Three's a crowd." O, no offense angels. I really like that personal one-on-one time with Jesus. You can loosen up. You can even talk to Our Lord out loud. But one thing that's important no matter how you want to pray, Our Lord appreciates YOUR presence. Sometimes we just like being with somebody even if we don't say anything. Friends and lovers at times just like to be in each other's presence. Other times they like doing things together. Or telling each other things they have done. Or recalling memories. We must not forget that the Jesus in our tabernacles is the same Jesus who sat down and cooked fish for His apostles after the Resurrection. He wants to have a personal relationship with each one of us. Let's help Jesus by bringing people to Him, as Our Lady does, through Perpetual Adoration in our parish. We can not imagine the reward Jesus will bestow upon us for doing this great act of love for Him.
You can start Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in your Parish! Read an article about people just like you who did or see this 10 minute video online about How to Organize Perpetual Adoration
For those interested in starting parish adoration we will send you a free video about Parish Perpetual Adoration and how to Start it. Just E-mail us specifying you want it with your post office mail address. We appreciate donations to help with the cost of shipping: United States $2.00 outside United States inquire. Please send donations to: The Monks of Adoration, 2241 Englewood Road, Englewood, Florida 34223 or use a credit card either ONLINE or by phone 941-474-8914.
See Brother John's Talk on Perpetual Adoration in My Parish on The Fatima Today Show.