‘The Eucharist is the Real Presence’: Two parishes begin perpetual adoration

For the past year, members of St. Joan of Arc Parish have adored Jesus present in the Blessed Sacrament through continual, 24-hours a day, prayer known as perpetual eucharistic adoration.

Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral began perpetual adoration June 10. (Ambria Hammel/CATHOLIC SUN)

In celebration of prayers answered and a successful ministry, the parish hosted an anniversary party May 12, beginning with a bilingual Mass at 8:30 a.m., followed by a reception in Weidner Hall.

Christina Strafaci, an adjunct Kino faculty member, led a reflection on the relationship between the domestic and eucharistic tables.

“We have had all kinds of miracles; broken marriages healed, addictions overcome, which have all been beautifully attributed, and rightly so, to our Lord through prayers in adoration,” said Fr. Don Kline, pastor of St. Joan of Arc. “It has transformed our parish in so many ways.”

For centuries, Catholics have spent time in prayer before Jesus fully present in the Eucharist; body, blood, soul and divinity. The Eucharist began to be reserved in the churches of monasteries and convents as early as the Council of Nicea in 325.

Eucharistic adoration is a lay-run ministry, which supports the call of Vatican II to promote the involvement of the laity in the mission of the Church.

St. Joan of Arc has a large network of volunteers supporting each other to ensure every hour is covered. Volunteers are routinely given opportunities to attend missions and hear speakers emphasize the importance of adoration.

“Eucharistic adoration is a reminder of His presence, and His promise to be with us until the end of time,” Fr. Kline said. “In our fast-paced society it’s difficult, but essential, to slow ourselves down and discern what it is He would have us do.”

Inspired by the blessings received from perpetual adoration, Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral formally launched its own ministry on the feast of Corpus Christi, June 10.

Fr. John Lankeit, rector of Ss. Simon and Jude Cathedral, said his spiritual life was “revolutionized” once he began a daily holy hour while in the seminary.

“A daily holy hour is indispensable for a priest, if he is to carry out his ministry truly animated out of his prayerful, loving relationship with Jesus Christ,” Fr. Lankeit said. “The Eucharist is the Real Presence of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and we cannot but be blessed abundantly by spending consistent time in His presence.”

Fr. Lankeit said he hopes many blessings will come from having the lay ministry at the cathedral, like an increase in vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated religious life.

He also prays for the strengthening of marriages, increased parishioner involvement in the various apostolates of the parish and the elimination of its financial struggles.

How to spend an hour with Jesus is a personal preference, but it might include praying the rosary, reading Scripture, engaging in good spiritual reading and other forms of prayer, such as, intercession, praise, adoration or petition.

Perhaps the best way to spend time with Jesus is in silence.

“Our prayer needs to be a ‘conversation’ with the Lord and a conversation is a two-way affair,” Fr. Lankeit said. “Too often, we do all the talking to the Lord without bothering to listen to Him speak in His silent voice to our heart.”