Parishioners at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Scottsdale kneel before the Eucharist Feb. 20, 2007. Many parishes in the diocese have perpetual adoration. (J.D. Long-Garcia/CATHOLIC SUN FILE PHOTO)

A two-day mission at St. Joan of Arc Parish that focused on perpetual adoration served to ignite a renewed desire to spend time with Jesus adored in the Blessed Sacrament.

Fr. Sean Davidson, a member of the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist in France, led parishioners on a spiritual exercise to the wonders and mystery of glorifying Jesus exposed in a monstrance.

“It does take a generous person to give time to the Lord, one hour per week, to keep a perpetual chain of love that is unbroken,” he said.

Fr. Davidson visits America several months each year because he said there is a great demand for Catholics to know Christ in adoration.

He spoke passionately about the nature of the eucharistic mystery, the Real Presence, and how the faithful can live more fully from graces they receive.

A chaplain at a French primary school, Fr. Davidson said he believes that teaching children the mystery of the Real Presence is key to having a parish “completely centered” on the Eucharist.

“We transmit this awe for Jesus in a beautiful monstrance. It is a lived experience, so this is what we teach our children,” he said. “We want to transmit eucharistic love to people we come in contact with.”

Fr. Davidson says that too often during Holy Communion, people receive mechanically and don’t have a dialogue of love.

“We don’t have a connection with Jesus. If we want to maximize our experience, we come to Christ in Mass and spend time in His presence. In the monstrance, it is not a thing, but a living person.”

One way to foster eucharistic adoration is by doing it, and Fr. Davidson said every Catholic is called to be a eucharistic apostle by bringing souls to eucharistic adoration.

“First, we are called to be formed by His Sacred Heart where we come to know Him and speak of Him with power and confidence,” Fr. Davidson said. “We go from adoration to evangelization. In the new evangelization, we go to the source of all power and holiness, Jesus in the Eucharist.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church reminds us, “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” (CCC 1418).

Carol Kassick, perpetual adoration coordinator at St. Joan of Arc, is also executive director of Catholic Adoration, an affiliate of Texas-based Corporis Christi Societas.

The goal of the society is to fund and facilitate eucharistic causes around the world.

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 (325).

Eucharistic adoration is a lay-run effort at St. Joan of Arc, which supports the call of Vatican II to promote the involvement of the laity in the mission of the Church.

The parish 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.

Fr. Davidson and the Missionaries of the Most Holy Eucharist not only help to increase the number of adorers in a parish, but form their hearts and minds to understand the awesome mystery of Christ.

The missionaries respond to requests to lead parish missions. They also organize eucharistic congresses and symposiums, in addition to spreading perpetual adoration through television, advertisements, radios and books.

Their latest book, “Adoratio 2011- From Eucharistic Adoration to Evangelisation,” is available on their website.

The missionaries are currently looking at establishing a Eucharistic Sanctuary in America.

“He is divine love incarnate in the Blessed Sacrament,” Fr. Davidson said. “We want to kindle a eucharistic fire in their souls.”

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For more on the missionaries, visit www.catholicadoration.com. To schedule a speaker or get more information, contact Kassick at: ckassick@catholicadoration.com, or phone (602) 502-2024.

Gina Keating has been a freelance writer for The Catholic Sun since 1995. A convert to the faith, she began her journey while attending the University of Arizona. She works in children’s ministry/sacramental preparation at St. Theresa Parish, where she is also a member of Boy Scout Troop 147. She and her husband, Thomas, have four children and a granddaughter.

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