Father’s Column 11/15

Posted on November 15, 2015

Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Gelobt sei Jesus Christus!
Praised be Jesus Christ!

For over a decade, Old St. Mary’s has been the home to daily Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, a great grace for the parish, parishioners, and neighborhood. Over the past few years, however, attendance has begun to dwindle. Recently several of the hours came open, with no one to fill them. As it stood, there were twelve hours without an adorer, ten hours with just one adorer, and eight hours with at least two adorers.

The Church has long regarded Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament as something special; seeking to ensure that the Blessed Sacrament retained its dignity, she has insisted that no less than two adorers be present for each hour of Exposition. This has been a concern for years and, in the meantime, adorers have only continued to dwindle.

With so many hours now without an adorer, a reduction in the number of hours has become necessary. The situation was too dire. This decision did not come easily or without consultation. Without people to adore, we simply can not offer Exposition, it becomes physically impossible and would become a sacrilege.

Effective the First Sunday of Advent 2015, Old St. Mary’s will only offer Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The parish sponsored First Friday All-Night Vigil will also continue. The other Friday evenings are not affected. Tuesday will have Adoration from 8:00 a.m. until Noon and then again from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. There will be a Holy Hour from 7:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., during which the Rosary will be recited, confessions heard, and concluding with Benediction at 8:30 p.m. This will be viewed as a parish day of Exposition. Wednesday Exposition will be from 5:30 p.m. until simple reposition at 8:30 p.m. These days will not be interrupted except for a Holy Day or a Holiday. This schedule is dependent upon receiving commitments from enough adorers.

If you have ever considered signing up for an hour, now would be the time to do so. In order to prevent further reductions, we need at least two parishioners to sign up for every hour. We have willing priests, but we need willing adorers. There are signup sheets in the back of Church today to fill the hours for the adjusted schedule.

I thank each person who has sacrificed and took time to take an hour of adoration over these years. I thank those who have worked tirelessly to organize and coordinate this. Your sacrifice and work will not go unrewarded by the Lord. I am certain that many graces and blessings flowed into the parish as a result of our Exposition.

I know these changes may be difficult, many I know are attached to the hours they adopted. However, to keep the current schedule as it is requires 16 adorers per day. We right now have less than half of what we need each day. Even if we were to ignore Church Law, that would still leave us at least three hours each day without an adorer.

At this point we are called to refocus and come together as parish in our prayer to strengthen our parish church. Even if you had an hour at one of the times that has been retained, I ask you to please recommit yourself to that hour. If you had an hour at a time that no longer has Exposition, please consider adopting a different hour. Together we can ensure that the Eucharistic Lord continues to be adored through Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. May God Bless you in the week ahead!

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