Jesus said, “Away with you, Satan! …‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him’.” (Mt. 4: 10). When a Perpetual Adoration Chapel is begun in a parish, you could say that these words of Our Savior are repeated. It is a type of exorcism. On the other hand, in these times when so many parishes are locked for most of the day or week, granting access to the Eucharist is surely no small thing. Before he was the Holy Father, Benedict XVI affirmed that “today we run the risk of having our churches turned into museums and ending like museums: If they are not closed, they are pillaged. They have no life. The measure of the Church’s vitality, the measure of its interior openness, will be reflected in the fact that its doors remain open, precisely because it is a church where there is constant prayer.” [1]

Following this same line of thought, 6 years ago, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza (then the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy),

declared: “I dream of a time in which there will not be a single diocese without at least one church or parish where the Sacrament of Love is adored day and night. Love must be loved! In every diocese, and better yet in every city and town, there should be hands raised to heaven pleading for a downpour of mercy upon everyone, those close and those far away, and then everything would change… This is the climate for the sanctification of the clergy and for the increase in holy priestly and religious vocations…” [2]

Among other reasons, this first motivated us to leave the Church doors open throughout the day. Then, exactly two years ago, as Providence arranged, we were able to begin a Perpetual Adoration Chapel.

I believe that Perpetual Adoration has to fundamentally change every parish where it occurs. In Wauchula a parish entrasted to the Institute of The Incarnate Word, like all the rest, the first manifestation of this change was the Adoration itself: the important number of persons who pray, who probably did not have this habit before, or perhaps did not do so before the Blessed Sacrament, with such seriousness, silence and sacrifice, like those who come before dawn. And so, they themselves –the adorers– explicitly and constantly give thanks that the Chapel exists.

Also, several of the parishioners already understand that this oratory is the logical consequence of the consecration of the parish to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and the Adoration gives them a better and more complete vision of the person of Jesus Christ.

It stimulates much hope. We discovered a few weeks ago, while participating with a group of our parishioners in a brief pilgrimage to Mexico, that according to several accounts, Mexico is the Latin American country with the greatest number of Adoration Chapels. There are three bishops whose seminaries had been closed, but when they opened five chapels dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament in the parishes of their diocese, they could reopened their seminaries. In Juárez City- said to be one of the most dangerous cities of Mexico- while forty persons died each day, a chapel was opened. In the three months after its construction, the priests noted that not one had died on account of crime.

On Sunday, August 27th, we made a nocturnal procession in thanksgiving for the second anniversary. Many persons were present, and despite the light rain, could pray and adore with sincere and profound devotion. The faithful were truly consoled, and we, the priests, all the more so.

Lastly, we can say that, thanks to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, a better participation in the Holy Mass is achieved. A well-known expression of St. Augustine says “No one eats that flesh [the Eucharistic body of Christ] without first worshipping it…Not only do we commit no sin in worshipping it; we should sin if we did not” (Commentary on Psalm 98,9).

I do not want to exaggerate nor mention something that could be only an impression, but in honor of the truth, I must affirm that among persons who are committed to take their prayer life seriously, the Holy Mass is just not the same. They have a greater awareness; they live the Mass; they profit from it, and in consequence they treasure it more earnestly.

From Wauchula, we pray for the increase and perseverance of all the adorers in the world, and for the priests, may they be great promoters of that which is irrefutably the heart of every parish.

Fr. Fabio Schilereff IVE

[1] J. Ratzinger, An Intimate God, [Il Dio Vicino] St. Paul Edition, Milan, 2003.

[2] Los Angeles, USA, October 11, 2011. Exclusive interview, CNA/EWTN News.

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