St. Ignatius Catholic Parish has been working hard to get Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration approved by the Archdiocese of Mobile for their chapel.
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is when the chapel is open all day for those who want to spend time with Jesus. Lissa McBride, member of an organizational group for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, clarified, “This means adoration of the blessed sacrament 24 hours a day.” Inés Mersch, liaison between the core committee and the parish office at St. Ignatius, said, “The Eucharist is displayed in a special holder called a monstrance, and people come to pray and worship Jesus continually, day and night.”
A lot of people are involved for establishing Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at St. Ignatius according to Mersch when she said it involved, “A core committee representing ten different parishes, several members of the St. Ignatius staff, and Father Bry Shields, pastor of St. Ignatius.”
The process of holding Perpetual Eucharist Adoration has a lot of steps involved. Mersch explained the lengthy process by offering a list, “Find a location and the support of a pastor, find 10-30 people to work as a core committee, find ways to fill the hours on the 336 hours on the adoration calendar, open the Adoration Chapel.”
Fr. Shields asked the Archbishop for approval to go ahead with the process of finding adores. Mersch confirmed that, “Archbishop Rodi gave permission and an exploratory meeting was held on February 13, 2019 where an overwhelming 168 people attended.” She also said, “Ironically enough, there are 168 hours in a week, so that was exactly the number of people required to have at least one person per hour! Seemed like God was telling us something there.”
At the Eucharistic Mission held on Sept. 18, Fr. Joseph shared his thoughts on Saint Joseph. Fr. Joseph said, “St. Joseph is the patron saint of working well. We go to him to provide our needs.” In this case, the members of St. Ignatius prayed to St. Joseph for the establishment of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
The mission focused on the importance of the Eucharist. Fr. Joseph said, “We also pray to St. Joseph for a happy death. That we too may die with Mary and Jesus. This means with the sacraments, with the Eucharist inside of us.” Fr. Joseph claimed, “We have the Eucharist. If we have Jesus Christ what do we lack?”
Mersch said, “After the mission with Father Joseph Aytona, all hours were filled with at least one guardian in each hour.” Since the required number of adorers has been met, St. Ignatius Catholic Parish has offered their chapel up for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration and awaits approval from the Archdiocese of Mobile to open the chapel.
To further the importance of the Eucharist, Fr. Joseph explained the communion of saints as mentioned in the following quote. “Church triumphant, those in heaven, and the church suffering, those in purgatory, and the church militant, those on earth make up the communion of saints.” In greater depth, he emphasized that they are all connected by the Eucharist, which is Christ.
Adoration helps to accomplish the meaning of our lives, which is to spend time with Jesus Christ, according to Fr. Joseph. He said, “Everyone’s vocation is a call to get to heaven. We are all called to be saints.”
Fr. Joseph has been a Catholic all his life; however, he became distant from the church as a young adult. While explaining how he went to church late one night he said, “I saw a sign that spelled out PEACE, Perpetual, Eucharist, Adoration, Chapel, Entrance.” Fr. Joseph shared, “Because that chapel was open twenty-four-seven for adoration, I was able to have the holy spirit ascend upon me and I found a peace and happiness like no other.”
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration changes the lives of those who let it. McBride said, “As a Catholic, PEA has deepened my faith and friendship with Jesus. There is no other way outside of heaven to physically encounter him.” Fr. Joseph claimed, “I fell in love with the church and I found my calling.” Mersch shared her belief when she described perpetual adoration as being, “...a little taste of what heaven is going to be like.”
Once the chapel is approved, it will be open 24 hours a day and seven days per week, with the exception of two hours on Sundays, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m., according to Mersch. Fr. Joseph claimed that, “Only miracles happen when we give everything up to Jesus in the Eucharist.” Mersch proclaimed, “Why not spend time and be influenced by the One Who we most long to be like; the One Who can answer any question we may have in our hearts; the One Who we should love the most.”
Keep in touch with the movement for Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration by following Mobile Area Perpetual Adoration on Facebook, and looking at St. Ignatius Catholic Church’s website http://www.stignatiusmobile.org. “You can just pop in for a few minutes if that’s all you have!” said Mersch.