Our Chapel began in early 1985, when parishioners of St. Mary’s read an article about Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. They were impressed by the great fruits that flowed out of and into the lives of those who participated in regular adoration, as well as the spiritual benefits that came into the lives of the parishes which had it. They followed up this interest by contacting a program that helped parishes to introduce this practice in their parishes. After gaining more information, they sat down with Msgr. Emmenegger, Pastor of St. Mary’s at the time, to discuss the possibility of this happening at St. Mary’s. Monsignor was, at first, reluctant of the idea, simply because of the practical concerns of filling the night-time hours, but he agreed to think and pray about it and read more about adoration taking place in other parishes throughout the country. A few months later, he was ready to commit the parish to this great endeavor. After meeting with the original group of interested parishioners they decided on a small room off the west vestibule for the placement of the first adoration chapel. The chapel was prepared and on October 7, 1985 Mass was celebrated, followed by Benediction, and then a procession with the Blessed Sacrament to the Chapel. With the parish building project a few years ago, the Perpetual Adoration Chapel was relocated to the former baptistery area on the north side of church.
We are going to be celebrating this great milestone in the life of our parish with Forty Hours Devotion. Forty Hours Devotion is a devotion dating back to the early 16th Century. It is forty hours of exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, commemorating the forty hours the Lord spent in the tomb from His death on the Cross until His Resurrection. The devotion is marked by three special Masses – the first is the Mass of Exposition, which will be celebrated on Monday, October 5th at 6:00PM, there are special prayers and a procession of the Blessed Sacrament throughout church. The second day is marked by the celebration of a Mass for Peace, which will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 6th at 8:00AM (Note: there will be no 6:30AM Mass that morning or on Wednesday morning). The third day sees the celebration of the Mass of Reposition which will be celebrated on Wednesday evening, October 7th at 6:00PM. During these days (from Monday evening following the Mass until Wednesday evening before the Mass), adoration of the Blessed Sacrament will take place in the church, rather than the Chapel. During the night hours, the church will be accessible through the Chapel. If you do not know the code for the locked doors, please simply call the Rectory.
I would encourage every member of St. Mary’s to make at least one visit to the Blessed Sacrament over the course of these days and to attend one, or all, of the Masses if possible! Following the Mass of Reposition there will be a procession of the Blessed Sacrament back to the Chapel and a reception to follow in the Atrium. This is a wonderful milestone and something for us all to celebrate. If you want more information on adoration or ways to pray in front of the Blessed Sacrament be sure to check out our parish website, www.stmaryeg.org. Also, if you’d be interested in volunteering some of your time to become a regular adorer in the chapel, you can sign up online or by calling the parish office. A special “thank you” again to all who have done so much to make our Perpetual Adoration Chapel such a place of grace over the course of these thirty years. And, most especially, a deep measure of thanksgiving belongs to Our Lord who poured out His own Blood for our salvation on the Cross and who comes to us in the Eucharist. All praise and honor and glory to Him forever!