We near the feast day of Holy Angels Parish (September 29) which is normally the Feast of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. This year it falls on a Sunday. Our parish will observe 40 Hours of Eucharistic Adoration from Sunday, September 29 to Tuesday, October 1. Following the Sunday evening Mass at 6 PM at St. Patrick Church on September 29, the Blessed Sacrament will remain continually present on the altar for private prayer and adoration, except when a Mass is scheduled. We will have an extra evening Mass at 7 PM on both September 30 and October 1 (in addition to our regular morning Masses at 6:45 and 9 AM). The closing Mass on October 1 will also include a Eucharistic procession.
I truly believe that when we take the time to be with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, it is a time of tremendous blessing not only for us as individuals but also for our families and for our entire parish family. I do not ever want us to take for granted the great gift of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Time spent with Him is a grace-filled time. We can express our love and adoration for Jesus, thankfulness for our blessings, and contrition for sin (our own and the sins of others). We can also intercede for one another and petition the Lord for our various needs. It is an invaluable time to spend with Jesus, truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.
When we come into the Lord’s presence, Jesus can do something to us. We may think that we go to pray, to petition and to worship, or even that we are doing God a favor by spending some of our precious time with Him. Our Lord Jesus, however, can transform us while we spend time with Him. We do not need to worry about what prayers we should say, what spiritual readings we should be reading or what we should be doing in His Presence. Just being with the Lord can be transforming. He can soften our hearts, heal our wounds, inspire us and guide us. He can give us an inner peace that nothing in this world can match. Making the commitment to spend time with Him can truly transform us.
What I am requesting from you, my parishioners, is that you dedicate at least one hour sometime during these three days with the Lord in adoration. (This should be in addition to any time attending Mass, when possible.) This devotion will continue for two nights—around the clock—and I need your help and cooperation in order to do this. Could you please think about dedicating an hour in prayer before the Most Blessed Sacrament? Why not encourage members of your family to pray as a family for an hour? Perhaps a group or organization within the parish can make a holy hour together (choir, Knights of Columbus, St. Vincent de Paul, lectors, extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, etc.). I especially need a few insomniacs or night owls to cover the late hours! We are arranging to have added security at night.
Sign-up sheets are available at the doors of the churches and the worship center, and online so that we can be sure that there is always someone keeping watch with our Lord. Please assist me in making this a special time for our parish as we adore our Eucharistic Lord.
Fr. Ed Namiotka