Overseeing chapel is her perpetual task

By Amanda Lauer | For The Compass | November 27, 2013

Binzak directs parish’s Chapel of Divine Mercy, where Blessed Sacrament is reserved

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]APPLETON — The Chapel of Divine Mercy at St. Pius X Parish opened its doors on Divine Mercy Sunday in April of 2004 and, other than during a couple of severe weather days through the years, has been the site of perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

Toni Binzak (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)
Toni Binzak (Amanda Lauer | For The Compass)

Toni Binzak became an adorer a year after the chapel opened and has been the coordinator since Feb. 14, 2010. “I started in 2005,” said Binzak. “I don’t know if he (Fr. Tom Farrell, pastor) said it as a challenge but I took it as a challenge. I signed up with another couple that was already adoring, so it wasn’t that tough of a commitment. I knew if I couldn’t be there they still would be there.”

People who have never done adoration of the Blessed Sacrament may not be sure what they should do during their time in the chapel. Binzak experienced that herself. “The first time was very hard. I didn’t know what to do. I fell asleep. So I decided I was going to (drink coffee beforehand) to stay awake. It just developed (from there). God told me what to do and spoke to me in the chapel about being of childlike faith, pray for my marriage and all sorts of beautiful messages.” Binzak and her husband Dan have two children, Danielle, 29, and John, 25.

“There’s all sorts of things you can do in the chapel, the biggest one is be still in the Lord and hear what he wants you to do,” said Binzak. “It’s hard for people to do because they always feel like they have to accomplish something and I do too when I go to the chapel — I want to make sure it’s a fruitful visit but sometimes it’s just resting in the spirit with him. Otherwise people read prayer cards, they read the Bible, they take their big projects to the chapel and pray for them and/or write their story if it’s a witness presentation they have to give, some people pray the rosary.”

Binzak took over the duties of running the Divine Mercy Chapel from Mary Reardon, whose vision made the chapel a reality. “She had to initiate hundreds of people to come together at the same time to make it a 24-hour chapel,” said Binzak. “That was a big job to get it up and running and she had it running for six years. To take it over was as not as big of a deal as the first six years.”

Making sure all the time slots are covered is an ongoing task for the chapel, noted Binzak. “We do have someone in every slot but have lots of openings where people would love to have a second adorer. I have a lot of people who want a second adorer because they’re getting older, there’s people who have Saturdays or Sundays who would really love to have another adorer so that they can go someplace on a weekend. Adorers commit to one hour every week but some have more than one spot. There are 390 adorers, 75 substitutes and 33 coordinators. We have homebound people who pray for us because they can’t come to adore. Then we have people all over the world praying for adoration chapels.”

Thursday morning is Binzak’s allotted adoration hour but she tries to get to church every day. St. Pius X Parish is continually receiving fruits from the Holy Spirit because of the perpetual adoration chapel. “We have more men discerning to be priests, we have more priests coming up, we have more stewardship happening at St. Pius, starting with Christ Renews His Parish.

Binzak hopes more people will give perpetual adoration a try. Writing down experiences while sitting with God can help people appreciate how transforming this undertaking can be. “They should start with a journal and write the date down the first time they come to the chapel and write the story down as God progresses through their life,” said Binzak. “Everybody’s life would change for the better in some way, shape or form and it’s a wonderful to document that should you be called to give a witness talk someday or for your family to understand or appreciate.”[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_message color=”alert-info”]Your Catholic Neighbor

Name: Toni Binzak

Parish: St. Pius X, Appleton

Age: 53

Favorite saint: Mother Cabrini

Words to live by: “Be still and know that I am.”[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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