Spending quiet time
Scores flock daily to Perpetual Adoration Chapel
in Green Bay
Eucharistic Day will be observed Wednesday, Nov. 7, in the Green Bay Diocese.
By Ivan Berg
Nearly two years after Ss. Peter and Paul Parish opened its Christ the King Perpetual Adoration Chapel all is going even better than expected as scores of people come daily to spend time with Jesus in prayer.
For example, the July "sign in" sheets showed that almost 1,111 visitors had spent about 1,111 hours in Adoration of Jesus, exposed in the monstrance on a small altar before them in the chapel at 710 N. Baird St., Green Bay.
The length of the visits ranged from five minutes to well over two hours. Many visited often, some for the first time and some were from out of town. Many don't sign in, so the figures would be larger.
The chapel is open seven days a week. Visitors are welcome mornings, afternoons and anytime through the night, 24 hours every day. As we are told, Jesus waits for us at all times.
Jesus "can not" be left alone, so 168 of his special friends have signed up for each hour of the week. Don't let that stop anyone from choosing any hour. Some hours already have as many as three persons signed up.
Fr. Thomas Farrell, pastor of Ss. Peter & Paul and director of the Adoration Chapel, said he was there once when 11 adults and three children were adoring Jesus. Regardless of the number, Jesus won't run out of blessings.
"I do notice at the early hours of the morning and 4-10 at night, the chapel is almost too small," Fr. Farrell said. "People are there and sharing prayer. You see them come with their children as well. Especially now, when we're in the midst of war and during the election, people spend time in prayer. People come when they have problems. It's a nice thing."
Mike Vincent, director of religious education at Ss. Peter and Paul, said that when the chapel opened in December 1999, "we hoped that we would have two people an hour, 24-7, in there. Now there are times that when we go over there we have to wait outside to get in because the chapel is full with at least 10 or 15 people in there."
As an example of what the Adoration Chapel means to people, Fr. Farrell recalls someone coming up to him at a restaurant and saying, " 'Father, you don't know us, but we have been at the chapel. You don't know how it much it helped husband and me and our relationship with our children.' "
Sharon VanOoyen, adoration coordinator, finds substitutes in case of illness, vacation and so on, says the chapel is wonderful. "We have met so many interesting people who tells us their stories about what a difference it has made in their lives to have a place to come and spend time with Jesus."
VanOoyen, who also keeps the small chapel clean and orderly, recalls one woman who "was having medical troubles and kept coming back. Everything with her medical problems worked out and she attributed it to coming and praying before the Lord."
The chapel is quiet, very quiet, an ideal place to open your heart to God. Great respect is shown to Jesus as we enter and genuflect or bow deeply before him. We can honestly say, "Lord, I am not worthy to be here," but we also know he invites us, so that makes us feel welcomed.
He is present in the Eucharist. The Eucharist itself is an action of thanksgiving to God and we can add our thanks. The Eucharist is Jesus totally. His body and blood, soul, spirit and divinity is present in the monstrance as it is in the bread and wine we receive at Holy Communion. He is gloriously present, exalted and resplendent. To visit the Most Holy Eucharist is a proof of gratitude, an expression of love and a duty toward Christ.
We are all sinners and have many needs both spiritual and temporal. Before the monstrance it's easy to ask Jesus for forgiveness and mercy. It's easy to place our family and friends in his care and to ask him to bless us abundantly. He is aware of our hidden sins and the help we need that we aren't even aware of.
While you are visiting Jesus, please ask Mary, the mother of Jesus and our spiritual mother, to offer you and your needs to her Son, along with her most pure love and prayers.
"People say it's nice to know that they come any time of the day and sit with Jesus. There's an older gentleman, about 92, who pops in various times of the day. He's grateful and thankful to have a place to go and pray and be with Jesus," VanOoyen said.
Vincent said he "personally goes over every week and writes in all my petitions, from the students and religious education teachers. It has become a fabulous opportunity for prayer. When I go down University Avenue and see the light, I know there are people in there praying. It's a great blessing, knowing that we're not alone."
(Tony Staley contributed to this story.)