COLORADO SPRINGS. Exactly one year after the beginning of 24/7 eucharistic adoration at Holy Apostles Parish, Bishop Michael Sheridan officially dedicated the Divine Mercy Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament following the 9 a.m. Mass on Feb. 11.
The chapel in Mary’s House of Evangelization was the first location of 24/7 eucharistic adoration, which began Feb. 11, 2017. For a variety of reasons it was not suitable on a long-term basis. Instead, the side chapel off the main sanctuary of the church was converted into an enclosed adoration chapel, and on May 28, 2017, the Divine Mercy Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament became the permanent home of eucharistic adoration.
“I’m so happy to be here today to formally dedicate this adoration chapel.
“I’m so happy to be here today to formally dedicate this adoration chapel. What a wonderful opportunity you have here . . . to spend time in prayer — such intimate prayer with the Lord, Himself, under the signs of bread and wine; to be in the same room with God! Can there be any greater privilege or opportunity in that? So please make sure that this chapel of adoration is something that all of you see as an invitation to regular, ongoing prayer before God.”
Following the Mass, the bishop offered some words about his own personal appreciation of eucharistic adoration. “I came to eucharistic adoration rather late in life” mainly as a result of the encouragement of Pope St. John Paul II for greater extended Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament.
“I came to know the Lord, I think, more intimately, more truly in a way that I felt his presence that I hadn’t before that,” Bishop Sheridan said. “The opportunity to be with the Lord in Eucharist is something that is irreplaceable . . . what a great gift it is — this chapel; what a great gift you are who give yourself to prayer.” The bishop closed by asking adorers to pray for him when they are before the Blessed Sacrament.
Three weekly adorers also shared their testimonies of how adoration has impacted their lives.
First Tonya Graves, who leads the Friday 9-10 a.m. Children’s Holy Hour of Adoration, shared how that experience has affected the children who attend. Over 75 children have participated since it began. In addition to learning how to express reverence before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and to humble themselves before our Lord, Graves noted, “They enjoy being in our Lord’s true presence. Just as importantly, they learn how to seek and ask Jesus to increase His love in them, so that they may share it with the world, which so desperately needs it,” she said.
Angelia Mora described the “life-changing graces” and “profound impact” that eucharistic adoration has had on her and her family over the past year. Her prayer life went from being “sporadic, lukewarm and inconsistent” to something much deeper and more ongoing, and is shared with her husband and two young sons, she said.
“Prayer has brought peace to our hearts, an ever-deeper love for God, and the desire to serve Him,” Mora said.
Lastly, Shawn Simpson talked about the dramatic change weekly eucharistic adoration has had on his life.
“I had no personal relationship with Christ. I was an unclean spirit, bound in chains and fetters . . . I had no peace of heart,” Simpson said.
“I thought I knew Jesus, from what I heard on TV programs and from people talking about Jesus.” But after spending time with Jesus in adoration, “I didn’t know God would give me such peace . . . being in the presence of the Lord calms the storm within me,” Simpson said.
In anticipation of the bishop’s visit and the one year anniversary of 24/7 adoration, regular adorers were invited to write about how the practice has impacted their lives and what blessings they have received. These personal testimonials were included in a binder that was presented to Bishop Sheridan after the Mass. Below are excerpts of some of the testimonials:
— “The biggest miracle I have received is peace. Since I’ve been doing my hour I feel my anxiety is gone.”
— “It has ‘forced’ me to spend an hour with Jesus alone. It is a welcomed break from the busy-ness and business of life.”
— “I have been given the internal strength to handle the daily stress and adversity and struggle that I previously could not.”
— “The quiet time with my Lord has been a catalyst in my returning to my Catholic upbringing. I was away for awhile, and this time of reflection and grace seems to complete me. I feel closer to Jesus, and the time spent reading the Bible has been a true blessing.”
— Adoration “has intensified my relationship with Christ. It has given me a place where I feel no stress. It’s like the world melts away as soon as I walk in and all I feel is the love of Christ.”
The 24/7 schedule of adorers allows the chapel to be available and accessible to anyone at any time. In addition to the 294 hourly adorers per week, some of whom come for multiple hours each week, there are over 70 people on the substitute list who receive automatic emails from regular adorers requesting help to fill in for their hour when they are unable to come a particular week. To sign up to be an hourly adorer (“Guardian”) or to be a substitute, go to https://adorationpro.org/apostles.
To hear Bishop Sheridan’s homily in full, go to http://www.holyapostlescc.org/homilies.html.
To see video of the bishop’s reflections after Mass as well as the three who gave public testimonies, go to The Colorado Catholic Herald channel on www.youtube.com and select “Dedication of Perpetual Adoration Chapel” under Playlists.
Direct links to the videos: