40-hour Eucharistic Adoration stresses need for priesthood, family vocations

North Texas Catholic
(Jul 3, 2019) Local

Bishop Michael Olson blesses hundreds of faithful during the Corpus Christi procession at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Keller June 23. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

KELLER — St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishioner Frank Chacon contemplated the enormity of the question when asked what he derives from Eucharistic Adoration.

“The bottom line is it’s God and His presence here,” Chacon said.

Chacon’s wife, Martha Chacon, finished her husband’s thought.

“It brings the opportunity to be within that presence,” she said.

Adoration, Frank Chacon added, helps grow his faith.

“The teaching of course is that it’s truly Him there,” Chacon said. “But to really wrap your mind around that, that’s a big one. That’s a journey and what we strive for, which is why it’s good to spend personal time with God to get a better understanding.”

It’s about faith and one’s lifelong journey, Martha Chacon concluded.

June 23 marked the Solemnity of Corpus Christi Mass followed by St. Elizabeth’s annual Corpus Christi procession, after which 40 hours of Eucharistic Adoration began.

The 40-hour Adoration is one of four scheduled this year and next to mark the yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Diocese of Fort Worth.

Others are scheduled on Dec. 8 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish in Wichita Falls; March 19 at Vietnamese Martyrs Parish in Arlington; and June 11 at St. Peter Parish in Lindsay.

Bishop Michael Olson, in his homily, stressed the Eucharist’s centrality to the Church as well as secular society’s growing hostility and distancing from the faith.

A woman prays before the Most Blessed Sacrament during the 40-hour Adoration at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish June 23. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“The Catholic Church faces scrutiny and pressure to conform to the ideologies of the moment,” Bishop Olson said. “It is the marketplace of ideas that shills the latest concept or fad to keep people entertained and placated for a while. It is the marketplace of ideas that allures us into the ether of the denial of the reality of sin and the even greater reality of grace.”

Bishop Olson instead called for focus on the real and eternal.

“The Eucharist is not a concept,” he said. “The Eucharist is not merely a symbol. The Eucharist is the very real presence of Christ in the unity of His body. The Eucharist is the only and most excellent gift that can save us from our fears and self-destruction by sinful ideology through the selflessness of love.”

The Eucharist, Bishop Olson said, can never be separated from Christ’s Apostles and the bishops, their successors in union with the successor of Peter.

Through Adoration, Christ comforts us with His presence, Bishop Olson said.

After the Mass, the prelate added that it is the Eucharist that makes the Church, which otherwise would simply be “just a congregation of individuals.”

Through the Eucharist, unity and sacrifice are better understood, Bishop Olson said as he reiterated the call for vocations, especially priesthood and marriage.

“Priesthood is very important obviously for the sacrificial element and character of the Eucharist,” Bishop Olson said. “Without a sacrifice there’s no Eucharist. Even if we have a communion service there’s no sacrificial character to it.

Bishop Olson raises the host during the Liturgy of the Eucharist at the Corpus Christi Mass celebrated at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

“Likewise, the body of Christ reminds us of unity and communion, which, of course, marriage is represented by. The two in flesh commune. So, the Eucharist is closely tied to both the sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders.”

Throughout the upcoming 40-hour Adoration events scheduled, and the 50th anniversary of the diocese in general, it’s important to seek God's wisdom and guidance in the renewal of the diocese and Church overall, Bishop Olson said.

Father Nghia Nguyen, parochial vicar at St. Elizabeth, addressed the importance of praying for priestly vocations.

“The Eucharist makes us the Church,” Fr. Nguyen said. “It brings the community together in the fullness of the mystical body of Christ. But you can’t have the Eucharist without a priest, nor the sacraments.”

Fr. Nguyen continued, touching upon the benefits of Eucharistic Adoration.

“The Lord is truly present in the Eucharist so, through Adoration, you’re truly with Him, true soul and divinity,” Fr. Nguyen said. “It’s taking time just as you would with any friend or family member. You want to be with those people. Adoration is the same thing, spending time being with our Lord Jesus.”

Elizabeth “Betsy” Gorman, a parishioner at St. Peter the Apostle Church in White Settlement, discussed what Eucharistic Adoration means to her.

“It’s my whole world,” Gorman said. “It’s brought me [through] so many trials and tribulations and, to spend time with Jesus, it’s like nothing else in the world is ever going to bother me as long as I know He’s there and watching over me.”

Gorman lauded Bishop Olson’s call for priestly vocations and strong marriages founded on faith.

“It’s very important,” Gorman said. “Families have got to start realizing what family means, and we need that renewal.”

St. Elizabeth parishioner Sara Schaubhut relayed her joy over both the Corpus Christi Procession and the 40-hour Adoration.

“For me it’s the community aspect,” Schaubhut said. “Seeing everybody come together like this and celebrating our faith together as one. The procession is just something very special, and it gets bigger and better every year.”

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