Adoration central part of Parish life Print this post

By Bob Reddy (Florida Catholic)

8/7/17

Having the opportunity to come and pray in the presence of the Lord and allow God to transform them from the inside out is the reason the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at St. Joseph Parish is open seven-days-a-week.

Adorers seen July 24 in the St. Joseph Parish Adoration Chapel in Bradenton, the only 7-day-a-week chapel in Manatee County.

The faithful come to the Chapel with their joys and thanks, their sorrows and worries, their hopes and dreams, and to be in the presence of Lord, said Parish Chapel Ministry Leader Nancy Cunningham. “People enjoy the chance to pray before the body of Jesus. There are so many people, especially our Hispanic brothers and sisters, who love to come and pray.”

As the only daily Adoration Chapel in Manatee County, St. Joseph Parish has become a regular stop for faithful from across the region. But, sadly Adoration is not as well beloved as it once was so as the faithful get older, the number of adorers has dropped.

“In this busy culture, we all need to spend more time with the Lord,” Cunningham said. “Spending that time in a private place, in the real presence of the Eucharist, gives God a chance to work on our souls.”

St. Joseph Parish Pastor Father Thomasz Zalewski said the Adoration Chapel, established in 2001 in the Zacchaeus House (a former convent), has been at the center of countless Parish outreach efforts.

The Zacchaeus House at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton is home to a 7-day-a-week Adoration Chapel.

“St. Joseph is a very generous Parish, which has outreach throughout the community,” Father Zalewski said. “I firmly believe that this is a direct result of the Adoration Chapel. When you place the Lord at the center of your parish, good things happen.”

This outreach includes, but is not limited to, having the largest food pantry in Manatee County, a thriving St. Vincent de Paul Society chapter, a strong Knights of Columbus Council and a growing Catholic School.

Following July 19 Mass at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton, the faithful sign up to become regular adorers in the Adoration Chapel.

“It all starts with the Lord,” Father Zalewski said. “People can pray at home, in a park or wherever. That is all very good! But to pray in the Eucharistic presence of our Lord gives God a chance to work on us and gives Catholics a chance to bring all that we really need to God.”

On the last weekend of July the Parish held a sign-up to grow the number of people who are committed to spending an hour at Adoration. Leading up to the sign-up period, reflections from adorers were shared in the bulletin.

Bob and Lisa Kirkland have been adorers for 2 ½ years. “This has been one of the best things we have ever done,” the Kirklands wrote in the bulletin. “It has been a blessing in every way and a major faith-building experience. Our marriage has grown even stronger. We feel it is an honor to be able to visit with Jesus on a such a personal level. During Bob’s recent illness, I visited nearly every day. I would never have been able to deal with the situation had Jesus not blessed me with His mercy and love. That being said, He also blessed us with a miraculous full recovery form Bob’s illness. We have once again felt that hand of Jesus in our lives. We are so blessed and so grateful, as this could have been devastating.”

Chuck and Carol Delaney explained how Wednesday is a very special day for them. “We have the opportunity to spend an awesome hour with the Living Jesus,” the Delaneys shared. “Jesus is there visibly waiting for us, waiting for us to love Him. He loves us unconditionally and actually longs for our simple visit and our love. When we love Him, He teaches us to love one another.”

Fred Benson and Julie Ustanik served as the first adoration coordinators in 2001 and since then the group of adorers has grown, but there is always a need for more people.

The Adoration Chapel is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and from 9 a.m.-7 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

“We need some dedicated people who are willing to sign up for at least one hour per week to place themselves before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” Cunningham said. “That hour is such a rewarding and blessed time; a time for prayer and reflection.”

While most hours are for quiet reflection, there is also vocal prayer times, including a daily Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Weekly there is a praying of the rosary (daily in May and October), a Canton to Our Lady of the Home, an hour for life, an hour for priests and vocations, and an hour for devotions in Spanish.

For anyone interested in becoming a regular adorers to the St. Joseph Parish Adoration Chapel, please visit www.sjcfl.org and click on Ministries and choose Adoration Chapel, or call either Nancy Cunningham at 941-896-5950 or Kay Dimmich at 941-592-8499.

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