If ever the Church and the world were in need of prayer it would seem to be now in our present moral, spiritual and socio-economic crisis. Make it so now. In Lent 2009, a young couple decided to jump in boots and all and organise “40 days of prayer for life”. This is a growing movement in USA where vigils are kept outside abortion clinics for 40 days 24hrs/day, twice a year, lent being one of those times. Near the end of lent that year some other faithful servants from Bray Park parish brought Fr Hugh Thomas over from Perth to run a few retreats on Eucharistic Adoration. Buoyed by the response to 40 days of prayer for life held in Brisbane, and inspired by Fr Hugh Thomas a few gather together to look at possibilities to have Perpetual Adoration in Brisbane.
Our Lord exposed on the Altar
Our Lord exposed on the Altar and perpetually adored is not new to Brisbane. The Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Villa Maria, 123 Warren St Fortitude Valley, have been faithfully adoring Our Lord perpetually for over 100 years. In the 1990’s they invited lay people to become co-adorers with them. However, in recent years the long-serving Sisters of Perpetual Adoration at Villa Maria, due to age and infirmity, they were no longer able to cover or organise the 24/7 period of Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Adoration continued, but not perpetually.
Some of the group having been co-adorers with the Sisters decided to make contact and propose the idea of the laity forming an organisation to take care of the organising of a roster etc. Being able to share the enthusiasm people had with making the “40days of prayer for life”, was a contributor to the Sisters welcoming our proposal.
The Sisters reminded us that good organization is necessary, but that given, they would be overjoyed to have their work again live up to its name.
After a few more meetings Perpetual Adoration Association was born and Pentecost Sunday was fittingly chosen as a date to begin. With Benediction at 6pm, 31st May, 2009 Our Lord was once more being adored perpetually in Brisbane.
The Sisters wisely requested we have two people to adore at every hour and the Sisters for the first six months assisted us by taking 40hours per week. At first the question was asked “What if we don’t get enough response?” The answer of course was” “We” will adore perpetually!” But of course our small group has not had to play “tag team adoring”. Our Lord continually draws new adorers to him, so our numbers are always increasing.
So many people have been generous with their time. Many adorers have come forward to share the more difficult hours to fill, midnight to 7am. For those involve it has been a joy and a strengthening of our faith to have so many others also keen to do whatever it takes to have Brisbane be blessed by the graces Perpetual Adoration brings. Many comment on how many different people are coming, not just the usual groups: The old, the young, singles, families a varied group of many different nationalities from all over the Archdiocese.
We always welcome new adorers. The best way to contact us is email or phone. Then we can send you a roster of the hours needing adorers for you to see where you can help. The more people who take responsibility for an hour the lighter the load becomes for organisation. So we do try to encourage this first, but we understand not everybody is in a position to be responsible for a particular hour. We have people on a list who help out where they can each week.
For Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration we are very fortunate to have the relatively new Chapel of the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration to carry out this Apostolate. Fortitude Valley is centrally located. There is very secure parking under the Chapel and the Chapel itself is also secure. All adorers coming after daytime hours must have a swipe key to access the car park and then the lift and finally to the Chapel. The Chapel itself is spacious with high ceilings, and though it is quite modern, one senses a real intimacy with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament exposed and so close. The Sisters are taking care of all the sacristy obligations, and during winter we have heaters and summer fans. We really are blessed.
Eucharistic Adoration really has results. Where there is Eucharistic Adoration vocations soon flow, and our need for religious vocations at this very hour is acute.
Our Father is longing to listen to us and speak to us through his Son. In the Blessed Sacrament He looks at us and we look at Him as lovers do. Words aren't always necessary. "Come and see".
As Jesus invited the disciples in the Agony in the Garden "Spend one hour with Me." He now invites us. Eucharistic Adoration is a love affair where God is dating you. Don't stand Him up!
Copyright © 2012, Perpetual Adoration Association