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"They took the body of Jesus and bound it with burial clothes along with the spices".           John 19:40

In the place where he had been crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had yet been buried. So they laid Jesus there. John 19:41,42



Summer/Fall 2004



Vol. 19, No. 1

Eucharistic Adoration Nets, Nurtures, and Nourishes Vocations

During the past twenty or so years many testimonies have been given by bishops, priests, and religious confirming that vocations to the priesthood and religious life have been a fruit of Eucharistic adoration and that Eucharistic adoration nurtures and nourishes vocations. Pope John Paul II called the Eucharist "the source of all vocations." He implored youth to go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament: "Dear young people, go to meet Jesus the Savior! Love Him and adore Him in the Eucharist! You are able to draw from Him the courage to be His apostles in this particular period of time."
      Many with vocations discern them and are given the grace to pursue them during holy hours of adoration. We at APEA hear of such instances often. One priest the Archdiocese of Philadelphia had his vocation nurtured in a perpetual adoration chapel that he walked several miles to regularly as a teenager. He was instrumental in getting perpetual adoration started in a parish in which he was assigned as assistant pastor.
       Surges in vocations to the priesthood in the dioceses of Arlington, VA, Lafayette, LA, Atlanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, Stanford, CT and St. Paul/Minneapolis, MN were attributed by their vocations directors and/or bishops to, among other things, Eucharistic adoration in those dioceses. Thirty-seven parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis have perpetual or near-perpetual adoration. APEA has been busy helping start it up in many of them over the past eleven years. Father William Baer, rector of the minor seminary there (St. John Vianney College Seminary) said there was a groundswell of vocations entering there - twice as many seminarians than ten years ago when Eucharistic adoration was first started at the seminary. In 2005, the major seminary, St. Paul's, is preparing for what could be the largest ordination class since 1957! Fr. Baer pointed out that many of the young men first began to hear the call to the priesthood during visits to adoration chapels in their parishes. Cardinal Justin Rigali of Philadelphia calls attention to the fact that more and more bishops are seeing the relationship between Eucharistic adoration and vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
       Following are a few classic testimonies that further illustrate the intimate relationship between Eucharistic adoration and vocations.

  • Bishop John Magee of Cloyne Ireland reported that vocations to the priesthood tripled in his diocese after he stated perpetual Eucharistic adoration there.

  • The Enrollment at St. John Fisher seminary in Stamford, CT doubled within one year after perpetual adoration was started there.

  • The Canadian prelate Cardinal Edouard Gagnon used to tell the following story:

    There is a parish in Ottawa, Canada where a priest was appointed. He had tried everything to attract people to the church, yet the church was almost empty. There were only 20-30 people at Mass on Sunday. But the priest did not get discouraged. He invited those few people to perpetual adoration. He told them that we suffer because our brothers and sisters are not here. So let's do something! Let's have Eucharistic adoration! So they started that. After three years the small community grew with people who were attracted to the Eucharist because it is there that the loving heart of Jesus is present, ready to inflame our hearts and the church was full every Sunday. Two years ago, nine boys had gone to the seminary to become priests, just because they had discovered the Eucharist.

  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta said this concerning the daily holy hour made by her and her sisters:

    Our adoration has doubled the number of our vocations. In 1963 we were making a weekly holy hour together, but it was not until 1973, when we began our daily Holy Hour, that our community started to grow and blossom.

       Priests and religious sustain and strengthen their vocations through Eucharistic adoration. Archbishop Fulton Sheen continually urged priests to make a daily holy to keep their vocational commitment strong.  Pope John Paul II specifically urged pastors and others who influence those with vocations to cultivate closeness to Jesus in the Eucharist: "But how can one not remember that there is nothing more uplifting than an enthusiastic witnessing to one's own vocation? He who lives this gift joyfully and nourishes it daily in his encounter with the Eucharist will know how to sow in the hearts of many young people the good seed of faithful adherence to the divine call. It is in the Eucharistic presence that Jesus reaches us, places us within the dynamism of ecclesial communion and makes us prophetic signs for the world."
       The Holy Father also called on all Catholic adults to teach youth the value of Eucharistic adoration: "I urge priests, religious and lay people to continue and redouble their efforts to teach the younger generations the meaning and value of Eucharistic adoration and devotion. How will young people be able to know the Lord if they are not introduced to the mystery of His presence? Like the young Samuel, by learning the words of the prayer of the heart, they will be closer to the Lord, who will accompany them in their spiritual and human growth, and in the missionary witness which they must give throughout their life." Youth who go to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament come to see clearly God's will for their lives.
      Many adorers offer holy hours for vocations. In the Archdiocese of Philadelphia there is an organization called 'Prayer Power' whose members commit themselves to offer a half hour each week before the exposed Blessed Sacrament at a specific location for the intention of an increase of vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Each member is also assigned a particular priest to pray for. The Legionaries of Christ/Regnum Christi host a vocations resource web site www.vocation.com where visitors can register online to unite their holy hours of Eucharistic adoration with others for vocations.
 

Suggested Reading

No Wonder They Call it the Real Presence: Lives Changed by Christ in Eucharistic Adoration
by David Pearson (Ann Arbor: Servant Publications, 2002)

This book contains nine moving testimonies to the power of Jesus working through Eucharistic adoration.

 

Missionary Priests of the Blessed Sacrament
P.O. Box 1428 • Bensalem, Pa 19020
Tel: 215.244.9211 • Fax: 215.244.9211
Email: apea@webtv.net