Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Ideas to promote Adoration?

Fri (9/14): DC ‘Hood vs. St Martin’s, 7 pm, @ Bohrer Park Activity Center, 506 South Frederick Ave, Gaithersburg Md 20877
We have had many, many comments on this blog about the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. I’ve included some of them below; they are insightful and inspiring. They help to reveal what I have noticed myself: that there has been a “surge” (ooh, that may not be the best word to use these days) regarding the Eucharist here at St. Andrew’s, at least in awareness and maybe in belief, too. So, I have a question: if there is a growing awareness and belief that Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist, then how can we promote Eucharistic Adoration (where the Eucharist is exposed every Friday on the altar at SAA from 7-8 pm) in a better way to our parishioners?

I am aware that it’s one thing to express belief on a blog site and quite another to live it in the real world. Nevertheless, what we are expressing here is that the Eucharist is the Body of Christ, and that we truly believe that it is Him who is exposed on Friday nights. In other words, we truly believe that we can go and see Jesus for up to an hour! I would think that that realization would lead people to Adoration at least on some Fridays. I love those who come, but have been a bit surprised that more people haven’t been coming the past few weeks or months.

My idea to promote Adoration (in addition to the blog site and occasionally in my homilies) is to give out some kind of magnets for people to put on their fridges. They could have the Mass times, Confession schedule, and Adoration time. It may just be that people forget about these things week after week, and that might help to remind them. Other ideas??
“This past year, I was privy to others' comments regarding the Eucharist. I can't tell you I was surprised at their belief that the Eucharist is a symbol, and these people felt that Christ's presence in church during Mass and Adoration was in spirit only. The funny thing is that these same people are teaching their children differently. One person told me that she didn't believe that the Eucharist is the real presence but was hoping her daughter would grow up believing it. It was like she was saying that this belief was beyond her capacity. So, I think one answer to your question is starting with the young. It's what I am committed to in my family. In fact, my daughter would tell you that she actually touched Jesus and would expect you to stand in awe of that fact.”

“Until this past year at SAA, I, although I am sure I was taught the significance of the Eucharist in school, didn't HEAR that message until Fr. Greg kept saying it, and saying it, and saying it.... Many I have spoken to have had the same experience”

“I’ve felt hopeless to describe the sense of peace I experience in receiving the Eucharist- like, no matter what else is going on in my life, in that moment, it was the perfect thing. I can’t adequately explain why one hour of Adoration each Friday is something to which I look forward.”

“How can we as laypeople, catechists, teachers, parents, and priests become better witnesses for Christ's presence in the Eucharist?”

“Eucharistic adoration is the most concrete expression of our adoration of God. Fixing our gaze on the Host we cannot but be aware of our nearness to God." - Saint Peter Julian Eymard


At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can get business card sized magnets that you can print out business card sized adverts and stick them to the magnet, or you can have Office depot do a custom order for like .40 each. Type in magnetic business cards in their search box and it should pull up. They used to have the kind that you could put through your printer but I didn't see them on the website.

At 1:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is an idea. Post a local Friday restaurant happy hour on your fridge or schedule. Whether you go to happy hour or not, the best happy hour anywhere is held at St. Andrew's on Fridays between 7 and 8 pm.

At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stick a flier in the bulletin

At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of people were on vacation during the summer. It is a problem in churches... goes along with a drop in the collection plate during summers. College kids going back to school, and people getting busy again.

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe one of the regulars at Adoration could say something at Mass like they did last weekend about RCIA.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

How about a Eucharistic Procession each First Friday, with a Knights of Columbus honor guard and thurifers swinging censers and the chanting of Adoro te Devote, starting from the church at about 2:20 pm and making its way up and down the school halls, then out into and around the parking lot just before dismissal and pickup?

You might also check with St. Peter Julian Eymard's Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. They've got a Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing that offers programs to "assist Catholic adults in deepening their understanding and appreciation of the fullness of the Eucharistic mystery."

Preaching on the writings of St. Peter Julian ("the Apostle of the Eucharist") might also encourage devotion within the parish. You could, for example, develop a pitch for Adoration aimed at fathers based on The Month of St. Joseph.

At 6:57 PM, Anonymous mindy said...

How about just explaining what it is? Most don't understand what it's about and think it's a time reserved for someone "other" than themselves. I was suprised at questions parents asked when their children were invited to come. In fact, I remember asking Mary Tull what it was about, and she said, "Trust me, just go- you'll think it's beautiful." She was right, but I trusted her word.

Maybe I missed it, but have you talked about what Adoration is during any homily? Magnets are good reminders, but maybe you could use a little something more informative beyond a time and date reminder. Just a thought.

Also, there are some things people are more comfortable doing as a group- especially when it's something they do for the first time. Maybe you could invite your different groups and their families (Bible Study, RCIA, Rel Ed, Choir- whomever..) to come and invite one more family from outside that group to attend. I think kids gain a lot from the experience, and you should continue to encourage that encounter.

At 11:33 PM, Blogger fran said...

I do not recall Adoration taking place prior to FG's arrival. Perhaps it just needs a little more time for people to be informed and then committed to it.

A few ideas:
-Contact St. A's school and find out how the Parent's Association sends out the mass e-mailing of its Thursday Notes. Bet you could do the same with parishioner e-mail, thus publicizing Adoration.

-Print a leaflet similar to your "C.O.O.L." leaflet, this time describing Eucharistic Adoration, including the Benediciton prayers and hymn sung at Adoration. Distribute at mass, at school, etc.

-Include it in the weekly announcements at the end of each Sunday mass.

-Could the Archdiocese do something, much like the "Light is On" promotion it did for confession during the Lenten season?

At 7:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remaining Anchored in Love by Henri Nouwen

When we are anxious we are inclined to overprepare. We wonder what to say when we are attacked, how to respond when we are being interrogated, and what defence to put up when we are accused. It is precisely this turmoil that makes us lose our self-confidence and creates in us a debilitating self-consciousness.

Jesus tells us not to prepare at all and to trust that he will give us the words and wisdom we need. What is important is not that we have a little speech ready but that we remain deeply anchored in the love of Jesus, secure about who we are in this world and why we are here. With our hearts connected to the heart of Jesus, we will always know what to say when the time to speak comes.


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