By Joy Nanton
On Wednesday, October 18 St Ann’s parish celebrated 25 years of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Archbishop Joseph Harris presided at Mass, concelebrating with Fr Rodney Eugene and assisted by Rev Lennox Toussaint. The Archbishop reminded us that our Holy Hour of Adoration should be effective in bringing about a transformation in our lives.
The seed of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration was planted in St Ann’s parish 25 years ago on the feast day of St Luke by our dear deceased parish priest Fr Eugene Delahunt OP, who at Mass, celebrated in Medjugorje, during the Prayers of the Faithful prayed for it to be established in Trinidad and Tobago. Twenty-five years later, despite enormous challenges, adoration continues at St Ann’s, thanks to God’s grace, goodness, love and mercy.
To Martha in the gospel of St Luke, Jesus said, “Mary is doing the better part…” ( Lk 10: 38–42). To many Catholics, “doing the better part” is being actively involved in charitable activities, which is essentially a good thing, but sometimes one can become so absorbed in doing for Jesus that we forget who is the giver of love and life.
It is through Him, with Him and in Him that we are motivated to “good works”. By spending intimate time with Him, we become like Him in love, we become committed to His purpose, for faith and good works embrace each other.
Catholic Christians then are called to encounter Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. In October, the Church celebrated the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and the 100th Anniversary of the Apparitions of Fatima, and the lives of many saints and martyrs who dedicated their lives to preaching and living the Gospel, true adorers of the Blessed Sacrament.
St Margaret Mary, whose feast was October 16, was told by Our Lord when she was in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, “Behold this Heart which loves so much and yet is so little loved in return”. He explained that the thorns around His heart are symbolic of the pain that He suffers because of the ingratitude and indifference of His priests and people toward His love in the Blessed Sacrament.
In his first encyclical The Redeemer of Man, Pope John Paul II said, “Our essential commitment in life is to persevere and advance constantly in Eucharistic Life and Piety and to develop spiritually in the climate of the Holy Eucharist”. He emphasised that every member of the Church must be vigilant in seeing that this sacrament of love shall be at the of the centre of the life of the people of God, so that through all the manifestations of worship due to it, Christ shall be given back
“love for love” and truly become the life of our souls.
On Holy Thursday 1994, the Congregation for the Clergy published the Directory on the Ministry and Life of Priests. This document gave new impetus to Perpetual Adoration when it proclaims “faith and love for the Eucharist will not allow Christ to remain alone in His Presence,” and challenged each priest to be a model for the faithful in Eucharistic Adoration. Fr Delahunt was that model for us at St Ann’s.
We thank God for this great gift of the Holy Eucharist and we pray that adoration may never cease but grow from strength to strength in the Archdiocese of Port of Spain and in the world.
O Sacrament Most Holy, O Sacrament Divine, All praise and all thanksgiving, Be every moment Thine.
PRAYER FOR THE SPREAD OF PERPETUAL EUCHARISTIC ADORATION
Heavenly Father increase our faith in
the Real Presence of Your Son, Jesus
Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
We are obliged to adore Him, to give
Him thanks and to make reparation for sins.
We need Your peace in our hearts
and among nations.
We need conversion from our sins
and the mercy of Your forgiveness.
May we obtain this through prayer
and our union with the Eucharistic Lord.
Please send down the Holy Spirit
upon all peoples to give them the love,
courage, strength and willingness to
respond to the invitation to
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration.
We beseech You to spread
perpetual exposition of the
Most Blessed Sacrament in
parishes around the world.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the