Adorers in Arkansas say eucharistic adoration is a good practice for spiritual growth during the National Eucharistic Revival.
St. John Paul II called for revitalizing eucharistic adoration in all Catholic churches in his 2003 encyclical, Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
“That’s when I became really involved,” said Jenny Gates, an adorer for the past 19 years at Immaculate Conception Church in North Little Rock.
Many adorers like Gates have kept their weekly adoration commitment for more than a decade.
Greg Blacklaw from Our Lady of Fatima in Benton said, “My first impression was, ‘Hey, this would be a great way to go through Lent.’ And then I realized what perpetual eucharistic adoration meant; it didn’t stop after that.” He has been an adorer since 2000.
While eucharistic adoration is available in most churches across the diocese during specific times throughout the week, perpetual adoration requires an adorer to be present in the chapel 24 hours a day. Parishioners may sign up for a weekly hour whenever works best for them, or for a time that is most needed.
Estefanía Ramirez, a high school student in Benton, has a late-night adoration hour.
“It’s my reset button for the week. I need that one hour of silence, and it is in the middle of the night. But once you’re here, you never regret it,” she said.
June concludes the first year of the National Eucharistic Revival, the year of diocesan revival and begins the year of parish revival. According to the USCCB, eucharistic adoration is a central focus of this second year.
“My mom always says this, that if people truly believed that God is right there, they would be here all day,” Ramirez said.
Gates, who previously served as parish adoration coordinator, recalled people asking her what to do with their time in the chapel.
“They don’t know why they want to adore, but they want to be part of it,” she said.
“Adoration is (where) you do your own thing. There are different forms of prayer,” Ramirez said.
Some parishes adopt a shared-hour system, where two adorers can alternate who will be present each week, such as at Immaculate Conception in North Little Rock. Others, like St. John the Baptist Church in Hot Springs, have implemented two-hour time slots instead of the traditional one-hour commitment. Many churches like St. Joseph in Conway still use the standard, one-hour weekly adoration schedule.
To view perpetual and daily Eucharistic adoration locations across the state, visit dolr.org/adoration.
“When you think, there’s 168 hours in a week. No phone, no one else, but you and him,” Blacklaw said.
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