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John Paul II Have you heard? There’s a new trend on Catholic campuses and it’s transforming lives. Students, faculty, and campus ministers are rediscovering Eucharistic Adoration, a timeless devotion of the Church.
The great twentieth century communicator, evangelist, and Servant of God, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, had a deep personal devotion to Eucharistic Adoration:
“Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are proceeded by a personal encounter with Him. Theological insights are gained not only from between two covers of a book, but from two bent knees before an altar. The Holy Hour becomes like an oxygen tank to revive the breath of the Holy Spirit in the midst of the foul atmosphere of the world.”
The Archbishop gives us what we like to think of as the “missing piece” in the life of Catholic colleges. He witnessed in his time a growing divide between those Catholics who place more emphasis on theological knowledge and those who emphasize social action. Notice that he didn’t condemn emphasis on either, but rather pointed out how fruitless they both are without a personal encounter with Christ. It is “Through Him, With Him, and In Him” that we must live our lives.
Eucharistic Adoration is the ideal place to foster and experience this deep personal relationship with Christ. If students are deprived of the opportunity to strengthen this bond, they will be ill-prepared to serve others. They will quickly lose hope in a world that mocks them for everything they hold to be true. It is good to have high ideals about social reform and orthodoxy, but when these ideals are not grounded in God’s grace, they become vain pursuits. Adoration is truly the key to opening up the hearts and minds of students so that they may become the Christian men and women God created them to be.
Why provide adoration on Catholic campuses?
The Catholic college or university that has a program of Eucharistic Adoration assimilates itself closely to Pope John Paul II’s vision of the true Catholic identity of a college or university. Adoration draws the college and its members closer to the heart of the Church.
What are the various forms of adoration programs?
Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is the constant exposure of the Blessed Sacrament in the Monstrance with at least one adorer present at all times. Eucharistic Adoration may also be offered for a few hours per day or per week, at times convenient for students to attend.
How does an adoration program benefit students?
Eucharistic Adoration places God at the top of one’s list of priorities. Everything that is secondary, academics, relationships, finances, falls into its proper place. Eucharistic Adoration gives students an opportunity to take a break from the business and stress of their day-to-day routine and adore Christ. Students who take advantage of adoration oftentimes become more involved in other campus ministry activities.
Will students really participate?
ASCC wants to help spread the word at your campus. Even if there are only a few students who come at first, the fire of love that these few experience will quickly spread by word and deed so that others are drawn. There are more than 30 Catholic colleges and universities across the U.S. that have successful Adoration programs.
Could Eucharistic Adoration draw attendance away from the Mass?
While this is a possibility, it is certainly not the intention of Eucharistic Adoration. In order to prevent this problem, proper theological reasoning must be presented to students. In Ecclesia de Eucharistia, the Holy Father makes the point that “The worship of the Eucharist outside of the Mass is of inestimable value for the life of the Church. This worship is strictly linked to the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrifice.” Students must be taught to appreciate this linkage.
Isn’t Eucharistic Adoration old-fashioned?
Before He ascended to Heaven, Jesus told His Apostles, “…Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). We have no reason to that His offering of self in the Eucharist, is outdated or old-fashioned. In fact, Adoration is a devotion that has been recommended by the Confessors and Doctors of the Church for the greater part of its history.
Is there help available to set up an adoration program?
Yes! The ASCC wants to help your college or university establish Eucharistic Adoration. We can supply resources, help promote the program to students, and put you in contact with other campus leaders. The hope that springs forth from Eucharistic Adoration will always be sufficient.
We’re so busy. Is another program really necessary?
Eucharistic Adoration will only enhance social outreach, liturgical ministries, and other charitable programs. “Neither theological knowledge nor social action alone is enough to keep us in love with Christ unless both are proceeded by a personal encounter with Him,” Archbishop Sheen acknowleged.