By Keisha Espinal – Gulf Coast Catholic
Update: June 19, 2023 Starting in July, Holy Hour will be moved to Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m.
February 21, 2023 | Bonnie Hearn is growing closer to the Lord through Eucharistic Adoration.
“It gives me a stronger feeling of quiet communication with our Lord. When I leave, I feel a sense of happiness and serenity,” she said.
Hearn, is one of several parishioners of St. Mary Parish in Tampa, who spend their Thursday evenings in prayer during the newly launched Holy Hour with Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. She is thankful for the opportunity to spend time with Jesus through the Blessed Sacrament.
“There is no pressure or rules to follow. It’s a time to be in a beautiful atmosphere where your thoughts and prayers are sincerely heartfelt,” Hearn said.
Experiencing Jesus in this way, through Eucharistic Adoration and prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, is dwindling across the country.
“The Eucharist is the Source and Summit of our faith, yet recent polls indicate an alarming number of Catholics have stopped believing in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament,” said Deacon David Lesieur, deacon at St. Mary Parish. “We need to do all we can to reinforce our core doctrine on the Eucharist in every way we can.”
To answer that call, St. Mary Parish launched the weekly Holy Hour. This effort is a way for their local community to participate in the National Eucharistic Revival.
The initiative, “Eucharistic Revival: My Flesh for the Life of the World,” invites U.S. Catholics of all ages to become part of a national movement “to renew the Church by enkindling a living relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.”
“I think that devotion to prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, over time, helps us to open the eyes of our hearts to be able to finally see and appreciate the fruits of our prayers in the graces God gives us,” said Deacon Lesieur.
He invites everyone to visit St. Mary Parish and join in Eucharistic Adoration.
“If you don’t have any kind of a devotional life, begin one by coming to Adoration. If you are unsure about the Real Presence in the Eucharist, come and experience the intimate silence Adoration and ask God in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament to increase your faith in the Sacrament.” said Deacon Lesieur. “What do you have to lose? Adoration is for all of us. Try it, stick with it, and see how it will enrich your life.”
For Hearn, she says she will stick with it because in a busy world, being able to have a quiet moment in Adoration has enriched her life in many ways. “It gives you a moment to step away from worldly thoughts, concerns and distractions.