Pictured is Exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Wheeling. The diocese will have a Holy Hour of Adoration at participating churches across the state Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. Colleen Rowan Photo
By Colleen Rowan
The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston will have a Holy Hour of Adoration, Jesus Christ—Our Hope and Healing, Nov. 25 at 3 p.m. at participating churches. Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore and apostolic administrator of Wheeling-Charleston approved the holy hour to bring the faithful before the Blessed Sacrament to continue the process of formation and healing. A message to the Catholic faithful that was sent to parishes and was published in parish bulletins, stated: “Our Diocesan Holy Hour for Hope and Healing will be another opportunity to worship and adore Jesus Christ in Eucharistic Adoration. What great encouragement for us to unite in prayer and petition to God for restored hope where needed and for the healing of all victims of abuse and neglect.” The message invited the faithful to rediscover and remember Jesus’ promise to “be with us always, until the end of the ages” is fulfilled in all the sacraments, but most especially in the gift of the Eucharist, his body, blood, soul and divinity enthroned in the monstrance for us to adore. “The Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist is an answer—real, simple, and available,” the message said. “There are many components needed for healing deep wounds and the alleviation of difficult doubts. Take this opportunity to fly to Jesus Christ in the Eucharist and ask Him in the silence of your heart to ignite the virtue of hope that you already have received and to heal your mind and heart of all doubt, despair, and confusion.”
Posted on the diocesan website at dwc.org/HolyHour are resources and a list of participating parishes across West Virginia. At press time 41 churches had signed on to participate. One of those parishes is St. James the Greater in Charles Town, which houses a perpetual adoration chapel at the church. The upcoming holy hour, said Rev. Mr. David Galvin, permanent deacon at the parish, can bring healing during this difficult time for the church. “We are so excited that Archbishop Lori has called forth this Holy Hour on the Feast of Christ the King,” Deacon Galvin said. “The hurt, anger, and betrayal that the members of our diocese have felt can only be healed by Christ. This is a great opportunity for our priests as well. Unfortunately, some had forgotten this great spiritual devotion. This is an opportunity for our priests to find healing and draw renewed strength for their vocation. Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever. By returning to the roots of our faith, by recognizing Christ in the Eucharist, by praying together with our brothers and sisters throughout the state, we can find genuine healing and a purification of those called to bring Christ to the world.”
Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament provides great comfort, said Diane Kimble, a parishioner of the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Charleston. She is a member of the Serra Club of Charleston who organizes adoration on first Saturdays at her parish. Adoration is a huge part of her faith life, and she shared her feelings in a story in The Calling, vocations newsletter, in the Oct. 2 issue of The Catholic Spirit. “I love my time face-to-face with the Lord exposed on the altar as I pray for the needs of our parish, our families, and our church,” she said. “When I am sitting in silence with our sisters and know how hard they are praying for us, I am so humbled. … I wish every parishioner could attend because in this noisy world, we need prayerful silence for intercessory prayer more than we need anything else.”
The basilica co-cathedral is also participating in the holy hour as well as her sister parish in Wheeling, the Cathedral of St. Joseph. In October, the cathedral hosted 40-Hours Devotion in Reparation for Sins and for Healing of the Church which was attended by faithful from throughout the Wheeling area. In beginning the 40-hours, Msgr. Kevin M. Quirk, J.C.D., J.V., rector of the cathedral, shared the words of St. Josemaria Escriva, priest and founder of Opus Dei: “Each time you approach the Blessed Sacrament, remember that Jesus has been waiting for 20 centuries for this personal visit from you.”
Adoration, Msgr. Quirk said to the faithful at the Solemn Opening Mass Oct. 7, is the opportunity to spend a quiet moment with Christ, and the words of St. Josemaria Escriva are a powerful reminder of Jesus’ desire to have this moment with us. “Give him the gift of that moment,” Msgr. Quirk said to those gathered at the Mass.
Sacred Heart parishes in Bluefield and Princeton are also participating, with the Holy Hour being held at Sacred Heart in Bluefield. Their pastor, Father Sebastian Devasya, said that Eucharistic Adoration is “powerful and healing.”
“Sacred Heart parishes of Bluefield and Princeton wish to offer up our prayers in solidarity with the victims of the sexual abuse crisis of our church,” Father Devasya said. “The Lord Jesus Christ is our ultimate source of consolation and hope. It is only the light of Christ that can pierce the deep recesses of darkness and brokenness suffered by the victims. It is Christ the healer that will give comfort and healing to the painful wounds inflicted on the bodies, minds and souls of the victims. We wish to come together and pray for justice, healing and the respect and dignity of every human life as well as the purification of our church. “Eucharistic Adoration is a blessed and grace-filled time of prayer where Jesus is visible and truly present in the Most Blessed Sacrament,” Father Devasya said. “In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked his disciples could they not spend an hour with him? Our church needs more people spending quiet, prayerful time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Eucharistic Adoration is a very powerful and healing time of prayer where God pours out his grace, love and healing. All he asked from us is an hour of our time. May we give it freely and sincerely.”
Visit dwc.org/HolyHour for more information, resources, and a list of participating churches.