Whenever I see a headline about Millennials or the Nones, I’m sucked right into reading it. So when I saw the mid-November edition of Our Sunday Visitor in the office a few weeks ago, I had to grab it and read the “In Focus” story which was an interview with Bishop Robert Barron addressing the Rise of the Nones.
The interview ends with a simple question, “Anything else to add.” Bishop Barron ends with a simple sentence:
I think every parish should have, for the next 10 years, round-the-clock Eucharistic adoration, during which good people pray for the return of the unaffiliated.Bishop Barron
Prayer changes things. We’ve been telling children and those who are in need that for centuries. Do we believe it? Do we believe it enough to build an Eucharistic Adoration Chapel?
I’m sure there are obstacles at your parish: we don’t have space or money or man power. However, I’m going to challenge you this week and say, “yes, you do.” You have the power to do the things that need to be done. We need to transform the hearts of the culture we live in to show them the love of Jesus.
One of the parishes I’m working with did just this last month. They are a recently merged parish with a semi-empty rectory at one of their Church locations. They took one of the outer rooms (maybe previously a bedroom or a sun porch) and painted the walls, installed a small altar, hung some curtains, laid some carpeting, and put a keypad lock on the door. The chapel is open from 8am to 8pm Monday through Friday right now (with plans in the future for it to be around the clock).
What can your parish do? Can you start with the Church open while the office is open for people to come pray? Can you have people sign up to cover every hour of the week in prayer even if it’s from their home?
You’re being called to do something radical. Radical meaning it’s not “just what we’ve always done.” We’re in a new time, we need new ways of reaching people. The only person in the universe who can help us do this is Jesus, so let’s start talking to Him and listening to what He wants us to do.
One of the men on the leadership team at this parish said, “Adoration has changed me and I’ve only been 4 times. This is going to be the thing that transforms our Church.”