St. Peter the Apostle launches Perpetual Adoration with providential timing

By Mary Lou Seewoester

North Texas Catholic

July 19, 2017

NTC photo/Juan Guajardo


FORT WORTH — When Martin Daley of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Fort Worth approached his pastor, Father Manuel Holguin, about starting Perpetual Adoration, the result was providential.

“He had tears in his eyes,” Daley recalled, “and he said, ‘I’ve been waiting for someone to come to me.’”

Daley did not know that Fr. Holguin had been praying for Perpetual Adoration in Fort Worth even before becoming pastor in July 2016. And Fr. Holguin was not aware that Daley had been writing to Bishop Michael Olson about Perpetual Adoration since 2015.

“It was very providential,” Fr. Holguin said, “It was my desire as well, and he came to me at the perfect time.”

The timing was perfect because the St. Peter Youth Center was under renovation, including remodeling of a small chapel that could easily become a Perpetual Adoration chapel.

“God’s timing is perfect,” Fr. Holguin said.

The St. Teresa of Calcutta Perpetual Adoration Chapel is nearly complete, with an altar, stained glass windows, candelabra, and a small sacristy in place. The first volunteers began adoring the Blessed Sacrament there on July 5 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Currently, the hours of Adoration begin each Sunday at 6 p.m. and continue through Saturday at midnight. The goal is to have Perpetual Adoration as volunteers come forward to fill the Sunday hours.

Fr. Holguin said he wanted Perpetual Adoration at his parish because it offers the opportunity to experience the fruits and benefits of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament any time, day or night.

“We have this wonderful gift, the real presence of our God in the Eucharist. It’s important for people to be aware and value this gift that we have as Catholics — that we know He is really present.”

 Visitors pray before the Blessed Sacrament at St. Teresa of Calcutta Perpetual Adoration Chapel. (NTC photo/Juan Guajardo) Photo Gallery


Another motivation for Perpetual Adoration is “the transformation I’ve seen in other communities with 24-hour Adoration,” Fr. Holguin said.

He cited an ACI Prensa article in which Father Patricio Hileman attributed a decrease in violence in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to Perpetual Adoration. After the first Perpetual Adoration chapel opened in the border city in 2013, deaths in the city began to decrease within two months.

The article by Barbara Bustamente stated the number of annual homicides in Juarez decreased from 3,766 in 2010 to 256 in 2015.

“The city struggled with drug cartels and crime,” Fr. Holguin said, “but the presence of the Lord [in Perpetual Adoration chapels] transformed the reality of the people in that neighborhood.”

In receiving permission from Bishop Olson for Perpetual Adoration, Fr. Holguin explained he also had to “protect both the Blessed Sacrament and the people.”

To do that, the parish installed security cameras inside and outside of the chapel. Between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m., only scheduled adorers may enter the chapel via a coded keypad. A professional security agency also patrols the area outside of the chapel from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Deacon Wendell Geiger of St. Peter, who helped organize the Adoration schedule, admitted at first he was skeptical about being able to find the required two adorers for every hour of every day.

“But there has been an amazing turnout. The word got out and people started coming out of the woodwork,” he said.

“This has to be God’s work,” he added. “We even started getting phone calls from people in other parishes who heard about it by word of mouth…we didn’t contact them, they contacted us.”

Dcn. Geiger said that with adorers from surrounding parishes, Perpetual Adoration “is really serving a wider community. It will be a gift to whole area and I’m so pleased that people are seeking this.”

In addition to his team of six dedicated parishioners, Dcn. Geiger also enlisted the help of Father Lawrence Villone, Missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, who preached about Eucharistic Adoration at weekend Masses in March.

“He gave an excellent homily that opened up a hunger in the people and we got a huge response,” Dcn. Geiger said. “This is about the prayer community and the desire of the human heart to be in the presence of God.”

He also worked with Brenda Grayson, who facilitates Adoration at Sacred Heart Parish in Wichita Falls. Though Adoration there is not yet perpetual, the parish recently increased its Adoration time from 15 hours to 19 hours daily with 230 scheduled adorers.

“She was a great help to me administratively,” he said. “All I had to do was learn Excel and use their resources.”

The goal at St. Peter the Apostle is Perpetual Adoration, but several hours on Sunday are still without adorers. Since the Adoration chapel is in a building separate from the church sanctuary, Adoration may continue there even during weekend Masses.

Fr. Holguin invites anyone who wants to spend an hour with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament to become an adorer.

“The Lord is waiting for you,” he said. “It’s good to have communication with Him – openness to Him. And experience His openness to us.”

Those interested in becoming a regular adorer may contact Dcn. Geiger at . Adorers can also register on the parish’s website at stpeterfw.com/adoration-registration.

FORT WORTH — When Martin Daley of St. Peter the Apostle Parish in Fort Worth approached his pastor, Father Manuel Holguin, about starting Perpetual Adoration, the result was providential.

Published (until 7/19/2030)
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