News

Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration begins in Lidcombe

Catholic Communications, Sydney Archdiocese,
11 Dec 2015

Eucharistic Adoration is a long-standing devotion in the Church

On Tuesday evening, on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the commencement of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy, St Joachim's Parish at Lidcombe launched Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, the first such initiative for the Archdiocese of Sydney.

Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a devotion whereby members of a parish or other community unite in volunteering to spend time in prayer, worship and adoration of Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist continually throughout the day and night, 7 days per week.

In preparation to undertake the initiative, Parish Priest of St Joachim's, Father Eduardo Orilla arranged a Parish mini-retreat in September, run by Father Douglas Harris, Parish Priest of Our Lady of Bernadette Parish, Glendalough, Archdiocese of Perth and a weekend reflection in November, run by Father Hugh Thomas CSsR.  Both preached on the power and importance of Eucharistic Adoration, and the benefits to a Parish community of agreeing to accept the spiritual challenge of spending time with the Lord, 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament currently occurs in Western Australia, Victoria and in regional areas of NSW, but St Joachim's in Lidcombe is the first Parish in Sydney to offer this devotion.

Father Eduardo said that the results over the past three days have already exceeded his expectations.  "Many people, young and old, families and/or individuals from around the parish are simply turning out to adore the Lord," he said.

In explaining the reasons for introducing Perpetual Adoration into the Parish, Father Eduardo explained that St Joachim's celebrated its 130th anniversary this year.  He said that this celebration gave the Parish the opportunity to not only reflect on its past, but also to consider its future.  The Parish reflected upon how they might retain current parishioners and welcome new people into the Parish.

This reflection resulted in the initiation of the "Way Forward" project, which identified specific areas where the Parish felt it was being called to do more.  In the area of liturgy and worship, the Parish considered that Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament was a specific and practical way to parishioners and visitors to commit to spending more time with the Lord.

St Joachims Parish, Lidcombe

Father Eduardo explained that the initiative launched at the commencement of the Extraordinary Jubilee Year of Mercy because it was a time to "open the doors" to the faithful and others.  He said that Pope Francis had requested Parishes across the world to open their doors more regularly for Adoration.

The Parish did not take on this project lightly, Father Eduardo said.  An existing Chapel in the back of the Church was modified by a skilled parishioner so that it provided a safe environment for worshippers, particularly those coming late at night or early in the morning.  An overall coordinator was appointed, as well as divisional leaders for each time period to ensure that all hours would be covered.

The Parish then got to promoting the program within the Parish boundaries and neighbouring areas.

On the evening of the launch, the Eucharist was carried as part of a Marian Procession through the car park of the Church, then through the rear doors of the Church and into the Chapel.  After an official blessing, Adoration commenced.

It is hoped that each time slot will have at least two volunteers to spend time with the Lord.  At the time of the launch, 184 people had committed to at least one hour of Eucharistic Adoration each week, with a few vacancies still available.

Father Eduardo is encouraging others to sign up as well, with all volunteers asked to email office@stjoachimsparish.org.  Those who are not able to commit to a specific time are invited to visit the Chapel whenever they can (the address is 2 Mills Street, Lidcombe.)

Father Eduardo says that he hopes the Perpetual Adoration will see an increase in growth for the Love of our Lord and a greater appreciation of being in His presence.

Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP with Father Eduardo and servers from St Joachim's