On the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 22, 2020, the people of St. Anthony of Padua parish held a special day of Eucharistic adoration in a time of containment.
It is important that we, as Catholics, cooperate willingly and gladly with the authorities, as an act of love, to help slow and stop the spread of the new COVID-19 virus. Therefore, all public liturgies and gatherings in our diocese have been suspended since March 18.
So we did something else.
The doors of St. Anthony's have been open every day from 9 o'clock to 9 o'clock. People can come and pray quietly, and pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament, and maybe light a candle. The church is big enough that even if there are ten people at a time, we can still be 20 or 30 yards apart.
Last Sunday, we set the monstrance on the altar with the Blessed Sacrament for all 12 hours. There was always somebody in the church. Sometimes there were a several people - we kept our bodily distance from each other even as we grew closer to the Lord.
In the course of the day, about 75 people spent any-where from a few minutes to a few hours in prayer. It was truly beautiful.
We "behaved ourselves" - that is, there was a great deal of respect both for the sacredness of the Eucharist and the gravity of our pubic health. Therefore -
all else equal, we will repeat this Day of Adoration on Sunday, April 19 (the Second Sunday of Easter).
Friar Bob Showers OFM Conv.
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