Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament continues
July 22, 2016 11:15 AM
At 9 a.m., the Blessed Sacrament was enthroned on the altar in the St. Clare
of Assisi Adoration Chapel in a monstrance from the HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Chapel (Streator, Illinois) - pictured right. This permanent change in location from the sanctuary throne is in conformity with the norms of the Church while being mindful of the challenges of enthroning the Blessed Sacrament by ascending and descending the marble steps of the sanctuary - a practice for many years.
Since 1930, Sisters have prayed before the Blessed Sacrament for the needs of the Church, our Franciscan Community, and special intentions that were shared by telephone, mail, or face-to-face. While Adoration was 24 hours a day since 1930, it was modified to eight hours per day in 1994. On December 8, 2006, we expanded the Prayer Ministry to include requests from our website in addition to the requests received through traditional means. While it has been a practice to have two adorers present, we have had and will continue to have occasions when only one Sister is present in the Chapel. We receive many blessings and offer countless prayers for the needs of our Community, our families and friends, and our world. Our God continues to reward each effort we make in this regard.
We began the tradition of Perpetual Adoration (the continual exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament) on August 2, 1930, when Bishop Henry Althoff of Belleville, Illinois, formally exposed the Blessed Sacrament in the St. Francis Convent Chapel in its former Ave Maria Hall (pictured above).
On October 4, 1935, after the Investiture and Profession Ceremonies of the Sisters, Bishop James Griffin, Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, and Bishop Henry Althoff, accompanied by the clergy, Franciscan Brothers, and many of the Sisters, processed from St. Francis of Assisi Church to the new St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel. That afternoon Bishop Althoff, accompanied by Monsignors Geuenewald and Straub, Mother Magdalene Wiedlocher, Provincial Superior, and many Sisters, brought the Blessed Sacrament from the original Chapel to this newly dedicated Chapel (pictured above).
In the Catholic tradition, at the moment of Consecration in the Mass the gifts of bread and wine are transformed into the actual body and blood of Christ. Catholic doctrine holds that the gifts are not only spiritually transformed, but rather are actually transformed into the body and blood of Christ while retaining the appearance of bread and wine. Because of this belief, the consecrated gifts are given the same adoration and devotion that is accorded to Christ. Because Catholics believe that Christ is truly present in the Eucharist, the reserved Sacrament serves as a focal point of devotion. During Eucharistic adoration, the Blessed Sacrament is displayed in the monstrance - a vessel used in the Roman Catholic Church to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host of the Blessed Sacrament (the word monstrance comes from the Latin word “monstrare,” meaning “to show”). When not being displayed, the reserved Sacrament is kept in the tabernacle.
The significance of July 22 is notable. Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene and we are mindful of the vision of Mother Magdalene Wiedlocher (1888-1967) who directed the construction and planning of the St. Clare of Assisi Adoration Chapel in 1935. Mother Magdalene served as Provincial Superior from 1933 to 1952 and she had a strong devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and encouraged the practice of Adoration by the Sisters.
We invite you to submit your prayer requests here.
Happy Foundation Day
June 30, 2016 1:12 PM
On July 2, 1844, Father Christopher Bernsmeyer, OFM, welcomed young women into an organization that would care for the sick - thus marking the foundation of the Hospital Sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis. We give thanks to God as we continue to be an international, multi-cultural congregation of Franciscan Sisters with Provinces in Germany, Poland, USA, Japan, and India.