EUCHARIST AS A SOURCE OF LIFE
FR. ROMAN RATAJ
In what extent can adoration of the Blessed Sacrament influence the increase of piousness? How to participate in Eucharist on Sunday in order to want more? When does Eucharist become a source of life? - these and other questions were answered by priests and lay speakers, as well as participants of the Second National Forum of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Parishes.
The forum was held on 30 November – 1 December 2013, in the parish of St. Jan Kante in Częstochowa, on the 10th anniversary of the beginning of the perpetual adoration. The organizer of the meeting was the pastor of the parish – Fr. Marek Kundziuk.
The forum of perpetual adorations
The purpose of the meeting was the mutual getting to know parish communities of adoration, exchange of experiences, deepening Eucharistic piousness. During this year’s forum a new -11th parish with the perpetual adoration from the diocese of Tarnów was presented. During the meeting, issues of liturgical, theological and biblical formations in reference to Eucharist were discussed. This time lecturers focused on life with Eucharist in marriage and family. The role of parish in upbringing for active experiencing Eucharist was also presented. An important point of the meetings was time of testimonies of people expressing adoration.
The lecturers who were invited, were: Fr. dr. hab. Marian Duda (a professor of pastoral theology of the Higher Theology Institute) – ‘Eucharist as a beating heart of the parish’; Fr. dr. Piotr Polek OSPPE (a lecturer of liturgics and a general definitor of the Pauline Order) – ‘Celebration of Liturgical Eucharist’; Fr. Mieczysław Guzewicz (a member of the Council for Family, Polish Episcopal Conference) – ‘Marriage and family live thanks to Eucharist. S. Julia Dubowska from the Convent of Sisters the Servants of Jesus in Eucharist gave her testimony about a Eucharist miracle in Sokółka, and Zofia Chmielewska presented the Eucharistic Brotherhood of Jasna Góra. One of the points of the forum was a discussion on the influence of the perpetual adoration on spiritual life of believers. The summary was done by parish pastors with perpetual adorations.
The logo of the Second Forum was projected by Dariusz Madejski from the parish of St. Jan Kante in Częstochowa. It presents the Host hidden in the heart, whose colours refer to the Heart of Merciful Jesus (see above). Fr. Stanisław Jasionek wrote words of the hymn for the Second Forum and Tomasz Łękawa – melody. It is also a hymn of gratitude of the parish to God for 10 years of perpetual adoration. Also the logo of the forum refers to the 10th anniversary.
The First National Forum of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Parishes took place on 21-22 April 2012 in the parish of St. Joseph the Bridegroom in Warsaw. Its organizer was parish pastor Fr. dr. Zbigniew Godlewski. Lecturers focused on the biblical genesis of Eucharist, the relation of Eucharist and Divine Mercifulness as well as experiencing the deepness of Eucharistic adoration.
Is it only 10 years of adoration?
10 years of perpetual adoration – yes! However, adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the parish of St. Jan Kante in Częstochowa has got its history of over 18 years. Everyday adoration was conducted in the parish by its current parish pastor Fr. Marek Kundzicz in 1995. It used to be begun with the Chaplet to Divine Mercifulness at 3 p.m., and used to be finished with Rosary and the Holy Mass at 6 p.m. – our parish pastor encouraged us on nearly every Sunday to find time for a private prayer to Eucharistic Jesus – said a parishioner Ewa Oracz during the First Forum in Warsaw. After all, today in parish announcements there is an invitation for adoration. A good encouragement are common prayers of adoration after the Holy Mass on every first Sunday of months. As Fr. Kundzicz mentions, the thought about perpetual adoration was born in his priestly heart during retreats which he had at the Dominicans Fathers in Korbielów. – After return I informed my parishioners about it, and archbishop Stanisław Nowak undertook this idea without any hesitation and blessed this undertaking – he admits. After 8 years of everyday adoration archbishop Nowak sanctified the chapel, and started the perpetual adoration with the Holy Mass at midnight on 30 November 2003. According to the wish of Priest Archbishop, the chapel is designed for a quiet prayer – excluding the Chaplet and Rosary. At night and at a day particular parish groups have adorations. It is worth mentioning that every meeting of youthful groups starts with a short common adoration. Night’s Adoration lasts from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. and is divided into one-hour shifts. At present there are 200 people engaged in night’s adoration. A frequent ‘guest’ at night’s adorations is archbishop senior Stanisław Nowak.
Adoration parishes – how many of them are there?
In Poland there are 11 parishes with perpetual adoration, among which 2 parishes in the archdiocese of Częstochowa and two in the diocese of Tarnów. The parish of St. Joseph the Bridegroom in Warsaw is the first one in Poland. Adoration has been there since the year 1987. The youngest adoration is in the parish of St. Stanisław Kostka in Niskowa, in the diocese of Tarnów. The 11th place is the sanctuary of Divine Mercifulness in Łagiewniki near Cracow. The perpetual adoration there begins exactly in the same evening when blessed John Paul II was passing away to Father’s Home. Particular parishes from the neighbourhood of Cracow arrive for night’s adorations. In whole Poland there are also 264 parishes with 24-hour adoration. Most adorations are in the archdiocese of Cracow – 33, and next in: archdiocese of Poznań – 21, archdiocese of Częstochowa and Katowice – 20, archdiocese of Warsaw – 19. It is worth mentioning that in this archdiocese there is the oldest place of perpetual adoration in Poland – from the year 1688 in the cloister of the Benedictines’ Nuns near the Nowy Rynek of the City of Warsaw. It should also be said that ideas of adoration, present all over the world, are broadcast via Internet. So far internet adoration in Poland has been realized from the church of Poor Clare Sisters of Perpetual Adoration in Słupsk.
Cult of Eucharist in the archdiocese of Częstochowa
The idea of the Eucharistic cult appeared in XIX century. Worldly, national and diocesan congresses were organized on this issue. In Poland there were 3 national congresses. So far, most diocesan congresses were held in the archdiocese of Częstochowa – 8: in 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1934, 1935, 1939 and in 2005. For commemoration of the Eucharistic Congress, archbishop Stanisław Nowak, the metropolitan of Częstochowa at that time, on 1 January established a permanent adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the whole adoration – for the whole year and for subsequent days, particular parishes and convents adore the Blessed Sacrament. In the Year of Eucharist there was VIII Archdiocesan Eucharistic Congress (22-29 October 2005), and also local congresses: in Radomsko, Kłobuck, Myszków, Gorzkowice, Zawiercie, Blachownia, Wieluń and Częstochowa. The fruit of the Eucharistic Year is everyday adoration in 20 parishes and periodical adoration (once a week) in 17 parishes of the archdiocese. Moreover, in the archdiocese of Częstochowa there are 2 parishes with perpetual adoration: parish of St. Jan Kanty in Częstochowa – from 30 November 2003 and the parish of St. Apostles Peter and Paul in Zawiercie – from May 2005.
Cult of Eucharist in the Church
The idea of the meetings devoted to the Eucharistic cult was born in France in the mid of the 70s of XIX century. Its aim was enlivening and developing the Eucharistic divine service and also opposing to increasing secularizing tendencies of clearly anti-church and even antireligious character. The First Eucharistic Congress was held in 1881 in Lilla in France. Pope Leon XIII supported the initiative of Eucharistic congresses and encouraged to continue them. Till today 50 of them have been held – the last one in Dublin in Ireland in 2012. Gradually, new ideas of national Eucharistic congresses were appearing. They were introduced in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Australia and the United States. Also in Poland there were 3 national Eucharistic congresses: the first one – in 1930 in Poznań, the second one – in 1987, and the third one - in 2005 in Warsaw. Moreover, in 1997 Poland was a host of the 46th Eucharistic Congress in Wrocław. Besides also diocesan congresses were organized.
The Forum of perpetual adorations is a new form devoted to Eucharistic cult, developing in parishes since the end of XX century.
Based on parish sources and materials of the forum.