St. Aloysius Church in Hickory opens Perpetual Adoration Chapel
HICKORY — Years of planning and discussion went into the development of a Perpetual Adoration Chapel at St. Aloysius Church in Hickory, and on Aug. 15 it was finally ready. With his voice full of emotion Father Robert Ferris, pastor, told his congregation during the Mass preceding the new chapel's dedication: "The Holy Spirit is here."
This special day, which marked the Feast of the Assumption, began with Mass. During his homily, Father Ferris expressed thanks and appreciation for all the parishioners' work to open the chapel, which is located across the street from the church and adjacent to the rectory.
Pictured: Father Robert Ferris carries the Most Blessed Sacrament as members of the Knights of Columbus Council 6451 line the path leading to the new St. Aloysius Perpetual Adoration Chapel in Hickory. (Jennifer Krawiec, Catholic News Herald)
Father Ferris blessed the monstrance that is to be kept permanently in the new chapel, and then he and Deacons Tom Rassmussen and Ron Caplette led the congregation in a Eucharistic procession to the chapel.
Father Ferris then placed the Most Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. He blessed the chapel, the adorers inside and the crowd gathered outside waiting to enter.
The day was the fulfillment of Father Ferris's dream of encouraging Eucharistic Adoration among the faithful of St. Aloysius Church.
"I felt strongly that the Lord was really wanting me to do this," Father Ferris said. "Pope John Paul II had said Perpetual Adoration should be in every parish in the world."
After Father Ferris gave a homily about Perpetual Adoration, on the feast of Corpus Christi last year, parishioner Anna Miller approached him and said she felt called to be chairperson of the effort to open a Perpetual Adoration Chapel.
Miller gathered signatures of people willing to volunteer their time as adorers. A Perpetual Adoration Chapel needs about 168 adorers – at least one for each hour of the week, day and night. The parish also obtained helpful advice from the National Perpetual Adoration Society.
The parish decided to locate the chapel in a church-owned house on their property, which had been rented out but had become vacant at just the right time. The Knights of Columbus Council 6451 donated thousands of hours to get the house ready, and dozens of parishioners shared their talents and time to renovate the house.
Fourteen months after parishioners started the project, the chapel was ready to be opened.
The building housing the Perpetual Adoration Chapel also contains a library filled with Catholic literature and study materials.
Father Ferris said he knows the presence of Our Lord goes beyond the altar where the Most Blessed Sacrament is placed.
"I think this will revitalize our parish, the people of our church, and even the community that we are in," he said.
— Jennifer Krawiec, correspondent