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Who is the leader of this group?
Mater Dei parishioner, Mike Drake, is the current Adoration Society coordinator. Mike is just another retired engineer, however he is a firm believer in the immense spiritual benefit available to us through eucharistic adoration. He brings his experience with years of all-night adoration at the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Dallas from the Mater Dei Community to the Mater Dei Parish. His desire is to help make your adoration experience as ascetic a journey as possible – with coffee, cakes and other goodies to back you up during adoration moments of fatigue.
What does your ministry/group bring to the Mater Dei community?
The principle recurring adoration event is on the First Friday of every month. In keeping with the All-Night Vigil of the Two Hearts begun by the Discalced Carmelite Nuns in Dallas, Mater Dei carries on this public vigil with all-night adoration beginning immediately after the 8:00 p.m. Mass on First Friday until the start of the 8:00 a.m. Mass the following day.
Our offering to the community is the preservation of this sublime spiritual encounter with Our Lord month after month for all to participate in. By continually managing and monitoring adoration hours, we maintain the required attendance needed through every vigil. Members of the Adoration Society make different levels of commitment for this purpose.
The Adoration Society’s responsibility is to do its best to ensure that commitments are in place for adequate attendance at every hour of a given adoration vigil before the vigil starts. We set up sign-up calendars for the parish in order to monitor attendance commitments. We announce the vigil through the Flocknotes email channel and in the parish bulletin. We send out reminders as each date approaches. And if we determine early on that some of the hours for a given vigil are lacking in adequate attendance for whatever reason, we bring these weak spots to the attention of all the members to see whether the Society can fill those hours through additional commitments.
And it’s true that we do arrange for a modest break room with refreshments during the vigils to accompany the nighttime hours.
What opportunities/activities does your group offer to members of the community?
One need not be a member of the Adoration Society to make adoration hours, nor to sign up for adoration using the online sign-up calendars. Adoration events are always open to everyone at all event times.
The Adoration Society asks all parishioners to seriously consider joining the society to help preserve eucharistic adoration for the parish. This level of support cannot be achieved without the help of volunteers from the parish. With enough volunteers, the time commitment for each one becomes very small.
And the reward is unbounded by earthly measure. Just think about it … a “free ticket” to quality personal time with Our Lord exposed for adoration, and the shared appreciation that all Adoration Society members have for one another and for our common work.
What are some of the most rewarding parts of this apostolate, and challenges?
The purpose of the First Friday all-night adoration vigil, established by the Sisters in early 2008, is to beg God’s mercy and Our Lady’s intercession for America. Consequently, it is not just within our personal lives that we find enrichment through adoration but in common petitions to God that we share with the whole Church for the benefit of the world. The Carmelite Sisters actually join us in this First Friday vigil every month with their own vigil at their monastery in tandem with ours at Mater Dei. We pray together with them for the cessation of horrible sins which thrive in America and for the restoration of a culture of life, intentions that also unite us in a common desire to make reparation for sins against those Two Hearts.
Challenging intentions? Of course … and yet these are universals that unite Mater Dei parishioners at vigil time every month in a shared camaraderie to see to it that Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament is adequately accompanied at every vigil hour.
What kind of time commitment would be required from a new volunteer?
One hour per month or less, depending on the type of commitment.
When a person signs up to become a new member of the Adoration Society, he makes one of two commitments: 1) Specified Hour 2) Unspecified Hour.
Commitment #1 – Specified Hour
This commitment is to be present for adoration at one specific hour during every vigil. If this commitment is selected, the new member will automatically be added to the adoration calendar at his selected hour every vigil, and he will receive a reminder each time. If the new member needs relief from this commitment at any vigil, he simply needs to notify the coordinator by sending him an email. (Although the typical commitment is one hour, more than one hour is also an option.)
Commitment #2 – Unspecified Hour
This commitment is to help by making an hour of adoration when vigils do not have minimally adequate attendance. If this commitment is selected, the new member will receive an email from the coordinator, if a given adoration hour were to lack adequate attendance, in order to ask the member if he would be able to cover that hour (helping does not mean a strict obligation).
Any final thoughts?
We have considered world cruises, extravagant paid vacations, and a year’s supply of hot sauce. But we have opted instead for something far beyond the confines of this world – genuine all-night adoration of Our Blessed Lord in the Most Holy Sacrament, because He is Who He is, and we, His lowly creatures, embrace the reality of His merciful presence.
Who to contact for more information:
For more information please send an email to Mike Drake at email@example.com.