According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Prayer is the raising of one’s mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God.”
At the Willwoods Community, we hold prayer as central to our ministry.
Daily – Pray our Willwoods Prayer
Weekly – Attend Mass on Fridays or prayerfully reflect on Scripture
Monthly – spend a Holy hour before the Eucharist or in private meditation
Lord, draw out from the center of our being the essential goodness You have instilled within all Your children at the loving moment You created us.
Place us at the service of Your Holy Spirit, as we seek to conform our free will to Your Divine Will through Your daily gifts of grace.
Enable us to see more clearly Your Son Jesus’ presence in our sisters and brothers with whom we have been called to minister the corporal and spiritual works of mercy.;
Grant us the grace, through the intercession of Mary our Mother, to recognize the Holy Face of Your Divine Son in the Eucharist and in each and every child of God.
“I hope that … perpetual adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”
Pope John Paul II
45th International Eucharistic Congress
Seville, Spain: June 1993
Willwood’s History with Promoting Eucharistic Adoration
“The year 2000 will be intensely Eucharistic: in the Sacrament of the Eucharist the Savior, who took flesh in Mary’s womb twenty centuries ago, continues to offer Himself to humanity as the source of Divine Life” (Tertio Millennio Adveniente).
As we journeyed through the Jubilee year, we were privileged to reflect on the value and the power of Jesus’ Presence in the Eucharist. Willwoods Community, seeking to serve the Church in and of New Orleans, accepted the invitation of then-Archbishop Schulte to “heed the call of the Holy Spirit as he draws us closer to Jesus truly present on our altars,” and to spread devotion to Jesus in His Sacrament of Love.
Devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist, in particular the practice of Eucharistic adoration, is not new to the Church. However, there is today a resurgence of this devotion (charism may be a better term) across the globe, and it is springing from the laity.
Pope John Paul II established perpetual Eucharistic adoration in St. Peter’s Basilica in 1981. On more than one occasion he has spoken of his desire that perpetual adoration be established in every parish. He made one of his most memorable statements in a homily delivered at the 45th International Eucharistic Congress in Seville, Spain in 1993: “I hope that this form of Adoration, with permanent exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, will continue into the future. Specifically, I hope that the fruit of this Congress results in the establishment of Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in all parishes and Christian communities throughout the world.”
“While perpetual adoration had been carried out for centuries by religious communities, the Pope was proposing a new manifestation of Eucharistic worship: perpetual prayer and intercession before the exposed Blessed Sacrament by the laity, and in their own parishes,” said Brian Caufield in an article (“24 Hr. Adoration Is Recharging U.S. Parishes”) appearing in the National Catholic Register).
That the present resurgence of Eucharistic adoration is a movement of the laity is an obvious fact. The parish program model is a team-oriented plan run by lay people. A Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration (PEA) coordinator is directly responsible to the pastor. There are twenty-four hourly coordinators who organize their designated hour for each day of the week. The hourly coordinators are directly responsible to the PEA coordinator. This model ensures that the program will work without the constant attention of an already overworked pastor. The amount of time that a pastor gives to overseeing the program is minimal.
In 1992 there were seven Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration chapels in the Archdiocese of New Orleans. Today there are eighteen. Why so much growth? Paragraph 1324 in the Catechism of the Catholic Church brings us to the heart of the matter. “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life.’ ‘The other sacraments, and indeed all ecclesiastical ministries and works of the apostolate, are bound up with the Eucharist and are oriented toward it. For in the blessed Eucharist is contained the whole spiritual good of the Church, namely Christ himself, our Pasch.’” Jesus, in the blessed Eucharist, gives us his very self as our spiritual food. And he remains with us in the sacred species outside of the mass (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church # 1377—1380). “He is there!” St. Jean Vianney often said during his homilies, pointing to the tabernacle, “Jesus is there!”
“The Church and the world have a great need for Eucharistic worship. Jesus awaits us in the sacrament of love. Let us not refuse the time to go to meet him in adoration, in contemplation full of faith, and open to making amends for the serious offenses and crimes of the world. Let our adoration never cease” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1380).
ARCHDIOCESE OF NEW ORLEANS Office of Eucharistic Renewal
Office of Eucharistic Renewal
One Galleria Blvd., Suite 744
Metairie, LA 70001