February 1, 2024 | Local News
Fr. Stephen Van Lal Than

Eucharistic Adoration is held at the Owensboro Diocese Youth Conference (ODYC) during the Nov. 18-19, 2022 event held in Bowling Green, which takes place every other year. RILEY GREIF | WKC

‘At the foot of the cross’

Parishioners across the diocese share why they love Eucharistic Adoration


Over the past several years, especially during this National Eucharistic Revival, there seems to be an increased interest in Eucharistic Adoration. While for some, Eucharistic Adoration is new, the devotion has been around for a long time. It is a centuries-old practice firmly rooted in the teaching that Jesus Christ is truly and fully present in the Eucharist.

Early Christians would take the Eucharist to those sick and unable to attend liturgy. Monasteries began to reserve the Eucharist around the fourth century for the sick and dying, but the practice of praying before the Eucharist wouldn’t fully develop until the Middle Ages. Since then, the practice has remained among the most popular Catholic devotions.

The practice diminished somewhat after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65), particularly in the United States and Europe. But over the last few decades, under Popes St. John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis, the Church has strongly encouraged the practice, which has produced positive results. As we journey through this Eucharistic Revival, our parishes, schools, and religious communities within the Diocese of Owensboro make regular Exposition and Adoration available.

For those new to the practice, certain questions arise. For example, why should I practice this devotion?  What are the benefits? And, of course, what do I do for an hour? To answer these questions, I spoke with several people who dedicate at least one hour per week to Eucharistic Adoration. This is some of what they offered.

Kathy Hayden from Owensboro emphasized Christ’s true presence in the Blessed Sacrament. For her, spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament helps her maintain her peace.

Dcn. Mike Marsili from Dawson Springs also stressed Christ’s true presence in the Blessed Sacrament. For him, the time he spends in front of the Eucharist reminds him that he is at “the foot of the cross and the church itself is Holy Ground.”

Megan Bell from Murray said there is something comforting about knowing you are in the presence of the Lord. During Adoration, she prays for her husband and children and believes the practice has made her a better wife and mother.

Common practices during Adoration include using prayer books, reading religious books, reciting various prayers, and simply sitting in silence. The rosary was the one devotion that was common to all the people I talked with. One man said regarding the rosary, “It just seems right to ask her intercession in front of her son’s Body.”

In the end, reverence in front of the Blessed Sacrament differs for each person.

A list of locations that offer Eucharist Exposition and Adoration can be found by visiting owensborodiocese.org/eucharistic-revival and clicking on the “Worship/Confession Schedules” button.

We should also remember that whether we have the exposed sacrament or not, adoration is available before any tabernacle in which he is reserved. So, if you feel called to spend time with Jesus in front of the Blessed Sacrament, as the Nike commercial used to say, “Just do it.” The time will be well spent.

Dcn. Ken Bennett is the co-coordinator for the Office of Worship in the Diocese of Owensboro. For more information about worship in the diocese, visit owensborodiocese.org/worship. For more information about the Eucharistic Revival, visit https://owensborodiocese.org/eucharistic-revival/.

Originally printed in the February 2024 issue of The Western Kentucky Catholic.

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