Group seeks to promote veneration of the Eucharist

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AUDUBON — For the past 15 years Bill Ezekiel Jr. has headed a group that promotes veneration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the Diocese of Camden.

He said some churches display the sacrament once a week or once a month. “My church, St. Rose of Lima, displays the Most Blessed Sacrament five days a week, Monday through Friday.”

Ezekiel’s group, Promoters of the Most Blessed Sacrament, meets on a Saturday every six weeks and is open to those who want to spread Eucharistic exposition throughout the diocese and in their own churches.

“If a parish doesn’t have the adoration of the sacrament we urge it to begin,” he said, “and those that do have it we encourage the parish to increase its frequency.”

Ezekiel noted that someone must always be available during the display of the sacrament. This person, often a volunteer member of Ezekiel’s group, is there to teach, to pray, to talk about the Most Blessed Sacrament.

“During the time of adoration,” Ezekiel noted, “people sign up and they really can’t do much of anything except to sit or kneel. They can say formal prayers or to listen to the volunteers.”

Ezekiel said his group tells the people “to talk to our Lord in your prayers and he will talk to you.”

There are some churches that have their adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament once a month, usually on the first Friday, or once a week.

“We encourage these churches to do more,” said Ezekiel.

He explained that the adorations can be held during the day or in the evening.

In 2005 the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Liturgy issued a resource booklet, Titled “Thirty-One Questions on Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,” encouraging and explaining adoration of the Eucharist outside Mass.

“Pope John Paul II calls worship of the most holy Eucharist outside Mass ‘an important daily practice (that) becomes an inexhaustible source of holiness,’” the booklet stated.

It also quotes Pope Paul VI: “Devotion to the divine Eucharist exerts a great influence upon the soul in the direction of fostering a ‘social’ love, in which we put the common good ahead of private good, take up the cause of the community, the parish, the universal church, and extend our charity to the whole world because we know that there are members of Christ everywhere.”

It points out that church law recommends an extended solemn exposition and adoration of the Eucharist annually in all churches and oratories. A common form of extended exposition in parishes is the Forty Hours devotion.

Eucharistic adoration is prayer before the Blessed Sacrament housed within the tabernacle. Eucharistic exposition is the ritual by which the Blessed Sacrament is displayed outside the tabernacle in a monstrance or ciborium for public veneration by the faithful.

If interested in becoming a member of the group contact Ezekiel at 856-546-4865.