Culture of Life
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Our deanery is working on establishing Eucharistic Exposition 24/7 in a chapel off the main altar in our church, but there is concern that the Blessed Sacrament may at times be left alone. Is that okay to do?
BY The Editors
June 30-July 13, 2013 Issue | Posted 6/21/13 at 4:09 PM
Colin Donovan, vice president of theology for EWTN, responds:
First, it should be noted that all recent popes have encouraged such adoration in parishes, properly regulated.
In addition to the guidance of the ritual book Holy Communion and Worship of the Eucharist Outside Mass, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops has a Q and A at USCCB.org/prayer-and-worship/devotionals/adoration.
The advice that wherever possible two people be assigned is given. If only one person can be present, then they need to have the faculty from the pastor and the possibility (access to key, etc.) of reposing the Sacrament, should they need to leave the adoration chapel, especially if the replacement doesn’t come and there is the need to leave completely.
Leaving for a few minutes may seem trivial, but it won’t seem trivial if the Blessed Sacrament is stolen or profaned. It is also, in itself, disrespectful.
If the norms can’t be complied with, better to have a limited adoration time (daytime or one day a week or some other time that is adequately staffed) than care for the Blessed Sacrament inadequately or risk its profanation.
Other resources are available at: PerpetualAdoration.org.
At this time, as Catholics observe the "Fortnight for Freedom," commitment to our faith is particularly on our minds — and so is the witness of Sts. John Fisher and Thomas More, who are patrons of the fortnight.
As Thomas More said: "What does it avail to know that there is a God, which you not only believe by faith, but also know by reason … if you think little of him?"
Spending time at adoration is a reverent way to think of God.
It is also a way to become holier. As Erasmus said of John Fisher: "He is the one man at this time who is incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness of soul."
Have you always wondered about some aspect of the faith? Do you have a question about Pope Francis? If you do, email us your question at
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