Various groups host opportunities f0r Eucharistic Adoration on Notre Dame’s campus
“Who will I become?” Each Notre Dame student eventually will ask this question. In academic, athletic, and personal pursuits, men and women tend to feel the call to self-improvement, and the spiritual life is no different.
Among the many opportunities for spiritual growth at the University of Notre Dame, Eucharistic Adoration stands out. Unlike other common devotions, Adoration emphasizes quiet prayer in front of the exposed Eucharistic Host and encourages the faithful to meditate on the true presence of Jesus Christ—body, blood, soul, and divinity—in the Sacrament. Its fruits are numerous: greater awareness of faults, increased receptivity of God’s love, a personal relationship with Jesus. In short, Adoration fosters a strong prayer life.
The Office of Campus Ministry hosts daily Adoration in the Coleman-Morse chapel. Every Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., dozens of students celebrate this devotion to the Blessed Sacrament. At 10 a.m., a priest begins the Liturgy of Exposition. He reverently takes the Host out of the Tabernacle and secures it in the Monstrance. The Eucharistic Host remains there until it is removed in the Liturgy of Benediction.
However, the practice of Adoration comes with a caveat: the exposed Host must never be unattended. As the Congregation for Divine Worship writes, “Still, the Most Holy Sacrament, when exposed, must never be left unattended even for the briefest space of time. It should therefore be arranged that at least some of the faithful always be present at fixed times, even if they take alternating turns.”
Every semester, the Notre Dame community meets this challenge. Students sign up for half-hour time slots, and some register multiple times. Many others come spontaneously to pray and reflect in the silence. It is not uncommon to find the chapel full.
Numerous saints have recommended a devotion to the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Saint Jeanne Jugan said, “Go and find Him when your patience and strength run out and you feel alone and helpless. Jesus is waiting for you in the chapel. Say to Him, ‘Jesus, you know exactly what is going on. You are all I have, and you know all things. Come to my help.’ And then go, and don’t worry about how you are going to manage. That you have told God about it is enough. He has a good memory.”
In addition to the Office of Campus Ministry, other on-campus organizations offer Eucharistic Adoration. One Friday per month, EXALT combines Praise and Worship music with two hours of Adoration and confession. Katie Sisk, a student coordinator for EXALT, told the Rover, “I think the reason I love EXALT is because it offers such a beautiful opportunity for young people to come together and adore Christ. I love that the community aspect allows me to see people drawn together from all different places on their faith journeys to come together around Christ and spend time together focused on Him.”
Various dorms sponsor smaller Adoration events. In honor of the Year of Mercy, Dillon Hall coordinates Adoration for one hour per week during Lent. Similarly, Morrissey Manor held a 40 Hours’ Devotion the weekend of January 29. Students from Morrissey and other dorms gathered to celebrate round-the-clock Adoration.
What explains the mass appeal of Eucharistic Adoration? Pope Saint John Paul II stated, “In the Mass and in Eucharistic Adoration, we meet the merciful love of God that passes through the Heart of Jesus Christ.”
As demonstrated by large numbers of Notre Dame community members that participate in the devotion of Eucharistic Adoration, this love is a universal answer to the questions of the soul and the future: “Who will I become?”
Maria Kunath is a sophomore theology and history major living in McGlinn Hall. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.