“36 Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and agitated. 38 Then he said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and stay awake with me.” 39 And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.” 40 Then he came to the disciples and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “So, could you not stay awake with me one hour? 41 Stay awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42 Again he went away for the second time and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.” 43 Again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them again, he went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words. 45 Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 46 Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand.” ”
Men of Ave Maria,
Our parish is in need of your help. In the scripture passage above, Jesus asks His disciples to stay awake and watch with Him. When He returns, He finds them sleeping. We have been called as a parish of Perpetual Adoration, and we have been caught sleeping.
Perpetual adoration is defined as: “The practice of the continuous exposition and adoration of the Eucharist, twenty-four hours a day. During perpetual adoration, a specific person performs adoration for a period of one hour or more, so there is always at least one person who performs adoration during each day and night.” It is during the night, while we are sleeping, that our Lord is so often left alone, and why The Night Watchmen exists.
Working on a rotation basis, the ministry begins with a group of 12 men representing the 12 disciples, with one group assigned to each day of the week for a total of 84 men. Each week, 6 of the men (in the 12 man group) will have an hour of adoration on that night covering the hours of 11pm-5am. Active rotations start with the 11pm time slot in week 1, 12am in week 2, and continuing to the 5am time slot in week 6.
Example: Friday (D1-D12 represents the Disciples, YOU)
D1 11pm-12am, D2 12am-1am, D3 1am-2am, D4 2am-3am, D5 3am-4am, D6 4am-5am. D7-D12 will be off rotation. The next week every man will shift to the next scheduled hour and D6 will begin his 6 week break while D12 will be scheduled 11pm-12am and begin his 6 week rotation of Adoration.
While Adoration provides for a myriad of personal and spiritual benefits, our parish family also benefits from the availability of a man to provide security during late hours for the church, and comfort for those individuals who might want to Adore during late hours but unwilling to go alone. Finally Our Lord will not find the men of Ave Maria Parish sleeping anymore. He is calling on all men in our parish to be the men He intended us to be and by spending time with Him we will hear His call. In the words of Pope John Paul II:
“We will go throughout the city, we will pass among the people assailed by thousands of everyday problems, we will go to meet these brothers and sisters of ours and we will show the Sacrament of Christ’s presence to all: ‘Behold the bread of angels, the bread of pilgrims; the true bread of children.’ In this bread the Almighty, the Eternal, the thrice Holy has made Himself close to us, has become ‘God-With-Us,’ Emmanuel.”