CHARLESTON — Perpetual adoration has been going strong for 22 years at Blessed Sacrament Church. That’s 24 hours a day, 168 hours a week, 8,736 hours a year, for an amazing total of 192,192 hours over the 22-year span.
Dedicated people who have made a commitment to spend a Holy Hour in the presence of the Eucharist go to the church’s Perpetual Adoration Chapel to fulfill that commitment, even if it’s 2 a.m. Visitors and vacationers also spend prayerful time in the peaceful environment of the chapel.
Perpetual adoration began June 24, 1984, at Blessed Sacrament as a combined effort of that parish and St. Joseph Parish. Father Martin Lucia of the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament came to Charleston to speak at the churches and to assist in the organization. Dr. Lou Verroi, a Blessed Sacrament parishioner, was appointed head coordinator and assembled a group of four others to enlist a minimum of 336 prayer volunteers. The startup required many long hours.
“This truly is a work of the Holy Spirit,” Dr. Verroi said. “It would never have succeeded without divine intervention. Just two weeks before the scheduled start, we were 11 names short and had pursued all of our possibilities — or so we thought,” he said. But more people stepped forward, and perpetual eucharistic adoration began as scheduled on the Feast of Corpus Christi. It was a first for South Carolina.
“As we observe the 22nd year of this blessed devotion, there are countless testimonies of adorers who give praise and thanksgiving for the blessings received during their holy hours,” said Charles “Buddy” Sirisky, who replaced Verroi as coordinator. “Probably the most inspiring aspect of our perpetual eucharistic adoration is the devotion of many ‘charter adorers’ who are still faithfully keeping their Holy Hour weekly. Many of our charter adorers are in their 90s and are still responding to Jesus’ plea, ‘Can you not watch one hour with me?’ ”
“Blessed Sacrament Church and School have been blessed over the years,” said Father Joseph Hanley, pastor. “I know that the willingness of our parishioners to live their faith through the sacrifice of their time to adore and worship Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is the source of these many blessings. … The sacrifice of time that we give to him in the middle of the night will always come back many times.”
For information about perpetual eucharistic adoration, contact Charles Sirisky at (518) 561-8193 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.