What started as a Lenten devotional opportunity has become a daily practice at the Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle. The Cathedral now offers Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament weekdays from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. and it has brought new blessings and graces upon the parish community.
The bold leap of faith to introduce daily Adoration was part of the parish planning process for Courageously Living the Gospel. Committee members explored what ministries or programs would be relevant to their community and a renewed emphasis on prayer was top on the list.
“One of our goals is to develop a real sense of devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, calling people together to pray at Mass and understanding that the Mass is the source and summit of our Christian life,” said Father Arthur Proulx, rector, Cathedral of St. Jude the Apostle, St. Petersburg. “We also want to invite people to come to the cathedral to pray before Jesus’ Real Presence in the Blessed Sacrament,” he added.
The parish implementation committee for Courageously Living the Gospel is made up of parishioners and staff from a variety of ages and stages of life. They are focusing on prayer because prayer helps us focus our attention on God and to grow in faith and holiness. They also believe a strong prayer life is necessary to equip their parishioners with the confidence to become a community of disciples living the Gospel.
Last year, the Cathedral also introduced Adore, Eucharistic Adoration that brings together young people, families and individuals from the parish and from across the Diocese.
“A success for our parish has been a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament, which we call Adore. We have exposition of the Blessed Sacrament with prayer and praise music and our church is nearly full when we do this. Our committee has decided we want to continue this and to do this with even more enthusiasm and invite even more people to come to the cathedral, which of course is the mother church for the Diocese of St. Petersburg,” added Father Proulx.
The parish is also seeking to introduce more opportunities for communal prayer of the Rosary and the Chaplet of Divine Mercy.
“Communal prayer is important to foster a culture of accompaniment where together parishioners are supported and encouraged on their spiritual journey,” said Linda Barron, a parishioner who serves on the planning committee.
The parish also seeks to develop an outreach to pray for non-participating members of the parish and enhance opportunities for intercessory prayer.
“The act of praying for our brothers and sisters brings comfort and helps to carry one another’s crosses with persistence and love. This act of love brings hope and healing to those prayed for and renews our faith in our merciful God to answer our prayers according to His will,” added Barron.
They also seek to develop a prayer initiative to pray for priests and deacons in the parish
“Priests and deacons are on the front lines battling all societal challenges. Praying for our priests and deacons will provide them with spiritual support, help us grown in faith and unite as one Body in Christ,” said Barron.
Some of the Cathedral’s other prayer initiatives include:
- Promote holy hour for vocations.
- Focus on Prayer Warriors Ministry to track prayer requests, grow requests, recruit volunteers, and find new ways to obtain prayer intentions.
- Recruit volunteer prayer coaches.
- Guide parishioners on ways to pray.