April 27, 2018

Faith and Family / Sean Gallagher

Taking a trip to heaven on spring break

Sean GallagherMy school-age sons were on spring break recently. When I was their age, my parents, sister and I often visited my grandparents, who were living in Sarasota, Fla. It was nice to visit them since we didn’t get to see them that often. And spending time on a sunny Florida beach wasn’t too bad, either.

My own family stays closer to home on spring break. We often make day trips to Indiana state parks. This year, we traveled to Versailles State Park, had a nice picnic lunch and hiked on a trail on which we got got our feet wet crossing a stream a few times.

On another day, my oldest son Michael and I took a road trip across central and south central Indiana.

The youth group Michael belongs to at our parish put a challenge to its members last fall. If they prayed at each of the 13 perpetual adoration chapels in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis by June, plus one in the Lafayette Diocese, they would get an all-expense paid overnight trip this coming summer.

A perpetual adoration chapel is a place where there is always at least one person present praying 24 hours a day, seven days a week before the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a monstrance.

This spring break, Michael and I visited such chapels at St. Thomas Moore Parish in Mooresville, St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Bedford and St. Mary Parish in North Vernon. He has only a couple more chapels to visit. Hopefully, we’ll get to them in time.

To learn the location of all perpetual adoration chapels in the archdiocese, visit archindy.org/adoration/index.html.

Although anyone can visit these chapels at any time, people make a commitment to pray a specific hour on a specific day of the week at the chapel to make sure that there is always someone praying there.

The first perpetual adoration chapel in the archdiocese was started at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Indianapolis about 25 years ago. Just think about that. There have been people here in central Indiana praying around the clock for you and me and the world for a quarter of a century.

Hopefully, being more mindful of the presence of perpetual adoration chapels across central and southern Indiana, knowing that people are always there praying for the Church and the world, can encourage each of us to dedicate time each day to prayer.

There can never be enough prayer in our world. So whether you go to pray in a perpetual adoration chapel, your own church where the Lord is present in every tabernacle or in the privacy of your home, just pray!

It’s been a wonderful project to work on with Michael. I pray that his experience and those of other youth group members will lead them to a deeper life of prayer and a closer relationship with Christ and the Church as they grow.

Mooresville, Bedford and North Vernon, as nice as each are, don’t have the sunny beaches that so often get visited on spring break by people who want a little bit of warmth this time of year (and maybe especially this spring).

But when Michael and I walked into the adoration chapels in each of these towns, placing ourselves before our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, it was like spending a few moments in heaven, taking part in the eternal, joy-filled worship of God with all the angels and saints.

It’s hard to think of a better spring break trip than that. †

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