The pastor of St. Kateri Tekakwitha in LaGrangeville is grateful for the participation of the faithful in the parish’s Forty Hours Devotion that concluded on the namesake saint’s feast day July 14.
“I’m hoping it will increase in people a love for Jesus in the Eucharist and, as a result, draw us all closer to Him in the Eucharist,” said Father Joseph McLafferty, who also serves as dean of Dutchess and Putnam counties.
He envisioned the devotion leading to greater participation and larger attendance at Mass, and that it would “bear fruit in all the ministries that we do in the parish.”
“It was a wonderful experience to have the Forty Hours devotion for the parish,” he said.
“People signed up for different hours. We had everyone at every hour; we had multiple people, even in the middle of the night,” he added.
Forty Hours devotion is a Eucharistic devotion consisting of continuous Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, solemnly exposed, by shifts of people for 40 hours. The length of the devotion comes from the calculation that Jesus was in the tomb for 40 hours before He rose from the dead.
The appreciation parishioners showed after spending time in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament spoke volumes to the pastor, even though some were unable to articulate the experience. Father McLafferty said he knew it was because “they were with Jesus.”
According to Father McLafferty, a parishioner suggested that the parish offer the devotion, leading up to St. Kateri’s feast day, and tying it to the Church’s National Eucharistic Revival.
St. Kateri’s spiritual presence at the parish “means to us a very strong, faithful, simple witness to the essentials of our faith: love of the Eucharist, the cross, love of Mary,” Father McLafferty said. “That was kind of her life, and enduring the difficulties of carrying her own cross.”
The bishops of the United States are calling for a three-year grassroots revival of devotion and belief in the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. The Diocesan Year of Eucharistic Revival runs to June 11, 2023. Corpus Christi processions across the archdiocese, together with similar celebrations around the country, launched the three-year National Eucharistic Revival June 19.
Cardinal Dolan served as principal celebrant of the 5 p.m. Mass July 12 at St. Kateri Church that opened the parish’s Forty Hours devotion.
On July 13, the devotion included a children’s hour at 5 p.m. with a decade of the Rosary, Adoration prayers, songs and activities for youngsters to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. At 7 p.m., Evening Prayer was offered with a homily celebrating the North American Martyrs whose lives, mission and martyrdom bore fruit in the life of St. Kateri.
The devotion concluded July 14 with Mass at 9 a.m. and the blessing of a statue of St. Kateri in the sanctuary.
“It’s a good way for us as a parish to recognize the importance of the Eucharist, this Revival,” Father McLafferty said. “A number of people have asked, when are we going to do this again?”