23 June 2014

Bishop Paprocki encourages Eucharistic adoration by directing tabernacles be restored to the sanctuary

We've all been there before at one time or another. You enter a Catholic church to spend some time in  prayer before the tabernacle to speak with Jesus present in the Eucharist. You look to the sanctuary but realize the tabernacle is not there. Looking around the church you do not see a sanctuary lamp or a sign or other indication as to where the tabernacle is. At that moment you make the words of Saint Mary Magdalene your own: "They have taken my Lord, and I don't know where they laid him" (John 20:13).

In the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, I'm happy to say, such a situation should soon come to an end.

In his first pastoral letter since his installation four years ago, His Excellency the Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki has written about the importance of celebrating and adoration the Eucharist. When discussing the placement of the tabernacle within in churches, he writes:
...I direct that in the churches and chapels of our diocese, tabernacles that were formerly in the center of the sanctuary, but have been moved, are to be returned as soon as possible to the center of the sanctuary in accord with the original architectural design. Tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary or are otherwise not in a visible, prominent and noble space are to be moved to the center of the sanctuary; tabernacles that are not in the center of the sanctuary but are in a visible, prominent and noble space may remain (Ars celebrandi et adorandi, 23).
In the same pastoral letter, Bishop Paprocki encourages the faithful to spend time in Eucharistic adoration because, as he reminds us, "We are never far from Jesus" who waits for us (7-8).

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