By Emilie Ng
UNBROKEN prayers before Jesus in Eucharistic adoration inspired a lapsed Catholic man to make his first Confession last month, among other miracles at a Brisbane parish.
Samoan-born Elisabeth Fraser believes the prayers from her rostered adoration time at the Banyo-Nundah parish inspired her husband’s return to the faith.
“Since Adoration started in the parish, it has helped my family a lot,” Mrs Fraser said.
“My husband was born a Catholic but he never practised, and I just kept praying and praying.
“Lo and behold last month he went for his first Confession and his Confirmation is coming up.
“So I said, ‘Thank you, Jesus’.”
Mrs Fraser is among the Banyo-Nundah parish’s dedicated Eucharistic adorers, who spend a minimum of one hour a week before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
Banyo-Nundah’s two churches have shared the exposition responsibilities for perpetual adoration in the parish community for three years.
Erwin Perez is an “emergency contact”, the title given to adorers “on call” one day of the week in case another person makes a cancellation.
“Once they asked for an emergency contact, I immediately volunteered to be the Monday person because I don’t like going to work on Mondays,” Mr Perez said.
“The Lord provides.”
Even when Mr Perez does get called in to work, the trained pharmacist said he preferred to pray rather than work.
“It’s about sacrifice,” he said.
“I’m a cradle Catholic, growing up in the Philippines, and everything that’s been happening to me in regards to the faith is relatively new, especially going to the Blessed Sacrament.
“But once I started, conversion just came in layer after layer after layer – it’s inexplicable, to be honest.
“And what I notice is that the greater the sacrifice I make, the more meaningful (my hour) seems to become.
“Every minute I spend before the Blessed Sacrament seems to be more meaningful.”
While the adoration roster is sustainable as it is, casual adorer Rob Nulley said more numbers would help ease the load on other adorers who are taking up to four hour shifts a week.
“The world certainly needs adoration,” he said.
“It’s a remedy for the world’s problems.”
Mr Nulley, whose nephew Fr Paul Nulley is believed to hold the title as one of Australia’s youngest priests, said praying in adoration could also spark vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
“Popes have said that is a result of adoration, more vocations. You’re influencing somebody you don’t know outside in the world.
“You don’t know; you don’t see the results of your adoration but it’s comforting to know there might be a young man in Kenya or a young woman in Mexico that gets inspired to join the priesthood or religious life.”
Mr Nulley said a homily by former parish priest, Oratory Father Paul Chandler, inspired him to set aside one hour to pray with Jesus.
“What I find particularly comforting about adoration is even though the mind’s not totally on what you’re doing, your mind might wander, Our Lord sees you there and he appreciates the fact that you’re there making the effort,” he said.
“I just advise everybody to at least give it a go.
“You’ll be pleasantly surprised both in how you feel and your attitude to life.”