Chapel marks 12 years of 24-hour prayer

Published: February 26, 2006 | 3632nd good news item since 2003

Every Wednesday for more than a decade, Mary Grimes, 90, has prayed from noon to 1 p.m. at the Montgomery Area Adoration Chapel at Our Lady Queen of Mercy Catholic Church.

Today, the continuous-prayer chapel celebrates being open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 12 years. There is at least one volunteer, called an adorer, in the chapel 24 hours a day.

“It’s the most wonderful hour of my life,” Grimes said.

There are 254 adorers on the prayer roster. Grimes is one of 105 volunteers who have served since the adoration chapel opened. They come to seek forgiveness for their sins, to ask that someone be healed and to offer thanks for their blessings.

The Rev. James Dean, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Mercy, said the chapel was created in accordance with a Bible verse that advises the faithful to pray without ceasing.

“It’s a ceaseless prayer that we’re always offering,” Dean said.

He volunteers to pray from 2 to 4 a.m. Wednesdays. His house is next to the adoration chapel, so he can wake up five minutes before his time of prayer.

“It’s way worth the time,” Dean said. “The world is so busy. We need some time alone with peace.”

Pricilla Berry, the head coordinator of the Adoration Chapel, said the chapel pretty much runs itself, although she struggles to get people to fill certain hours. She also has to deal with turnover.

If someone does not show up, the adorer is expected to stay an extra hour. Berry has a list of 50 people who are willing to substitute if someone cannot make their hour.

“The system has worked beautifully all 12 years,” Berry said.

Jeanne Barranco has been volunteering at the chapel for three years. She is grateful her husband, David, overcame breast cancer during his 12 years of praying at the chapel.

“It helps to come and be with the Lord when you are facing a health crisis or any crisis,” Barranco said.

Chuck Raysich, who has been praying at the chapel the entire 12 years, said it costs very little to keep the chapel open. He prays at 7 a.m. Saturdays before Mass.

“It becomes a part of your life,” Raysich said. “The hours go so quickly. It’s just a lovely hour of the week.”

Published in Faith, Prayer
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