By JOANNE FOX
Cathedral of the Epiphany Parish has taken another step toward its dream of hosting a perpetual adoration chapel in Sioux City.
According to Father Brent Lingle, pastor of Cathedral, St. Boniface and St. Joseph churches, a team of lay leaders will oversee various blocks of time to make sure someone is always in the chapel when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
“These individuals will be assisted by other volunteers who will be in charge of specific hours,” he said. “These individuals will be present at various Masses and for several weekends to invite people to sign up for a time of prayer each week.”
The parish has a software program and app that will help facilitate the sign-up process, Father Lingle explained.
“When those are active, it will allow people to find substitutes and receive weather-related messages,” he said. “I have already asked that each parishioner in the parish to seriously consider signing up for one hour of adoration each week.”
Father Lingle had announced in December 2017 that the Cathedral would be the site of a perpetual adoration chapel, after almost three decades of Sioux City not having one. Perpetual adoration was formerly at Marian Health Center (now Mercy Medical Center). The practice was discontinued due to a lack of participation.
“The reason for going forth with a perpetual adoration chapel was two-fold,” Father Lingle said. “One was the focus of the pastoral letter of Bishop Walker Nickless which set as a priority perpetual adoration in our churches. The second was (Vocation Director) Father Shane Deman’s justification that perpetual adoration fosters priestly and religious vocations, as well as a renewal in parish life and faith.”
Logistics as to where the best place to have perpetual adoration – 24 hours a day, seven days a week – were investigated, Father Lingle reported.
“We knew we needed secured parking, a designated entrance, a keypad, a phone, security lights and cameras, a restroom, handicapped accessibility, enough room for an altar and places to sit and kneel for about 30 people,” he said.
The former Epiphany Grade School, directly across the street from the cathedral, appeared to be the strongest choice, Father Lingle stated.
“The former grade school – where Cathedral offices are currently located – has a room that is used by religious education and adult faith formation,” he said. “That room happens to be in the process of being remodeled and we realized it would easily fit our needs.”
Father Lingle accounted that furnishing the chapel will be made possible through using articles from churches that have been closed – a result of Ministry 2025, pastoral planning for the Diocese of Sioux City.
In the last days of December, the wainscoting from St. Benedict Church in rural Kossuth County was procured. Stained-glass windows from Sacred Heart Church in Laurens replaced the former windows in the school. Both parishes were suppressed in 2017.
Father Lingle acknowledged that putting the chapel together over the past eight-plus months without spending a lot of money and coordinating contractors and other individuals to do the work was challenging at times.
“Sometimes it moved along at a snail’s pace and had its own share of challenges,” he said. “About midway through the process, I realized that the devil doesn’t like the idea of perpetual adoration and was doing everything in his power to stop it or slow it down, so I redoubled my prayer efforts.”
However, now as the process is nearing completion, Father Lingle speculated the best is yet to come.
“Seeing people get excited for the spiritual opportunity and knowing the fruits of perpetual adoration and how that will benefit the parish, the city and the Catholic Church – especially at a time when the church needs to recommit herself to prayer – will be the greatest joy when everything is in place.”
Father Lingle is hoping the chapel will be ready for use at the end of September or beginning part of October.
“It is important to note that this process has involved so many people who want to have perpetual adoration in the city, especially Bishop Nickless, the Serra Club of Siouxland, Father Deman, the other pastors in Sioux City and a lot of lay people who have been encouraging and generous with their financial support,” he said.