By JOANNE FOX
Work on the perpetual adoration chapel at Cathedral of the Epiphany is nearing completion.
According to Father Brent Lingle, pastor of Cathedral, St. Boniface and St. Joseph churches, perpetual adoration will begin on the patronal feast of the parish, the Solemnity of the Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2019.
“We will celebrate our feast with a parish dinner followed by exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and evening prayer at 4 p.m. in the Cathedral followed by a eucharistic procession to the new adoration chapel,” he said. “Perpetual adoration will then begin immediately.”
Father Lingle announced on the first Sunday of Advent last year that Cathedral would start hosting perpetual adoration in 2018.
“Advent calls us to watchful prayer, expectation and preparation for the return of Christ at the end of time,” he said. “That is why it was with much joy that I was able to make the announcement at that time.”
Perpetual adoration was formerly available in Sioux City in the late 1980s at Marian Health Center (now Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City). The practice was discontinued due to a lack of participation. Later in the 1990s, the Serra Club, which promotes vocation to the priesthood and religious life, promoted parish-based adoration days.
“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 (Serra club chaplain) 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, across the street from the church and home of the parish offices, appeared to be the strongest choice, Father Lingle noted.
“Bishop Nickless endorsed the Cathedral site because of its importance as the mother-church of the diocese, its central accessibility, its proximity to Bishop Heelan and Cathedral religious education students, and as an opportunity for a new ministry to our growing Hispanic community,” he said.
Father Lingle accounted that furnishing the chapel will be made possible through using articles from churches that have been closed as a result of Ministry 2025, pastoral planning for the Diocese of Sioux City.
“For example, we have glass block windows that were replaced with stained glass windows from Sacred Heart Church in Laurens,” he said. “The wainscoting from St. Benedict Church in rural Kossuth County was procured.”
Cathedral of the Epiphany Parish took another step toward its dream of hosting a perpetual adoration chapel when a team of lay leaders took on filling various blocks of time to make sure someone is always in the chapel when the Blessed Sacrament is exposed.
The parish has a software program and app that will help facilitate this process, Father Lingle explained.
“This will allow people to find substitutes and receive weather-related messages,” he said. “I had asked that each parishioner seriously consider signing up for one hour of adoration each week.”
Father Lingle expressed his joy this proposed place of prayer and adoration will soon be a reality.
“The Eucharist – the Presence of Christ – will be at the heart of all that we do, having someone constantly in prayer before our Lord, praying for the needs of the parish, the diocese and the world,” he said. “This is the perfect Christmas gift for our parish.”