Lent draws prayerful to perpetual adoration chapel


SPARTANBURG — The perpetual adoration chapel at St. Paul the Apostle Church highlights the power of Christ in the Eucharist.

“I feel so close to God there,” said Phyllis Bates, one adorer who visits the chapel at least once a week. “It gives me a chance to think things out. You feel really private there,” she added. “It brings me a sense of peace.”

Bates said she has noticed more folks going to the chapel to pray during Lent, and Bill Holloway, another adorer, agreed.

“A number of people spend more time there as one of their Lenten activities,” he said, adding it is a way for them to devote more time to Christ, a way to give back to the Lord.

“Hopefully that will carry over after Lent,” he continued, saying that the chapel is a gift to Christ. “We make a commitment to be with him and that is our gift, so we need to fill it (the chapel.)”

The Mechensky sisters, Virginia and Deanna, log many hours at the adoration chapel. The Mechenskys say 3 p.m. is a blessed hour to be in the adoration chapel.

“That is the hour he died,” Virginia said.

She talked about the power of the Eucharist in the adoration chapel, and how it can transform and strengthen those who pray in its presence.

“The Eucharist is a miracle given to us, and it works miracles,” said Virginia. “Christ is right there with us in the Eucharist.”

“It is the true presence,” Deanna concurred. “We are called to be in the presence of the true presence.”

When we kneel and pray, those are the times that we truly build our relationship with God, both of the sisters said.

“It is when you are alone with him (in the chapel) that you grow closer to him,” said Virginia.

They say Lent is the perfect opportunity to grow in Christ, and they have noticed that people are much more willing to spend time with the Lord during Lent.

“People feel it adds so much to their Lenten devotion,” Virginia said. She added that she has brought in many people who have never experienced the Eucharist in the adoration chapel.

“Something happens to them because they keep coming back. They have had wonderful experiences there,” said Virginia. “It helps them truly appreciate the passion of our Lord.”

Deanna Mechensky tried to explain that feeling that comes over people and draws them back. “When you sit before the Holy Eucharist, there is an increased awareness of the true Christ,” she said. “You don’t just admire Christ, but you become more like Christ. He gives you that courage to live like him.”