Blessed Sacrament honors adorers on 20th anniversary

CHARLESTON — In celebration of its 20th year of perpetual adoration, Blessed Sacrament Church honored its adorers with a formal dinner June 12 at the St. Joseph parish hall.
Blessed Sacrament was the first parish in South Carolina to begin perpetual adoration, thanks to Dr. Lou Verroi, former director of the ministry from 1984-92.
“I first experienced the power of this devotion in 1965 at St. Anne Church in Nebraska,” Verroi said. “I remember thinking, ‘This is what I have been looking for my whole life,’ and when I moved to South Carolina things just grew from there. Outside of Mass, this is the most powerful form of devotion.”
The concept behind perpetual adoration is Christ’s plea to the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, “Can you not watch with me for one hour?”
“I feel that I am now responding to that plea,” Verroi said.
Adorers from any parish are invited to commit to one hour a week to watch and pray in silence. Since the church’s inception of perpetual adoration 20 years ago, adorers have been present in the chapel 24 hours a day, seven days a week — something that the current director, Charles Sirisky, finds amazing.
“These people are truly a blessing,” Sirisky said. “When we first started this program, many people said we’d never find enough people willing to commit to this. We have proven them wrong, and even have people willing to commit to adoration at the difficult hours from midnight to 6 a.m.
“We have 285 adorers right now, and we are seeing a big resurgence in desire for adoration. Our largest group of adorers are the elderly,” he said.
Sirisky, director for 12 years, said that Pope John Paul II has been instrumental in launching this resurgence. He added that the benefit of prayer to his family and to the community has been incomparable.
Verroi echoed Sirisky’s sentiments and said that many members of the community recognize “the blessings that are felt through this program.”   
The servers for the dinner were volunteers from the Knights of Columbus, and the keynote speaker for the occasion was Father Greg Wilson, the parochial vicar for the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist.
In his talk, Father Wilson spoke of his own conversion experience and the Eucharist — “the thing that was most instrumental in drawing me to the church.”
With more than 200 adorers in attendance from all of the area parishes, the event proved a success.
“We couldn’t ask for more than to have all of these amazing people here tonight,” Sirisky said. “And to be celebrating 20 years is definitely the work of God. It is nothing that we could have made happen without him.”
“I have always heard that prayer is heard in heaven as music,” Verroi said. “Hopefully we’ve brought a smile to Jesus’ face.”