Cardinal Newman hosts 40 hours of adoration

COLUMBIA—The chapel at Cardinal High School was full of students, teachers and parents for a whole week as they carried out their 40 hours of adoration.

Liz Loeffler, director of campus ministry at the school, said the idea was borne from a desire to support the 40 Days for Life campaign  during Lent.

The 40 Days for Life program involves prayerful protest outside abortion clinics, and is great for individuals and their families, but Loeffler said they wanted something the entire school could participate in.Through brainstorming with the Women’s Prayer Group and others, they decided to engage in 40 hours of prayer.

“We wanted to see what would be most meaningful and appropriate for kids [their] own age,” she said, adding that they wanted to  pray for the dignity and beauty of all life, and for peace for all people.

From March 26-30, each day started with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, followed by eight hours of adoration. Students signed up for blocks of time during theology class, with most staying 30 minutes to an hour, said Jacqualine Kasprowski, principal.

“They’re just taking some time to go in and pray and just be with the Blessed Sacrament,” Kasprowski said. “We have had people in there every single minute.” She added that the week of adoration is also an extenuation of the vocations awareness campaign.

“It’s all part of trying to promote vocations and having kids look at their spirituality and think more deeply about it,” she said.

The Women’s Prayer Group is also part of that movement. It started after Christmas and has about 10 regular participants in seventh through 12th grades, Loeffler said. They meet each week for lessons on spirituality and assign themselves homework based on issues  they may be struggling with.

Sometimes they split the middle and high school groups, but Loeffler said it is beneficial to meet together because the older students can serve as mentors, saying “Oh, I remember that,” and then talking about how they got through it.

The group’s idea for 40 hours of adoration drew 90 percent of the student body, the youth leader said.

“A good number of kids have come wanting another time or two to go in, which is nice,” she said.