WCR PHOTO | CHRIS MILLER
Saturday night and for many young people it's time to adore the Lord at St. Joseph's Basilica.
When Daniel Jodoin was a seminarian in Mission, B.C., he was involved with Catholic Christian Outreach (CCO), a student ministry for evangelization on university campuses. This group hosted an event called Summit, which involved adoring the Lord, confessing one's sins and reading the Bible.
Jodoin, now a seminarian at St. Joseph Seminary, said, "It was a time for young people to get together and just adore the Lord. When I came to Edmonton, I really missed going to Summit and my involvement with CCO."
In response, a group of seminarians initiated Adoremus, which provides young adults the opportunity to adore the Lord, as well as grow in their knowledge of Jesus, and meet with others desiring to do the same.
Adoremus is a Latin word that means "Let us adore." That is exactly what they do, in their mission to spread love and devotion for Christ in the Eucharist. The project involves Eucharistic Adoration, Confession, Scripture, Benediction and music. It started in October, and has continued monthly at St. Joseph's Basilica.
"It's more of a blessing in many other cities that I wanted to bring in our own way to Edmonton," said Jodoin.
The group, led by Father Miguel Irizar and some seminarians, decided to hold a special Adoremus on March 2 to pray for Pope Benedict XVI and the eventual next pope. Irizar said Adoremus is nothing too elaborate or refined, but simply serves as a way for young adults to encounter Jesus.
"It's not about introducing a sophisticated program. It's all about going back to what is essential to us Catholics - Adoration and Confession," said Irizar.
They listened to and reflected on some of Pope Benedict's writings as they celebrated with gratitude the great gift that he has been for the Church. They also prayed to the Holy Spirit as they wait for the new shepherd whom they look forward to loving and obeying.
"Between 100 and 120 young adults attend consistently, every single time. It's beautiful that young people give up their Saturday night to come adore the Lord. It shows that the Church is alive and good things are happening," said Jodoin.
Adoring the Lord and confessing their sins are of utmost importance. As well, six priests were available for Confession.
"The most important thing is that young people come to experience the Lord, and find that there is nothing more beautiful than a relationship with Jesus," said Jodoin. "So we are here to adore the Lord in Adoration, to meet him in the sacrament of Confession, then afterwards get together and get to know one another, and share our joy of the Lord with each other."
While Adoremus is open to everyone, it seems to appeal mostly to young adults, especially university students.
"Although it's predominantly young people who come, it's certainly open to anybody. We don't discriminate against anybody," said Jodoin.
The online Facebook group (www.facebook.com/edmontonadoremus) has been a big help in promoting Adoremus.
"What's also helped is the involvement of the seminarians. That is very important because they are the ones who provide the beautiful chanting and they practise for many hours. Their involvement is essential to the Adoremus," said Irizar.
Socializing downstairs afterwards, the young adults snacked on pretzels. Irizar said the pretzel originated from faithful Christians and had its origins as an official food of Lent. Wanting to be faithful to the strict Lenten observance of the early Church, they did not partake in eggs or milk. The need arose for a simple food which would fulfill the fasting laws. They ate pretzels made from water, flour and salt. As part of their Lenten almsgiving, some young adults brought items for the food bank.
The next Adoremus is Saturday, March 23, from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Irizar also asked participants to attend Credo, a faith study group for young adults to seriously reflect on the beautiful faith they profess as Christians. Credo is a Latin word meaning "I believe." The group meets twice a month at the parish office of the basilica.