Explanatory note to help the increase in the dioceses

(parishes, rectories, chapels, monasteries, convents, seminaries)

of the practice of continual Eucharistic adoration [1]

to the benefit of all priests and priestly vocations


In the Apostolic Exhortation “Sacramentum Caritatis”, the Holy Father Benedict XVI has concretised  the perennial teaching of the Church on the centrality of eucharistic adoration in ecclesial life, in an operational appeal for perpetual adoration addressed to all pastors,  bishops, and priests, and to the People of God: “With the Synod Assembly, therefore, I heartily recommend to the Church's pastors and to the People of God the practice of eucharistic adoration, both individually and in community. (194) Great benefit would ensue from a suitable catechesis explaining the importance of this act of worship, which enables the faithful to experience the liturgical celebration more fully and more fruitfully. Wherever possible, it would be appropriate, especially in densely populated areas, to set aside specific churches or oratories for perpetual adoration. I also recommend that, in their catechetical training, and especially in their preparation for First Holy Communion, children be taught the meaning and the beauty of spending time with Jesus, and helped to cultivate a sense of awe before his presence in the Eucharist. (Sacramentum Caritatis, n. 67)

In order to support the Holy Father’s appeal, the Congregation for the Clergy,  in its own solicitousness for the presbyters, proposes that:


1.      each diocese appoint a priest who will devote himself full time – inasmuch as possible – to the specific ministry of promotion of eucharistic adoration and the coordination of this important service in the diocese.. Dedicating himself generously to such ministry he himself will have the possibility of living this particular dimension of liturgical, theological, spiritual and pastoral life, possibly in a place especially set aside for that aim, allocated by the bishop himself, where the faithful will be able to benefit of perpetual eucharistic adoration. As there are Marian Shrines, with rectors in charge of a particular ministry, adapted to the specific needs, it will be possible to have almost “Eucharistic shrines” – with priests in charge of them – irradiating and fostering the special love of the Church for the Holy Eucharist, worthily celebrated and continually adored. Such ministry, within the presbyterate  will remind all diocesan priests, as Benedict XVI said,  that “the secret of their sanctification lies precisely in the Eucharist. (…)  the priest must be first and foremost an adorer who contemplates the Eucharist” (Angelus, 18 September  2005);


2.      specific places be assigned to be reserved expressly for continual eucharistic adoration. To that end, parish priests, rectors, and chaplains be encouraged to introduce in their communities the practice of eucharistic adoration, both personal and communitarian,  according to each one’s possibilities, and in a collective effort  to enhance prayer life. Let everyone be involved, beginning  with the children who are preparing for First Communion;


3.      the dioceses that are interested in the project may look for appropriate subsidies in order to organize  continual eucharistic adoration in the seminary, in parishes, rectories, oratories, shrines, monasteries, and convents. Help from Divine Providence will not be lacking in finding benefactors who will contribute towards suitable works to set in motion this project of eucharistic renewal of the particular Churches, such as: the construction or: adaptation of a place of worship for adoration within a large worship building; the purchase of a solemn monstrance or a noble liturgical vestment; the funding of  liturgical-pastoral-spiritual material for such promotion;


4.      the initiatives aimed at the local clergy, especially those in relation to the continuing formation of priests, be always permeated by a eucharistic climate, which will be favoured indeed by a congruous time  dedicated to the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament, so that it may become  – together with the Holy Mass – the driving force for each individual and communitarian commitment.




5.      the modalities for eucharistic adoration in different places may be different, according to the possibilities. For example:


·        perpetual eucharistic adoration throughout the 24 hours;


·        continual eucharistic adoration, starting in the early hours of the morning until the evening;


·        eucharistic adoration from … to … of every single day;


·        eucharistic adoration from… to… of one or more days a week;


·        eucharistic adoration for special circumstances, such as Feastdays and recurrences.


The Congregation for the Clergy  expresses its gratitude to the  Ordinaries who will become promoters of this project, which will not fail to renew spiritually the clergy and the People of God of their particular  Churches.


With the aim of being able to closely follow developments of something that the Holy Father desires, the individual Ordinaries who are interested in this initiative are kindly requested to keep this Dicastery informed on developments in relation to continual eucharistic adoration in their dioceses, indicating especially which priests and places are involved in this important eucharistic apostolate. 


Should you need further clarifications on the matter, the Congregation for the Clergy will be quite willing to provide them.. 


From the  Vatican, 8 December 2007

Solemnity of the  of the Immaculate Conception of Mary

[1] What is meant by “continual eucharistic adoration” is not only  24 hours a day uninterrupted adoration, but also continual adoration  since the first hours of the morning until the last ones of the evening. The latter, in fact, will be more within the range of possibilities of priests and faithful of small communities. Obviously where the number of  faithful is greater and there is willingness, the possibility of having the Eucharist exposed without interruption can be examined.