HUNTERSVILLE – Worshippers at St. Mark Catholic have been praying non-stop since May 2011. At the Perpetual Adoration Chapel, via a tag team of individuals, someone is always praying.

Two or more adorers sign up for a designated hour each week, and subs help out in times of sickness and emergency, so more than 336 are involved on any given week. Monsignor Richard Bellow, retired priest of St. Mark, takes a time slot from 1-2 a.m. in the middle of the night.

“It’s my time with the Lord,” Bellow said. “No phone calls, no messages, just me and the Lord. It’s the fastest hour of my life.”

A few time slots are filled by groups, such as St. Mark Catholic School, Christ the King Catholic High School and the Knights of Columbus, but most slots are filled by individuals.

Non-Catholics are welcomae to participate.  

All chairs in the chapel face the Eucharist, encased in a golden monstrance. Through transubstantiation, Catholics believe the Eucharistic wafer actually becomes the body of Christ, so time in the chapel equals time in the very presence of Christ.

According to the Catholic News Herald, perpetual adoration began in the Catholic Church in 1994, and more than 2,500 perpetual adoration chapels exist in the world.

“How we need to spend time with Jesus,” Bellow said, “to talk with Him, to listen to Him and just to be in His presence. Jesus is there (in the chapel) with his arms open to listen to us and to speak to us in our hearts.”