Holy Cross High School
offers weekly adoration
for its student body

Father William P. Burks, Holy Cross High School’s chaplain, spoke to students about eucharistic adoration Nov. 3 in the school’s chapel. The school now offers weekly adoration. (Record Photo by Allison Nichols, Record Intern, Holy Cross High School)

Father William P. Burks, chaplain of Holy Cross High School, hopes the school’s new offering of weekly eucharistic adoration will help students find some quiet and balance in their lives.

Holy Cross’ entire student body took part in adoration Nov. 3 during a day-long event that launched the school’s newest offering.

For many of the students, this was their first experience adoring the holy Eucharist, said Father Burks. “In today’s world of cell phones and instant messages, no one gets any real quiet. It’s so noisy,” he said.

Father Burks led the day-long adoration event, teaching the students about the history of adoration and reading Scripture.

“I urged them to listen to the God that’s within their hearts,” he said.

Father Burks said he hopes weekly adoration will help students “understand the Eucharist and the real presence of Christ.”

He also hopes time spent in adoration will help create a balance between service and time for contemplative prayer.

“Many believe holiness is found in service, charity and outreach,” he noted. “When it comes to the stillness of their own heart, they don’t have that sense. We need to know of holiness from quiet, contemplative prayer. We don’t have a balance. That’s what I’m hoping our work at Holy Cross will do.”

Holy Cross High School students took part in eucharistic adoration in the school’s chapel Nov. 3. Father William P. Burks, the school’s chaplain, led a day-long event that launched Holy Cross’ new offering of weekly adoration. (Record Photo by Allison Nichols, Record Intern, Holy Cross High School)

Kathy Holderbaum, a theology teacher at Holy Cross, helped coordinate the adoration day. Students attended adoration during their theology period during the day-long event. Holderbaum said she was pleased with the response from the students.

“Many had never experienced it but loved the peacefulness. They felt calm the rest of the day. Some felt they’d grown closer to Christ. Many loved that they could just take an hour to sit in silence and talk to God,” said Holderbaum.

She said the idea for weekly adoration on the school’s campus came from a student — a senior named Jackson Schablik.

“Jack always wanted this to happen. He dreamed it up and pushed it forward,” said Holderbaum. “I’m so proud of him.”

Schablik said his hope is that attending adoration will help his classmates draw closer to Christ. He said during a recent interview that he started thinking about the opportunity for adoration on Holy Cross’ campus when he noticed that many of his classmates were being dropped off at school early on Wednesdays — a day when school starts late each week, closer to 9 a.m.

They’d sit in the cafeteria and wait for classes to start, he said. “Wouldn’t it be super cool to offer some quiet spiritual time of reflection?” he said he wondered.

He talked to school leaders, including the school’s president Danielle Wiegandt, and “she ran with the idea,” said Schablik.

If any of his classmates are a little uncomfortable during adoration, Schablik said he wants them to know that’s OK. He said his first time at adoration was “an odd experience. I was kind of scared.”

His advice to his classmates, and others interested in trying eucharistic adoration, is simple:

“Try to be open to it and (open to) why it’s important,” he said. “It can be the most profound amazing experience ever or it’ll be the most boring 30 minutes of their lives.”

He hopes that it’s a “profound amazing experience,” he said, and that he and his classmates will “grow in love for Christ.”

Adoration will take place on Wednesdays between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m., said Holderbaum.

She hopes it will help students “grow in relationship with Jesus and to get to know him … and to have a deep prayer life. If this gets that started, then my prayers are answered,” she said. “I can’t wait to see the participation. The invitation is there but they have to take the initiative.”

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