- Associated Press - Saturday, December 5, 2015

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) - Tammy Huntington silently prayed in a tiny chapel for the children of Holy Family Catholic Schools.

“(I) just pray for … all the children, as they grow up, to make good choices and to love one another and all that good stuff,” Huntington said.

Earlier this month, Holy Family began to invite parents to participate in Eucharistic adoration inside the Wahlert Catholic High School/Mazzuchelli Catholic Middle School chapel from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. each Monday that school is held. Adults either register for a time slot or drop by to be prayerful witnesses for the children.

Eucharistic adoration is uninterrupted prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, a consecrated Eucharistic host, usually displayed in an ornamental vessel.

The Telegraph Herald (http://bit.ly/1NpGjXJ ) reports that students also stop by the chapel to pray a few minutes when their schedule allows.

“It’s really good. Being at a Catholic school, it gives us various opportunities to practice our faith,” said Adeline Jochum, a senior at Wahlert.

Holy Family offered Eucharistic adoration to students occasionally in the past. Chief Administrator Carol Trueg said Steve and Connie Hardie, Wahlert alumni and parents of Wahlert alumni, suggested asking parents to pray for their students during adoration.

“Their rationale, with which I and others in the campus ministry program agreed, was to create opportunities for grace to offset the increasing challenges to holiness that students and adults face,” Trueg said.

Amy Freund and Sheila Ward serve as parent coordinators, and they encourage people to participate.

“I really feel like God is calling me to do this,” Freund said, adding. “Who wouldn’t want to pray for their kids?”

The goal is to have two people signed up to pray every half-hour. On Monday, all the time slots were filled.

Parents wear lanyards that state “I am PRAYING FOR YOU today” when they participate.

“It’s a way for our students to see us putting our faith in action,” Freund said.

Jochum appreciated parents taking time out of their busy schedules.

“I think students always need prayers. It just helps,” she said.

Eucharistic adoration is a common devotional at Catholic high schools and is practiced by several tri-state-area churches.

Huntington, whose four daughters attend Holy Family schools, said she didn’t truly understand Eucharistic adoration until she prayed her first hour Nov. 2. In the quietness of the chapel, Huntington felt a sense of calm and peacefulness flow through her.

“It made me feel wonderful,” she said. “It made me feel like I could get through my busy days and get through everything if I just stopped and calmed myself and prayed for that little bit of time during my week.”

Before she knew it, Huntington registered to pray from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. every Monday through Christmas.

“I feel like I would miss it if I didn’t do it,” she said. “To sit down and know that my children are right here in this building and to pray for them is wonderful.”

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Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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