|St. Henry School will have a monstance blessed by Blessed John Paul II to use for Eucharistic Adoration at the school’s annual faith rally on Friday, Jan. 31, during Catholic Schools Week. The late pope will be canonized in April. Above, St. Henry first graders Jonblaine Lucas and Eleanor Hancock inspect the monstrance. Photos by Andy Telli
One school in the Diocese of Nashville is receiving the blessing of a lifetime just in time to celebrate Catholic Schools Week Jan. 26-Feb. 1.
St. Henry School is the soon-to-be recipient of a monstrance, the vessel that holds a consecrated host during Eucharistic Adoration, blessed by Blessed John Paul II.
St. Henry Principal Sister Ann Hyacinth, O.P., said the late pontiff blessed several monstrances in November 2004 for the purpose of promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life.
“Pope John Paul II instituted the Year of the Eucharist, which ran from October 2005 to October 2006,” she explained. “About a year before it began, he blessed six monstrances, one for each region of the world: North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Pacific. These were meant to travel throughout these regions and be used for Eucharistic adoration time specifically for the purpose of praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”
Sister Ann Hyacinth said this particular monstrance was dedicated for North America. “When I had heard about it, it was in Rhode Island, and I thought it would be great for our school to be able to use it. So I contacted the Serra Club in Providence, R.I., and they gave our school permission to use it.”
The monstrance arrived in Nashville Jan. 16. The school will be using it for a faith rally to be held Friday, Jan. 31 during Catholic Schools Week.
“Every year, St. Henry School has a faith rally during Catholic Schools Week. The students and their families are welcome to attend,” Sister Ann Hyacinth said. “We’re having Mass in the morning, and catechesis throughout the day. We’ll also be having Eucharistic adoration towards the end of the day, and we will be using the monstrance during that time with the special intention of praying for vocations to the priesthood and religious life.”
The school is also letting other faith communities in the diocese use the monstrance. One of them with be the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Nashville which will have a holy hour on Feb. 1 from 7-8 p.m., with the purpose of praying for vocations.
On Feb. 7, which is the first Friday of the month, the Dominican sisters are having benediction and adoration at the Mother House from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. “They will also be using the monstrance and praying for vocations. Everyone in the Diocese is welcome to join us for these events,” said Sister Ann Hyacinth.
Praying for vocations serves a dual purpose, said Sister Ann Hyacinth, who emphasized the importance of prayer to foster an increase in men and women answering the call to serve in consecrated religious life.
“Blessed Pope John Paul II would have wanted young people in the Church to not be afraid of serving Jesus through the priesthood or religious life, so it makes them aware that they may have that calling,” Sister Ann Hyacinth said. “It also encourages the Church at large to foster a culture of vocations, where lay people are supportive of those who become priests and nuns. …
“It’s such a blessing,” she said, “for the Diocese to receive so many graces through this monstrance.”
For more information about the schedule of where the monstrance will be used, visit www.sthenryschool.org