Looking to the Lord with 2020 vision

Father Garett Burns talks about the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament while looking at a lighted monstrance during an adoration hour Thursday, Jan. 2, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. (Advance photo)

The adoration events embellished by Wichita Adore Ministries give many people hope that the faith is taking root in the lives of the young.

Jesse Elpers, who oversees WAM events, said he is amazed by the reaction of a 14- or 15-year-old who is dragged to adoration but comes away with an enlivened love of the Blessed Sacrament.

“At one particular event at the Cathedral,” Elpers said, “we were wrapping up an event and as we were tearing down an older gentleman snagged one of us and said, ‘You know, I haven’t had hope in the young generation in a long time. You guys have successfully given this old man hope.'”

WAM hosts event Jan. 3

Much more hope was evident to those who participated in a WAM adoration Thursday, Jan. 3, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita. About 400 teenagers and adults worshipped Our Lord in a darkened church dominated by a spotlighted monstrance.

Elpers said the ministry assisted at 97 events in 2019, 80 of which were adoration events. “One of our big goals is to increase our adoration events this year – in particular with the Catholic schools. We’ve had some really incredible events with Catholic school kids so far.”

WAM participated in adoration events at 11 schools last year. “The kids’ response and the impact we have on the kids, parents, and teachers – just introducing them to that sort of prayer and adoration early on – has just been incredible,” he said.

Hoping to expand ministry

The ministry also travels outside the Diocese of Wichita and is working to expand its reach. It has helped with events in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, the Diocese of Davenport, Iowa, and the Diocese of Savannah, Georgia.

WAM has been in ministry for about seven years, Elpers said. Two people work full-time and about 20 are part-time. They assist in areas such as music, lighting, audio-visual, and those who help with confession lines.

“The lifeblood of this ministry is the team that continues to give and make events possible,” he said.