St. James, Augusta, hosting monthly 40 Hours devotion

Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament is a way of honoring the Eucharist and allowing the faithful to pray in an atmosphere of special solemnity. (Advance file photo)

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Visit the Year of the Eucharist page at for an explanation about 40 Hours and a history of the practice.

The fruits of 40 Hours devotion are unfathomable, says Fr. P.J. Voegeli. That’s why St. James the Greater Parish in Augusta is hosting a monthly 40 Hours during the Year of the Eucharist.

“Our devotion to the Eucharist is perhaps not what it once was,” he said last week. “As we fall away from the Eucharist and that devotion, our faith weakens.”

The Eucharist is the pinnacle of our faith, Fr. Voegeli said. “I think offering it and allowing the Lord to do his work, allowing the Lord to have time with people…the fruits of that are unfathomable. We can’t grasp what the Lord can do if we just set up the meeting.”

Fr. Voegeli, the pastor of St. James, said as devotion grows in the parish – even if it’s slow, one person at a time, “Each person the Lord can grasp a hold of, that brings us as a parish family one step closer to the doors of heaven.”

Because the event is monthly, the 40 Hours is modified, he said.

Traditionally speakers take part and extra confessors are brought into the parish, Fr. Voegeli said. “This is more of a time of adoration in the main body of the church that people can come in and bring their families and hopefully get together and adore Christ with one another.”

Bishop Carl A. Kemme hopes 40 Hours will become a regular annual practice in the Diocese of Wichita. He believes the practice offers an opportunity for all to focus on the Eucharist at a time when many Catholics do not believe in or do not understand the teaching about the real presence in the Eucharist.