Commentary by Fr. James Meade, Pastor, St. Patrick Parish
Construction on the chapel began in 2009 and was completed in May 2011. On June 26, 2011, the Log Cabin Chapel began its mission as a spiritual resource for people to be able to visit the Blessed Sacrament at any time. It was an idea that came from people who wanted a daily Eucharistic adoration chapel where people could pray before a monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament visible to them. The sacrament is secured. You are invited to open the angel adorned gate for adoration and to close it before leaving.
We decided upon cordwood construction because of our parish’s 150th anniversary and the many trees cut down from recent construction projects and the area tornado of August 2009. This form of construction was popular with pioneers in the Western states because of the availability of smaller trees rather than the gigantic two and three hundred feet high trees available to early settlers in the Eastern and Central States. It was a most interesting experience.
Logs were cut and quartered and the lengths mortared to each other as if they were stones. Not visible to the eye is the largest ingredient composing the interior of the walls, a mix of sawdust with lime. Many parishioners helped with the process of washing the walls for the preparation of sealing the exposed logs and mortar. It is incredible the many individual steps that went into this project. Many thanks to all the volunteers who participated in the construction.
The front of the chapel is done in Renaissance style. In pioneer times, many log and timber framed buildings sported a classical front as a sort of “gift to the street.” The statues of St. Peter and St. Paul lend a classical feature to the façade. They are respectively located on the left and right sides of the main entrance under the Latin “Go Into the Temple of God, worship the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” Both attempted to evangelize the world and gave sacrifice upon sacrifice even to death for Our Lord.
During the construction process we had a steady stream of visitors. People from Michigan came because they claimed they had visited an internet site describing our work as a “cabin.” It demonstrated that our chapel might become a point of spiritual and historical interest for our community.
A call for parish heirlooms resulted in a several donations. One family honored a departed loved one by returning pews from the old 1858 St. Patrick church. Another parishioner restored the pews and incorporated them into the chapel. A non-parishioner made the beautiful Holy Spirit window above the altar. One family donated an heirloom “sick call set” replete with scenes of the Pieta, Last Supper and Christmas culminating in the Crucifixion. Inside the chapel, from the old church is a trefoil (over the inside entrance door frame), a piece of the steeple cross, four crosses from the 1874 Church’s communion rail as well as two marble relics incorporated into the altar. The holy water fonts are St. Brigid fonts (Irish patron saint of healers and healing c.453-525).
The Stations of the Cross hanging on the chapel walls are incomplete. So, I decided that the theme of the gate before the clear tabernacle would be the missing Tenth Station, St. Francis’ devotion where Jesus is stripped of his garments. Parishioner and artist Martha Murphy painted the missing stations and other works in the chapel which are the conversions of St. Peter and St. Paul, St. Michael thrusting Satan from the heavens, the welcoming Assumption of Mary and the “Glory of God.”
The large “Glory of God” bi-fold painting above the altar with the creation (top section) and the Holy Trinity with the Divine Mercy in the clouds of the glory of God depicts the preparation of sending the Word of God into the world Incarnated with the motive of Divine Mercy. Beneath are three paintings, the Blessed Mother as Our Lady of Guadalupe who cooperates with the total plan of God, conceiving Christ in her mind as well as in her body, flanked by saints connected with two important focuses of our parish. On the left, St. Mother Theodore Guerin (1798-1856), the Indiana saint from France who founded the Sisters of Providence, particularly associated with St. Mary of the Woods near Terre Haute. During her time in Chesterton, St. Guerin recruited a local girl from the Bailey family to be one of the founding sisters and successor to the order. We pray that this saint will support the several parishioners who are planning to enter the seminary in the upcoming years. On the right, St. Maximilian Kolbe (the patron Saint of drug addicts, 1894-1941) will help individuals combating addictions and the families and friends who suffer along with them. We solicit the intercession of this modern saint as our parish becomes more responsive to this community concern.
Inside the adoration gate flanking the Blessed Sacrament are the statues of the Holy Infant from Atocha and the Infant Jesus of Prague. The raised shelf above the alter holds the statues of 16th century St. Juan Diego (who first spoke with Our Lady of Guadalupe, 1474-1548), St. Therese of Lisieux (the Little Flower, 1798-1856), St. Joseph, St. Peregrine (patron of cancer patients, 1260-1345), and our parish patrons, St. Patrick (c.387-493) and St. Bridget (c.453-524). Near the front are statues of St. Anthony of Padua (patron Saint of lost things to be found, c.1195-1231) and St. Jude (patron Saint of those in desperate and hopeless struggles and circumstances). On the front altar wall are the statues of St. Rita (patron Saint of the impossible, 1381-1457) and virgin martyr St. Philomena (c.291-304).
Along the back wall are shrines to virgin martyr St. Maria Goretti (the 20th century patron of youth, 1890-1902) and St. Gerard Mejalla (invoked by people hoping to become pregnant or, interestingly enough, to avoid a pregnancy, 1726-1755). I hope that you will bring to the adoration of Christ, the Savior of all because He loves all, problems like cancer, difficult marriages, seemingly unanswered prayers, fears of having no children, and sometimes just the problem of being inexperienced with life. Particularly, we hope that the Divine Mercy from Jesus will touch those struggling with drug addictions. We hope that people will become the kinds of priests, nuns, monks, and members of Religious Orders who answer God’s call to a life that enters into the mystery, misery, and mission that is suffering in our human condition transposed into the life of God.
- Rev. James Meade
About Eucharistic Adoration
We invite you to visit the Log Cabin Adoration Chapel adjacent to the Rectory (just North of the Church). It's time with our Lord that just may make a difference for you...
Let us all Pray:
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Your faithful and kindle in them the fire of Your divine Love. Send forth Your Spirit and they shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. Let us pray. O God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit has taught the hearts of the faithful, grant, that by the assistance of the same Holy Spirit, we may ever walk in the path of righteousness and ever rejoice in His consolation, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
What Is Perpetual Adoration?
Perpetual Adoration is a Eucharistic devotion whereby members of a given parish (or other entity) unite in taking hours of adoration before the Most Blessed Sacrament (in most cases, exposed), both during the day and throughout the night, seven days a week.
Why is exposition in the monstrance preferred?
To see Jesus visibly present under the appearance of the small white host is much more conducive to intimacy than hidden away in the tabernacle. Moreover, it adds an extra responsibility on the adorers to be sure to be faithful to the hours they are scheduled, since the suggested norm for having Jesus exposed in the monstrance is that there should be at least two adorers present, and He must never be left alone. Could not these words of our Lord be applied today: "Indeed, this is the will of My heavenly Father, that everyone who looks upon the Son, and believes in Him, shall have eternal life. Him I will raise up on the last day."
What are some good reasons for establishing Perpetual Adoration?
To provide an easy, attractive, and practical way of rendering God adoration which is His due as our Creator of giving Him thanks for our redemption of making reparation for our sins and the sins of mankind; of petitioning the good God for the constant help we need.
To show our gratitude to our Lord for remaining among us in our tabernacles, and to make at least some atonement for the many sacrileges, indifferences, and ingratitude which He receives in His Sacrament of Love.
What spiritual benefits and graces can be attributed to the establishment of a parish Perpetual Adoration program?
- an increase in Mass attendance and reception of the sacraments
- return of fallen-away Catholics and increase in the number of conversions
- increase in religions and priestly vocations
- renewal of Catholic family life
- spiritual level of the people is raised with a resulting desire and courage to spread the "good news" to others
- a greater community spirit, centered as it is on the heart of the parish, Jesus' presence in the Blessed Sacrament
Here is what you can do help promote a "spirit of Eucharistic devotion" in our parish:
- Think about what you can do in your daily life to engage in prayer before Our Lord in Adoration. Could you also encourage members of your family, especially children to attend a Holy hour with you? Can you also encourage those in your respective church ministries to attend with you?
- If you don't already a attend weekly Holy hour in the Church on Thursday (Adoration on Thursday will remain in the church) or are not available for Adoration on Thursday, you now can you choose from any hours of the day or night. Let us Come and adore!
- For Thursday adorers, could you also choose additional days to adore our Lord in the chapel? Could you invite others in the parish or friends to join you?
- Have you ever attended Benediction at 6:50 p.m. on Thursday evenings in the church?
- Have your children or grandchildren ever attended Benediction?
- Do you make visits to the tabernacle? Have you ever remained after mass to spend time with Him in prayer?
I encourage you in prayer to ask the Lord to place the promotion Perpetual Adoration on your heart. Let’s work together to spread the love of adoration of the Blessed Sacrament at St. Patrick parish and beyond.