Twenty years ago, a group of Catholics got together and built a chapel on River Road in Ama near St. Mark’s church. This wasn’t just any chapel. It was a perpetual adoration chapel where the Eucharist, which Catholics believe is the body of Christ, is exposed in a Monstrance.
Starting a perpetual adoration chapel took a commitment from a priest and also the commitment of 84 adorers to sign up. Catholics believe Jesus can never be left alone while He is exposed in the Eucharist so the first adorers had to pick an hour to commit to each week so someone was there every hour of the day and night. Father Cote of St. Mark’s church in Ama welcomed having the chapel in his backyard and the chapel opened its doors in 1989.
Many of the adorers who signed up 20 years ago are still going today.
“When you’re there He is looking at you,” said Lilla Lottinger, who along with Randy Caire was instrumental in bringing the chapel to Ama. “Jesus is right there in front of you looking into your heart. It’s unbelievable how many miracles happen and how many graces people receive when they pray in front of the Eucharist.”
And that’s not counting the blessings that she believes St. Charles Parish has received from the constant prayers that have been offered in the chapel over the years.
Melanie Plaisance of Ama has been coming to the adoration chapel for one hour a week for the past 20 years. For her the chapel has been a restful source of comfort and peace.
“Some days it’s so tough I can’t wait to get there,” she said.
Plaisance agrees that it’s a wonderful feeling to be in the actual presence of God.
“I’ve had the greatest conversations with my Lord on a one-to-one basis,” said faithful chapel-goer Dutch Kappel of Ama.
Besides feeling a real presence of God in the adoration chapel, some adorers say they have seen the face of Jesus or the Lamb in the Eucharist.
“I know and believe in His presence there because He has shown himself to me,” said Charlotte Fabre of Luling, who says she saw Christ’s holy face in the Host while she was praying one day.
One local woman, who asked to remain anonymous, says that her prayers were answered when she was able to adopt a baby girl after years of mishaps.
“As a chapel adorer since it began in 1989, I have received tremendous graces, faith and peace in my life,” she said. “My husband and I suffered seven miscarriages and two failed adoptions in our 16 years of marriage.”
But through it all, she says they never lost hope and brought their saddened hearts to Jesus each and every week in the Blessed Sacrament.
“In 2006 we were blessed with adopting a baby daughter. Before bringing her home for the first time, we brought her directly to the chapel and introduced her to our Lord!”
The chapel is open to anyone who wants to come and pray or read one of the many spiritual books it has available. Catholics who would like to commit to an hour a week can call Debbie Caire at 985-785-2032.