A Kansas-based ministry led more than a thousand people in Eucharistic adoration last week, allowing Catholics and non-Catholics to worship the Creator among the stars.
Wichita Adore Ministries hosted “Adoration Under the Stars” July 5 at the cemetery outside St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ost, fewer than 30 miles northwest of Wichita.
Jesse Elpers, president of WAM, said the event is a simple yet profound encounter with God.
The event ties “together the creation of God with he who created it on an altar in the middle of nowhere underneath a starlit sky,” he told CNA. “[It] has a beautiful simplicity to it.”
“If nothing else, in such a serene place like that, just to be face to face with your Lord … it’s a beautiful thing.”
An estimated 1,300 people, including 24 priests, attended the event, which also included confession and music.
Elpers said confession is one of the most important aspects of the event. More than 500 people received absolution at the event last year.
Father Dan Duling, pastor of St Joseph's, has been at the church for the past two years. The event is important, he said, because it teaches young people the value of adoration and emphasizes the glory of God in all creation.
It’s “teaching our young people about adoration and giving them an environment [in which] they can pray and adore Jesus,” he told CNA. “I think the important thing for the people is knowing God’s presence out there in his creation and everything around us.”
The event began six years ago with just over 60 attendees and was one of the first ministries of WAM. The organization is a non-profit solely run on volunteer time.
Last year, WAM handled more than 100 events, including parish adoration and diocesan conferences. The company will also lend out production equipment to parishes to put together adoration events themselves.
Elpers said the non-profit’s mission is to lead people to encounter Christ, promoting conversion and personal engagement with the loving creator.
“The ultimate goal of every effort we do, both in adoration events and in the production ministry, is to give each soul a chance at an encounter with Christ” he said, using adoration to bring people “face to face with the heart of the one who made [them], the heart of the one who longs for them.”