Fr. Matthew Hysell and Yvon Levesque were among those taking part in Eucharistic Adoration May 30 next to the construction site for the future Corpus Christi Church


Fr. Matthew Hysell and Yvon Levesque were among those taking part in Eucharistic Adoration May 30 next to the construction site for the future Corpus Christi Church

June 9, 2014

The time spent in adoration with the Lord can undoubtedly become a profound, meaningful and joyful experience.

However, outdoors in a residential neighbourhood in the Millwoods region in southeast Edmonton is not the typical location for Eucharistic Adoration.

The Blessed Sacrament was in solemn exposition, in a monstrance atop a table along the sidewalk. In contrast, behind the table were heavy construction machinery and mounds of soil enclosed within a fenced-off area. It is the eventual site of Corpus Christi Church, at 34th Street and 28A Avenue.

"We are building a new church called Corpus Christi, which means the Body of Christ," explained Lorraine Gustafson, who was assisting at the most recent outdoor adoration.

"We are very fortunate to have Eucharistic Adoration here," she said, noting that the Eucharist becomes the focal point of their devotion.

Corpus Christi Parish is an offshoot of St. Theresa's Parish. Sunday Mass is being held at Father Michael Troy School, 3630-23 St., until the new church is constructed.

"We need a new church. St. Theresa's is so full of activity, and we're all fighting for room. It's a very busy parish," said Gustafson.

Father Jim Corrigan, pastor at St. Theresa's and Corpus Christi parishes, said the two parishes are full of life.

"As clergy, there is probably no greater joy than being involved in an engaged faith community. There is no question that this is our situation here at St. Theresa/Corpus Christi."

Parishioners gather for outdoor adoration at the construction site of the new church on the last Friday of every month. About 15 people gathered there for an hour on the evening of May 30.

"It's a time for prayer with the Lord," said Yvon Levesque, recognizing that Eucharistic Adoration is God and man reaching out for each other at the same time.

"It is Adoration of the Land," explained Father Matthew Hysell, associate pastor at St. Theresa's Parish, who was leading the adoration. "It is a double entendre, involving both Church and sacrament."


During the Holy Hour, the worshipers prayed for Pope Francis, Archbishop Richard Smith and the priests.

In such a public setting, their devotion to Jesus did not deter people from walking by with their dogs or strolling directly in front of the Blessed Sacrament as they carried cases of beer or groceries to their homes.

Through the Scripture readings, hymns, prayer and otherwise silent adoration, cars and buses zipped by noisily.

Hysell said they pray for different intentions every month. Highlights of the May adoration were a prayer for vocations, prayer of consecration to the Holy Spirit and a prayer for the new deacons.


"Tonight we prayed specifically for Gem Mella, from St. Theresa's Parish, who will be ordained a deacon tomorrow (May 31). We have a different devotion each time. For example, when Pope Benedict stepped down, we prayed for him," said Hysell.

Due to Deacon Kris Schmidt's priestly ordination on June 27, the next outdoor Eucharistic Adoration will be on Friday, June 20 at 6 p.m., again hosted by Corpus Christi Ministries.

As well, an outdoor Mass is set for Sunday, June 22, outside of Father Michael Troy School. A barbecue lunch will follow the 11 a.m. Mass.