Establishment of a New Chapter
Establishing the Nocturnal Adoration Society in a parish is a simple matter of gathering together a group of Catholic faithful, who are eager to pray before the Blessed Sacrament, and of following the procedural steps outlined below.
PRELIMINARY CONTACTS AND PLANNING
An obvious precondition for organizing a successful chapter of the Society is the cooperation and support of the Pastor in whose church the Nocturnal Prayer vigil is to take place. Before meeting with him to propose the establishment of a chapter in his parish, the founding group should familiarize itself with the literature of the Society, especially its statutes and official prayer book. The group is then in a position to propose the Society to the Pastor, explaining its spirit and aims, and to answer any possible questions.
If the Pastor is agreeable to the establishment of a chapter of the Society, a strategy is worked out for publicizing the Society and inviting parishioners to join. The parish bulletin and promotion from the pulpit, in conjunction with the distribution of the leaflet "One Hour With Him," are basic recruiting means. Personal contact, of course, is also most effective. Details pertaining to the actual signing up and organizing of new members are worked out on the local level.
STEPS LEADING TO ESTABLISHMENT
When a sufficiently large number of people has signed up for membership in the Society, national headquarters is asked for a sample draft for drawing up a local Constitution. This Constitution and a form for canonical establishment (provided by headquarters) are presented by the Pastor to the local ordinary, the bishop of the Diocese, for his approval for affiliation (Statutes, 2).
A chartered Society like the Nocturnal Adoration Society must have a formal reception of its members into the Society. The ritual for this ceremony is found in the Society's official prayer book, The Office of the Blessed Sacrament (Statutes, 8, 22). The names of received members are then entered into the register which each NAS chapter has in its keeping (Statutes, 9).
AFFILIATION WITH THE ARCH-CONFRATERNITY
If an established NAS chapter does well, it eventually petitions headquarters for a form for affiliation with the Arch-Confraternity for Nocturnal Adoration in Rome. This form is then presented to the local ordinary for his approval for affiliation (Statutes, 2). When headquarters is notified of approval for affiliation, a formal decree of affiliation is sent to the Pastor. This decree may be kept in the parish file or else framed and kept somewhere in the parish buildings (e.g., the sacristy).
It may sometimes happen that there are only small groups of people, desirous of Nocturnal Adoration, in several parishes of a particular city, town, or area. In that case, it is recommended that these groups, representing their individual parishes, join in forming a unified Nocturnal Adoration chapter. When a chapter is inter-parochial, it is customary for each participating parish to assume the responsibility for one or two hours of the vigil (Statutes, 3).
FINAL WORDS OF ASSURANCE
In each step of the process of establishment and consolidation of a local chapter, national headquarters is always ready to provide whatever assistance is required.
Wherever the aims and spirit of Nocturnal Adoration have been maintained and promoted, parochial life has been enriched by the blessings of Eucharistic prayer and witness. Within a context of night-time quiet and opportunity for prayerful reflection, the Nocturnal Adoration Society offers today's Catholic the possibility of deeper personal communion with God and growth in Eucharistic faith.
NOCTURNAL ADORATION SOCIETY
Saint Jean Baptiste Church
184 East 76th Street
New York, NY 10021
Paul Monette, Editor
414 Westberry Drive
Rapid City, SD 57702