Adoration Testimonials

Mark Fornefeld

The Peace of Christ be with you. My name is Mark Fornefeld, a Husband and Father, fellow Parishioner, and an Hourly Captain for Saint Joan of Arc’s Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration. Father has kindly invited me to take a couple moments to talk to you about Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament -- an incredibly unique way to grow in a deeper more personal relationship with Jesus Christ. What do I mean? How is this unique and personal?

Well, as Catholics, we all adore our Lord in a most intimate relationship as we receive His glorified body in Communion -- but this encounter with Christ does not have to end after Mass. We know that his Real Presence: the body and blood, soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus, exposed in the Monstrance, is Jesus truly and substantially present – as real and as present as I am standing here before you. This means that you have personal audience with our Creator in adoration! Truly incredible and frankly the greatest gift in the universe.

So, I invite you to experience the joy of adoration by spending time with our Lord in the St John Paul II Adoration Chapel, where you enter into prayer, perhaps say the rosary, or read scripture. You may want to just sit quietly and ‘look at him’ as he ‘looks at you’, as Jesus is there truly present as he was 2000 years ago. What a unique, joyful, and personal way to connect with God!

I invite you to be in the company of Jesus in adoration in times of suffering, perhaps a dark time, where you may feel as though you have nowhere to go or no one to talk to – But you do! Go see him! He is right over there, in the Chapel, truly present waiting to see you! Tell him your sorrow, complain to him, ask him for help, but then – listen to him. In times of suffering, there is no better place than in the real presence of our Lord Jesus, who is the best counselor in the universe.

I invite you to come adore our Lord when things are going tremendously well for you! This is a perfect time to see him! Thank him for all your good fortunes, because you see, a relationship also includes giving thanks.

As for me, I’ve been adoring our Lord in Adoration for 6 years and where Adoration has been most transforming for me has been with Mass. How? Well, for instance, during the consecration, as Father elevates the host and I look at the Blessed Sacrament extended over the alter, there is a wonderful familiarity and connection with Jesus that is a result of spending time with Him in adoration and the effect is that the entire Mass has become radically joyful to me – I don’t want this encounter to end, which is why I am so attracted to Jesus in Adoration!

So, wherever you are in your journey, I can testify that your relationship with Jesus will deepen in a personal and unique way as you pray and share your life events with him, but more importantly as you spend time with Jesus in Adoration.

In conclusion and just a note, that if you have been looking for a way to become involved in the Parish, I cannot think of a better way than to commit to a Holy Hour with Our Lord. Since Adoration here at SJA is perpetual, you choose the day and the hour. Please see us in the Narthex to answer any questions. Thank you for listening and may you discover the joy and peace in the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Bill Buerger

The peace of Christ be with you, my Brothers and Sisters.

I've been adoring in the middle of the night for almost 12 years now.

About 6 or 7 years ago I was shown something compelling about being before Jesus alone, in the silence of a still chapel, with God truly present before me in His divine Eucharist.

What I was shown is quite simple.

When we pray, we often are steeped in our own language, and in this we tend to do all the talking and desire that God will all the listening. I did just that my entire life. I prayed and prayed and prayed the Rosary, devotions, petitions an entire "arsenal" of Catholic prayers. It's what we do as Catholics. But then I took it all into the Eucharistic Adoration Chapel until, as I say, about 6 or 7 years ago.

What the Holy Spirit made me aware of were two notions. In one, I was given what the Venerable Fulton J. Sheen wrote in one of his books. "Every single day of my priesthood,” he said, “I have sat in front of the Blessed Sacrament for one hour and listened intently, sometimes even while falling asleep." In the other notion, I was shown what Our Holy Father Pope Francis tells us about adoration, where he says, "Allow yourself to be gazed upon by God while sitting in front of Him before the Blessed Sacrament. Allow the real you to be viewed as He wants to see you. Let yourself be gazed upon while sitting quietly even in drifting off into a spiritual sleep."

Think about what these two men are telling us:

“Relax with Jesus alone in the silence, even without one's usual prayer.”

Each of them said,

“If you need to, repeat Jesus' name over and over again until your mind's distractions fade away. The quiet will do the rest. Deep meditation will eventually happen.” I personally repeat a line from the 46th Psalm over and over and over “Be still and know that I am God” until my mind vacates. I become God's vessel.

Imagine that! Just listening to our Lord. Allowing oneself to be gazed upon by God

I've come to understand why I was given this gift. God wanted me to hear Him.

In the adoration chapel, alone at last with God, with a crumbling and very dark world outside, He taught me to listen in complete silence to what He is saying to me.

There is no clutter, no "noise" from inside me. It is just Him speaking.

And my prayer life? I pray “my arsenal” much more than ever OUTSIDE the chapel. It has made me one who prays with greater humility whenever and wherever I pray.

I offer this for those of you who may be voicing an interior fear or concern about PEA and may be saying, "I don't know how to handle an entire hour alone with God in His Divine Presence. It scares me."

Our Lord quells that fear. He says, "Come and be with me. This is all I want. Just sit with me and even fall into a slumber if it happens. You are here. I know how much you love Me. You don't have to say a thing. Let Me do the talking."

Allow me to stress what the meaning of a holy hour is TO ME:

To REALLY adore is to give oneself over completely to God. Adoration, at its core, is giving full attention to Jesus before us.

(Think of this...

...when a person is really listening to you, you see it in one's eyes, don't you? The person is not distracted. The person is with you, and you just know your words are being heard.)

Well Jesus knows you are giving full attention to Him when you adore and just listen in silence. He sees it in your eyes.

Listen! Can you hear Him calling out to you to take a seat in His special chapel, His soft, gentle whisper, rendering to you what you so long for in your life peace! Peace in Him.

PLEASE find 60 minutes in your life. Commit to a holy hour in SJA's PEA chapel.

Sign up for that hour right now after Mass today. There in our vestibule you can pick any hour out of 168 hours in the week any hour that works for you. I've always adored in the middle of the night even when I was still working, because the world is asleep and the quiet is part of the darkness and even driving to and from the chapel is soothing to my soul, knowing Jesus is waiting for me as an adorer to show up and be with Him.

I extend this to you: Adoration has become spiritual pre-disposition for me. It has changed my life. It may well change yours. Are you longing for more quiet with God in your life? something you cannot even find at home? A holy hour in your life fully dedicated to God is an essential way to give sacrifice to Him. Commit to an hour a week just for Him you quietly alone and listening.

You know He is waiting to have that talk with you.

PLEASE Do something for yourself, right now.

This very moment, close your eyes for the next 60 seconds Just close your eyes.

Ask yourself and try to respond to this honestly:

“But it's just not for me.” “Adoration is just not for me.” “It's just not for me.”

“Is it because I simply do not believe in the real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist?

Well, then. That would explain it, wouldn't it?

But if I do believe that Our Lord Jesus Christ is truly present in the Sacred Eucharist Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity waiting for ME in that beautiful chapel to talk to me for me to listen then why, Dear Me, would it NOT be for me?”

“Why indeed?”


Five years ago, one of my children was physically attacked by a classmate. What may have seemed rather unpleasant but not terribly traumatic to anyone superficially acquainted with the situation was--to me--an intolerable outrage. I knew what my child had already endured in life and was furious that this child would be victimized by a boy who was a coddled son of privilege, entitled--in his stunted little mind--to do as he pleased to whomever he pleased. I was not just angry with the boy who attacked my child. I hated him.

It was a natural response. Enter, conflict. As a Christian, I know that I am a “new creation,” and am not to follow the natural response, but the supernatural response. Christ has commanded me to love my enemies and to forgive, “seventy times seven.” He taught that I am to show mercy, so that mercy may be granted to me. What, then, could I do but swallow my pride, get down on my knees, and pray for that nasty little boy?

I began to go before the Blessed Sacrament daily because it was the only place I could pray for him without allowing my mind to indulge in hateful fantasies of his just rewards which included humiliation, failure, and misery. In the Divine Presence, I was able to ask God to bless that child. I was able to beg God to transform my hard, vengeful heart into a natural, forgiving heart. Very shortly, after a few weeks of daily Adoration, I found that I could see a frightened, vulnerable, insecure boy where I had formerly seen a monster. Forgiveness suddenly came easily.

What happened next surprised me. I came to love the boy. The longer I prayed for him--maybe after a year of praying for him daily--I began to see glimpses of the soul behind the swaggering facade of the now young teen. I paid close attention to his words and actions and began to see a boy who had repented and who was clearly attempting to be actively good. I began to see him occasionally coming from the Adoration Chapel himself. I loved him more deeply as the months passed into years. I began to pray for his vocation, sensing that he had the qualities one longs to see in priests.

Others began to notice these qualities and changes in him and also predicted a brilliant career in the Church, should his parents choose to support his vocation over more conventional choices. Still, I could sense in him a vulnerability, a willingness to give in to pressure, a need for approval that can go terribly wrong in adolescents. I prayed that he would have the strength to resist the temptations that would surely come his way as a bright, good-looking, charming young man. You see, I had come to truly desire his best good. God had transformed my hard heart into a loving heart.

Daniel died suddenly two years ago, at the age of 14. His death left an entire community reeling from grief. I was overwhelmed, brought to my knees literally, when I heard the news. The boy I had hated, the boy I’d grown to love was gone. Very soon after he died, I was struck with the terrible “what ifs?” of the situation. What if I had remained angry and resentful of him during the last few years of his precious life? What if he had died and I had not made peace with him? How would I have dealt with the guilt? Thankfully, the Lord had rescued me from my sin of anger.

By approaching the Lord in the quiet of the Adoration Chapel, I was able to hear him speak his lesson of forgiveness and love to my hard heart. I am so grateful for the peace of Christ I found before the Blessed Sacrament.

Please consider giving the Lord one hour a week to transform you with his love. Thank you.

Michael Cali

Good morning. My name is Michael Cali. I have been a parishioner at St. Joan of Arc for 11 years. I married my beautiful bride, Julia, here 10 years ago and God has blessed us with 4 boys, all baptized here at St. Joan.

We are fortunate in this parish to have Perpetual Adoration and we are blessed to have many adorers to make sure the exposed Eucharist is never left unattended, but we need more parishioners to make a commitment to spend time before the Blessed Sacrament 1 hour each week.

I personally adore at 3am on Sunday mornings. Given the obligations of work and family it was one of the only consistently free times I could find in my schedule and, besides, I would only waste it on sleep. The early morning slot has truly been a blessing. It really is a great chance to silently spend time with Jesus. There’s no hustle & bustle out on the streets or here on the grounds. For those of us who can have a hard time focusing there are fewer distractions to battle.

I guess the question is why do I go to adoration? The simple answer is because that’s where Jesus is. Yes, we can find God in nature, at home and in our family and friends but he is present in a profoundly intimate way in the Eucharist exposed for us in the Monstrance. It’s almost impossible for me to fathom that we have a God who desires union with us. How small a sacrifice for me to make to spend an hour with Him who is always with me.

I have gone to adoration with joy, with sadness, with tiredness. Whether I go to adoration to thank the Lord for the healthy birth of my son or with anxiety for the responsibility of the new life God has entrusted to me, Jesus is always there. My problems haven not been miraculously solved since I became an adorer, but I have a new sense of peace and I know God is with me through my trials & tribulations. I know that God so loves me that he came down to me so that I can be with him for eternity.

Lastly, I go to adoration for my family. My primary job as a parent is to lead my children to Heaven and to do that I need to, in the words of the Baltimore Catechism, teach my children to “…know, love, and serve God in this world.” Parents know that what you say to your children doesn’t matter if you don’t example it in your own life. My family isn’t with me during my hour, but they know I go. They know I go because I want to strengthen my faith and deepen my relationship with our Lord, but I also go to strengthen my family’s faith and deepen their relationship with our Lord.

I urge you to commit to spending 1 hour each week with our Lord. While all here are invited and wanted I want to specifically call out to the men here today. I have been told that the adorer ratio is 3:1 in favor of the ladies. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s right. We need to do our share. What’s more, for all you husbands and fathers, if you want to improve your family life the best thing you can do is improve your prayer life.

Thank you & God Bless.

Tom Hemenway

Good morning, my name is Tom Hemenway. I am a parishioner here a St. Joan of Arc, and I am also a member of the Perpetual Adoration team. Let me share a little bit about that program.

You may not know this, but late Sunday nights when most of you are asleep, I am here praying. In fact, there are parishioners praying right now, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We are praying, visiting, thanking, crying, asking and learning. Did you know it is open for you too? I found it the hard way.

My girlfriend's dad, a retired FBI agent and incredible man had just been diagnosed with cancer. After her tears and shock came anger and questions. Why would God to this to a man who has only ever served Him well? She was not satisfied with any answer I could offer, so I invited her to talk to God in person. I had to find a church offering perpetual adoration. To my delight - and shock - our own parish had it. And I had no idea!

So I invited Andrea to Adoration. Today, I am also inviting all of you. She was not familiar with perpetual adoration so she had questions. Many of you may ask the same. What is it? What happens? What do I do? What do I say? Here is my answer:

It is YOUR time with God. One on one. Up on that altar is the heart of Jesus. There is no mass or formal ceremony. There are no ushers, no choir, not even a priest. Just you and Him. So talk to his heart from your heart. If you are happy, thank Him. If you are angry, be mad. If you need a favor, that is a pretty good time to ask. But the single most important thing I want to remind you to do during your audience with Jesus is to LISTEN. Listen, not just for the answers YOU want but for the answers He gives.

After going to adoration that day, my dear Andrea was still angry and I was still a sinner. But I continued to listen. God's grace gave me the strength to be there for her and her family. God did not answer our requests to cure her dad. But because I was open to His answers, He helped me understand why. He needed another soldier, and was only taking the best. He also knew this would devastate the families this great man left behind, so he gave us 8 months to say good bye.

I wanted to go back to adoration to thank God. But I am also trying to build my own business, so I used every excuse I could to not go. God kept calling. Ironically enough, a Sunday mass was being offered in her father's memory that my girlfriend's entire family attended. That day, God sent someone just like me to speak at a mass just like this to invite me to come visit Him again - One on one. How can you say no to that, right? Immediately following mass, I signed up to pray for one hour every week. I am here every Sunday night... Well, Monday morning from 1-2am.

We are inviting you as individuals, families, clubs or groups to commit to spending one hour a week in Adoration. Seem like a huge commitment? I find it an absolute honor to get a personal audience with Jesus every single week. During my hour, I've been happy, sad, angry, scared and sometimes confused. I've read, I've prayed, I've cried, I've started with a few prayers and then sat quietly just listening. I use my time to learn about my faith and also about myself.

Now understand, I have a long way to go with my faith - I'm still a sinner - but I'm learning more and more how to LISTEN to God's message to me. I listen not only for the answers I want, but for the answers He gives me. The best I can say to you is you've got to try it! Please at least consider it. Perpetual adoration programs around the world are organized and run by lay parishioners, not priests or deacons. So it is up to us to make sure someone is always there. Why not ask a friend to join you? You don't have to choose a late hour like I did. Pick what works for you. If you can spend this extra hour a week with Jesus, you will be amazed at what He can do for you. Please come and ask questions if you have any.

Kim Manning

Good morning! My name is Kim Manning and I’ve been a committed adorer for five years since we started Perpetual Adoration here at St. Joan of Arc.  I was not always a catholic – since I came into the Church a little less than 20 years ago, there hasn’t been a mass that I haven’t teared-up when the priest raises the Host and the Chalice and says those beautiful words, “Behold the Lamb of God, behold Him who takes away the sins of the world.  Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb.”  I am always awestruck with gratitude and wonder at God’s love and mercy that He has counted me among those to enter into communion with Him this side of Heaven.  So if I receive this wondrous gift each week at mass, why do I bother to go to adoration?  Why do I commit an hour or more out of my life, often daily, to sit in that tiny room in the corner of the church?

I go to share my joys and thanksgiving, my sorrows and disappointments, my small hurts and great griefs.  I always leave with consolation.
I go to discuss the problems that lay heavy on my heart – to get advice and good counsel.  I always leave with peace and answers.
I go to pray for the conversion of the world, and I have seen many conversions, even in my own family.
I go to learn how to pray and the Holy Spirit has taken me to depths of prayer I never imagined.
I go to be healed of the deep wounds of my life, and I have experienced profound healings.
I go to learn to love more and more perfectly, to answer the call to become a saint.  I am far from there, but I know by faith that I am making clear progress with every hour.

But let me tell you the most important reason I go to adoration…

Because He is there! He is just as present there today as He was 2000 years ago when he was down the street preaching and healing. The Merciful, All-loving God is there – really there!  He waits in that chapel to pour out His love upon us, thirsting for us to come and love Him.  I truly encourage each of you to commit to a weekly hour and experience the joy and peace that only come from meeting Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

Members of the Adoration Leadership Team are available after Mass in the back of the Church to answer any questions you may have and help you find the Holy Hour that works best with your schedule. Thank you.

Todd Welch

My experience as an adorer started this past Lenten Season.  At the beginning of Lent this year, I felt that I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. Over the years and during Lent I had given up things like coffee, meat, and as a child I once gave up watching the show The Simpsons entirely for Lent. 

However, this year I wanted to challenge myself and develop a greater capacity for devotion.   I also am often in need of healing and greater clarity in life. 

I became interested in becoming an adorer.  I inquired online about adoration at SJA and received an email within about ten minutes. I was then informed that a very recent and urgent need had arisen for an adorer during the 3 AM holy hour on Friday Mornings.  Because I couldn't possibly have any conflicts at that hour and because I was looking for a challenge, I agreed.   I was quickly shown the ropes by the very kind adoration director and I met my lovely prayer partner after the first night of adoration.  Most holy hours have two adorers, referred to as prayer partners.
For me, there has been something significant about interrupting sleep for this purpose of adoration.  The very act is a break from the ordinary.  To come awake when deeply asleep for this represents a small willingness for this “waking up” to occur in all of my life.

As the Lord advised us, the Father would need to be the one to draw us to Christ. Once drawn, a "stepping closer" may be appropriate at times in life.

At that hour of the night, everything is very still.   A sacredness is felt.  There are no distractions.  Sometimes my heart surges with joy.  Sometimes I wrestle within.  Sometimes I see clearly what I am to do next. Sometimes I need to kneel to stay awake.  It has always been a practice.

Being in adoration has had many practical benefits. – Healing of old wounds, a greater receptivity to feel God’s love, joyfulness, & peace; an opportunity to make concerted efforts to forgive others and pray for others, a time to forgive my mistakes, and a time to receive guidance in my life.  I have never ceased to be amazed by what can happen.  The day after I adore I almost always feel peaceful and energized.

I am very grateful to have this experience at St. Joan of Arc.  It has been very meaningful for me.  I would like to thank all of the adorers and especially my prayer partner for their very inspiring commitment.  The level of participation in this program of perpetual adoration I have felt as exceptional and it shows the strength of this community. I encourage all who may be interested in expressing their devotion in this manner to sit a little while in the adoration chapel and see how it may touch them.  If you have any questions about adoration or would like to sign-up for a holy hour, please visit with members of the adoration committee at the table in the back of the Church after Mass today.

Walther Cantu

My name is Walther Cantú and please don't be deceived by the red beard, I'm Mexican, born and raised in Monterrey. Came to Phoenix in 2012 and when I first came to mass at SJA it felt pretty much like home; and like any new home I started to get familiar with it and discovered so many wonderful things. Orthodox priests, beautiful liturgy and music, but it took me almost a year to discover one of the most precious things we have: the St Pope John Paul II perpetual adoration chapel.

I started visiting our Lord for a few minutes here and there until I found myself craving that time of silence with the person that loves me most in the world. It took me a while but I signed up to be an adorer on November 2013 and once I started showing up every week things started to change. My relationship with the Lord has deepened. My prayer changed from a laundry list of things I wanted from God to a simple question: what do you want me to do? In the midst of all that, I met a girl.

We would visit the Blessed Sacrament at the same time, the only difference is she was in California and I was in the chapel over there, same Jesus though. Long story short, after roughly 100 hours of prayer, that girl followed me into the desert and now I call her my wife, we celebrated our 1 year anniversary a few days ago and our first baby is on the way. (Praise the Lord!) We've been blessed in so many ways and I can't thank God enough for what he has done for my family. As you may have deduced by now adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is a central part of my relationship with my wife and I wouldn't have it any other way. I pray for all families here at SJA and especially for the men; if you feel the Lord calling you to a deeper relationship (and by the way, He is) consider signing up to become an adorer, I promise you won't regret it.

May God bless you.

Mi nombre es Walther Cantú y por favor no se dejen llevar por las apariencias, soy mexicano, nacido en Monterrey. Llegué a Phoenix en el 2012 y cuando vine por primera vez a Sta Juana de Arco me sentí como si estuviera en casa. Descubrí que mi nuevo hogar tiene sacerdotes fieles a la Iglesia, hermosa liturgia y música...pero me tomó mas de un año en descubrir una de las cosas más valiosas que tenemos aquí: la capilla de adoración perpetua Sn Juan Pablo II.

Empecé visitando a nuestro Señor unos cuantos minutos a la semana hasta que empecé a sentir la necesidad de tener tiempo a solas, en silencio con la persona que me ama más en el mundo. En Noviembre de 2013 me registré para adorar a nuestro Señor semanalmente y a partir de ahí muchas cosas empezaron a cambiar. Noté que mi relación con Dios se volvió más profunda y mi oración cambió de una lista de demandas que yo quería Dios me cumpliera a una simple pregunta: ¿Qué es lo quieres de mi, Señor? En medio de todo esto conocí a una muchacha.

Ambos visitabamos al santísimo a la misma hora, la única diferencia es que ella estaba en California y yo en la capilla, el mismo Jesús a final de cuentas.

Para no hacerles el cuento muy largo, después de poco mas de 100 horas de oración, esa muchacha me siguió al desierto y ahora le digo mi esposa. Acabamos de celebrar nuestro primer año de casados y estamos esperando a nuestro primer hijo en Febrero del año que viene. Hemos sido bendecidos de muchas diferentes maneras y no puedo agradecerle lo suficiente a Dios por lo que ha hecho por mi familia.

Como se imaginarán, la adoración al santísimo es parte vital de la relación entre mi esposa y yo. Sus familias están en mi oraciones pero sobre todo los hombres, si ustedes sienten que Dios los está llamando a una relación más cercana a ustedes, les pido que consideren registrarse para adorar al Santísimo una vez por semana. Les prometo que no se van a arrepentir.

Algunos capitanes de horas santas estarán en el vestíbulo por si tienen mas preguntas al respecto.

Que tengan un buen Domingo. Dios los bendiga.