Archdiocese Local Parishes

Parish celebrates 25 years of perpetual eucharistic adoration

Stan and Maxine Wiechert, eucharistic adoration ministry coordinators for Christ the King Parish in Topeka, accept a plaque from Father Matthew Schiffelbein, pastor, honoring all those involved in the adoration ministry which celebrated its 25th year at the parish this past year. LEAVEN PHOTO BY MARC ANDERSON

by Marc and Julie Anderson

TOPEKA — “O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord.” 

Thus begins a line in a popular Christmas carol.  It’s something parishioners at Christ the King Parish in Topeka do daily.

That’s because for 25 years, more than 400 current, former and deceased parishioners have participated in perpetual eucharistic adoration, thus adoring Christ just like the three wise men who traveled for miles to be among the first to adore the Christ Child. 

At the end of the 7:30 a.m. Mass on Jan. 6, the solemnity of the Epiphany, Father Matthew Schiffelbein, the parish’s pastor, honored all those involved in the adoration ministry. 

Presenting a plaque to the ministry coordinators, Father Schiffelbein had the following to say:

“As I mentioned in my homily, we celebrated on Nov. 7 the 25th anniversary of our perpetual eucharistic adoration chapel. We have a plaque marking that anniversary and recognizing all the volunteers that for the last 25 years have filled those hours, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and we’re grateful for that.” 

“There’s a number of folks who have done that for all these 25 years,” he continued. “Among those folks are Maxine and Stan Wiechert who have, in addition to filling hours, helped to manage the schedule to make certain all the hours are filled each day for the last 25 years.”

After a standing ovation for the Wiecherts, Father Schiffelbein invited anyone else involved in eucharistic  adoration to stand and be recognized for their commitment.

“Take a look around,” he said. “It’s a real testament to our parish’s love and dedication for the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.”

Besides the Wiecherts, an additional 90 parishioners started in the ministry 25 years ago. Many of them maintain the same hour. For example, Liz Bessette has an hour at 5 a.m. Wednesdays, a time she cherishes.

“It’s so peaceful,” she said. 

She added that spending time with Jesus has helped her in “getting closer to God and trying to understand more clearly what he expects of me in my life.”

Like Bessette, Fred Biesemeyer has an early morning hour — actually two, from 2 to 4 a.m. 

“Of course, I have the good hours,” Biesemeyer said, adding those early morning hours are quiet, peaceful and without interruption.

It’s not something he planned on doing 25 years ago, but a parishioner invited him. 

“It was just the right time in my formation,” he said. 

The blessings he’s received from spending time with Jesus have just magnified in his life, and he feels spiritually renewed every time.

“It starts my day off right,” he said.

For Jane Proctor, another parishioner with an hour at 5 a.m., the time has brought her closer to God in a way she is not able to do at home.

There’s something to be said for praying with the real presence of Christ, she said. 

“He’s right there,” she said. “It’s just you and him. It can’t get any better than this.” 

About the author

Marc & Julie Anderson

Freelancers Marc and Julie Anderson are long-time contributors to the Leaven. Married in 1996, for several years the high school sweethearts edited The Crown, the former newspaper of Christ the King Parish in Topeka which Julie has attended since its founding in 1977. In 2000, the Leaven offered the couple their first assignment. Since then, the Andersons’ work has also been featured in a variety of other Catholic and prolife media outlets. The couple has received numerous journalism awards from the Knights of Columbus, National Right to Life and the Catholic Press Association including three for their work on “Think It’s Not Happening Near You? Think Again,” a piece about human trafficking. A lifelong Catholic, Julie graduated from Most Pure Heart of Mary Grade School and Hayden Catholic High School in Topeka. Marc was received into the Catholic Church in 1993 at St. Paul Parish – Newman Center at Wichita State University. The two hold degrees from Washburn University in Topeka. Their only son, William James, was stillborn in 1997.

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