Shortly after the pontifical approval of Heralds of the Gospel, the first signs of an avalanche of activities and immense institutional growth appeared. It did not take long for the founder, Monsignor João S. Clá Dias, E.P., to quickly find himself torn between the joy of seeing the expansion of his work and becoming apprehensive with the risk that constant activity could pose to the charism.
A consecration, a sign
One evening as he thought about the problem, his thoughts fell upon upon tabernacle in the chapel in which the Blessed Sacrament has been kept for many years. It came to him in a snap:
“This work is too big for my shoulders. Either God carries it, or no one can.”
He immediately made the decision to consecrate this work of evangelization to the Eucharistic and Sacred Heart of Jesus. That same evening he did so again, and the next day he repeated it yet again with the community. At the same time, he asked for an interior sign if Jesus himself was willing to lead and to protect this work. He asked that a longstanding dream of having a house with perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament be authorized.
The very next day, a ranking member of the Roman curia visited the mother-house of Heralds of the Gospel and obtained all of the necessary authorizations. And so to this day perpetual adoration have been offered there to the Blessed Sacrament without interruption.
Guarantee of apostolic efficacy
This first movement of Eucharistic piety spread throughout the Heralds of the Gospel. Today all of the houses of the Heralds of the Gospel, which have the necessary infrastructure and a sufficient number of residents, have a perpetual adoration chapel. It is the best guarantee – as often repeated by Monsignor João Clá – for the success of the apostolate.
Obviously this is not possible in all of the communities, especially the youth centers, which often do not have sufficient staff. Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament is, nonetheless, done within the possibilities of every house. In this way even the young visitors and participants have an opportunity for intimacy with Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Normally the Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for a few hours everyday for worship during community prayer, such as, the Liturgy of the Hours and during the recitation of the Rosary with moments of singing and quiet prayer. Individual members will also regularly spend some personal time in private adoration and meditation.