By Sr. Gorgonia Parcero, SSS
The Congregation of the Servants of the Blessed Sacrament was founded by St. Peter Julian Eymard on July 31, 1859 in Angers, France. He also founded the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers and Brothers.
St. Eymard was declared a saint in 1962 by Pope John XXIII who named him “Apostle of the Eucharist.”
The congregation is centered on the person of Christ in the fullness of the Eucharistic Mystery and wholly dedicated to his love and glory. The celebration of the Eucharist, the Liturgy of the Hours and Eucharistic adoration give form to our mission of prayer. Eucharistic Adoration has the priority of our time and attention.
Four sisters first came to Pueblo on June 30, 1956 upon the invitation of Bishop Joseph Willging. They took up residence at Oakland Avenue. Before long, more sisters arrived from Maine. Perpetual adoration started right away in their chapel which came to be known as “the Cenacle.” The laity, by their participation, supported adoration from the very beginning. The Nocturnal Adoration Society formed a local chapter in Pueblo in April 1957.
Sad to say due to lack of sisters, night adoration was not maintained. But day adoration continues.
In October 1984, at the invitation of Bishop Arthur Tafoya, the sisters moved exposition and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament to Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Bishop desired to have the Cathedral as center of Eucharistic worship for the city. The sisters took up residence at the former chancery at 1426 Grand Avenue, four blocks north of the Cathedral.
In 1995, Bishop Tafoya offered to the sisters the convent at St. Mary Help of Christians Parish at 311 East Mesa Avenue. The convent had been vacant since the departure of the Benedictine sisters. The Bishop felt that the physical set-up there would be more practical and suitable for the sisters. They moved in January 1996. The daily adoration program and the monthly adoration of the Nocturnal Adoration Society continue at St. Mary’s.
In 2009, due to lack of vocations, the American sisters asked the help of the sisters in the Philippines so the Congregation will continue its Eucharistic presence and mission in Pueblo. Four sisters came. An American elderly sister lives in a nursing facility and the Filipinas over-see her care. The sisters continue to distribute altar breads, their main source of income. The sisters’ special ministries include:
• Serving as special Eucharistic Ministers and lectors
• Taking care of the altar and church decorations
• Leading the rosary and visiting the sick at a nursing facility once a week
• And whenever possible, joining the Pueblo Filipino Community Rosary group in their monthly prayer.
Bishop Fernando Isern, before the start of the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration at the Shrine of St. Therese, assured the sisters that they will continue their Eucharistic presence and mission in Pueblo. We are truly grateful for his support.