Since ordination in 1956, I have spent one-third of my priesthood in administration on the national or diocesan level and two-thirds of it in parish ministry. Just as the Eucharist and eucharistic people were so influential in leading me to the altar, I credit those same factors for the fact that I am still an active priest today.

Extended prayer before the reserved Presence on a regular basis, ideally each day, but actually about 90% of the time, has been an essential lifeline. While I have been blessed with enormous successes, accomplishments, and recognition, there have been a balancing amount of weaknesses and wounds, poor choices and burdensome crosses. I don't think I would have survived spiritually without that kind of ongoing, extensive prayerful reflection.

The development of a Perpetual Adoration Chapel in our parish with 400 lay people spending an hour each week before the exposed sacrament fits nicely into that pattern. When you enter the chapel for a period of prayer at least one parishioner will always be there. That encourages me; I presume my presence heartens them.

Emmanuel Magazine - January/February 1994
Monsignor Joseph M. Champlin