Founded in 1998 for the service of the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the protection of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration residing at Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Hanceville, AL, the Knights live totally committed to adoring our Eucharistic King and to making known His Real Presence in the Holy Eucharist.
The survey data of nearly two decades ago sent shock waves throughout much of the Catholic Church: According to a 1992 Roper poll and a later 1994 New York Times/CBS News poll, as many as 70 percent of U.S. Catholics no longer believed in the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist - the fundamental Catholic doctrine that the bread and wine consecrated by the priest at Mass become the true body and blood, soul, and divinity of Christ while the appearances of bread and wine remain.
Many of the Catholic faithful and their leaders refused to take this depressing news lying down. In fact, the posture for many became that of kneeling down-stepping up the practice and promotion of Eucharistic adoration as a way of fostering sound catechesis and reverence for the Real Presence.
In the intervening years, popes, bishops, pastors, and lay organizations have encouraged this pious practice in word and action. Youth retreat apostolates increasingly have incorporated adoration of the Blessed Sacrament into their work. Dioceses and archdioceses, including St. Louis, Atlanta, San Antonio, Bridgeport, and St. Paul-Minneapolis, have vigorously worked at establishing Eucharistic exposition and Benediction in their parishes.
The Knights of the Holy Eucharist seek to provide just such examples in their apostolate among the faithful who visit the monastery and its magnificent shrine, where they serve as caretakers, sacristans, and servers. Even non-Catholics are drawn to the presence of Christ as reflected in the beauty of the environment and the reverence demonstrated there.
"I can say that the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament draws many who are seeking a deeper union with our Eucharistic Lord. We continue to receive large numbers of Protestants who are looking for answers," he said. "They sense the presence of God once they enter our gate; they continue that journey in search of their divine Lord."
Furthermore, the Knights help maintain reverence for the Blessed Sacrament by ensuring that pilgrims are modestly attired, that a sacred silence is maintained in the church, and that the environment as a whole evokes a sense of peace and serenity conducive to meditation and contemplation.