“Adoration is a gift,” says Rebecca Romanchuk. “To sit there and adore [the Blessed Sacrament] is a grace. We as a culture have a hard time with quiet and sitting still.”

Mrs. Romanchuk, who attends St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Hudson, was the driving force behind the new Chapel of Our Lady of Victory, a perpetual eucharistic adoration chapel located at St. Mary’s Church in Hudson. It will be dedicated Nov. 17.

Perpetual eucharistic adoration refers to prayer in front of the Blessed Sacrament 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the chapel, the Eucharist is exposed in a monstrance — a receptacle that holds the consecrated host for veneration — and “adorers” sign up for an hour or more of prayer so that someone is always present in the chapel, day and night.

St. Mary’s is one worship site of Holy Trinity parish in Hudson/Germantown. Our Lady of Victory Chapel was a more-than-two-year project by a committee Mrs. Romanchuk coordinated, with the help of dozens of volunteers from parishes across Greene and Columbia Counties.

The chapel replaces St. Mary’s older reconciliation room. Creating it required a number of renovations for the space to be brought up to code.

“It was a great thing to see that everybody wasn’t worried about what parish or what county you were from, but just recognized that eucharistic adoration was important,” said Mrs. Romanchuk.

Three years ago, she was listening to WOPG, an Albany-based Catholic radio station, when she heard an interview with Cindy Kuzia, coordinator of perpetual eucharistic adoration at Holy Spirit parish in Gloversville. Mrs. Kuzia spoke about the good that eucharistic adoration had brought to her own parish.

“I thought, ‘This is exactly what we need,’” said Mrs. Romanchuk.

She got in touch with Mrs. Kuzia, who told her more, and reached out to friends about the idea. Seeing that rural GloversĀ­ville was able to find enough adorers for its effort gave Mrs. Romanchuk hope that she could do the same.

She contacted parishes in Greene Country and held public meetings to discuss the project. The committee that was formed settled on St. Mary’s, with its central location, as the best site for the chapel.

Rev. Anthony Barratt, diocesan director of Prayer and Worship and pastor of Holy Trinity parish, suggested opening the chapel around the time of the Diocese’s Eucharistic Congress, which took place Sept. 22 at the Shrine of Our Lady of Martyrs in Auriesville.

Plenty of repairs had to be done before the space was ready. Volunteers repaired plaster, installed lighting and demolished a wall to expand the room; Mrs. Romanchuk and her husband helped install a stained-glass window. The group spent 11 or 12 hours a day working on the chapel.

Bryan Francett is one of the adorers. He said a perpetual adoration chapel was “sorely needed,” given the ongoing scandals in the Catholic Church. The space gives Catholics a chance to clear their head and connect with their faith, he said.

“It’s so rewarding when you go there,” Mr. Francett told The Evangelist. “It’s so peaceful.”

Mr. Francett lost his job right as renovations for the chapel were beginning. With his new free time, he was one of many volunteers who worked on the space.

Right after the chapel opened, Mr. Francett got a call for a job offer. “I think God had a plan,” he said.

While the chapel opened in October, Bishop Edward B. Scharfenberger will formally dedicate the space Nov. 17 after the 4 p.m. Saturday vigil Mass at St. Mary’s.

Mrs. Romanchuk said the Bishop was “very supportive” of the project from the start. “We wrote to him right after we got approval,” she said, and Bishop Scharfenberger noted “how pleased he was, and to go forward with his blessing.”

The chapel has almost 200 adorers signed up, 80 of whom are participating on a regular basis to ensure a person is present for the Eucharist 24/7. Adorers are invited to read a book, pray, write or journal their thoughts, or meditate in silence.

They can sign up for what time slots they wish to spend with the Blessed Sacrament through on an online scheduling site, olv.weadorehim.com. Interested adorers undergo a training session on eucharistic adoration; the parish is currently looking for nighttime slots to be filled.

So far, the chapel has been a great success.

“My wife and I went there the other day, and there must have been six people in there,” said Mr. Francett. “It’s just such a blessing to the community.”

“We need something like this, foundationally, to revive the parishes,” said Mrs. Romanchuk.

(For more information on becoming an adorer, contact Elise at 518-929-0858 or visit olv.weadorehim.com.)