The Women’s Society for the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament Society is open to all women within the Polish National Catholic Church. Our first bishop, the Most Reverend Francis Hodur founded the Society in April of 1897. It was with great courage and foresight that Bishop Hodur founded this organization that elevated women in the Church, giving them a prominent place in the liturgy, when women’s place of equality was not fully established in society at large.
The main duty of members of the Society is to adore Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, during the Eucharist, and other para-liturgical services of worship. The first pew in the church is always reserved for members of the Society who will adore the Blessed Sacrament. At the beginning of the Sanctus members light candles as a sign of adoration, reminding everyone that the Lord God is present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, the Eucharist. The candles are extinguished when the celebrant concludes the ablutions.
By bearing this light, the members of the Society are not only bearing witness to Christ’s presence, but, also, reminding the congregation of Christ’s teaching, “You are the light of the world. (…) Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:14-16, NAB)
As the first church society established within the Polish National Catholic Church members are honored to worship and adore our Savior, Jesus Christ in the Most Blessed Sacrament and to aid fellow church members in their pursuit of Christian living.
The Society exists throughout the Diocese through a structure that includes parishes, local deaneries and diocesan and national levels.
Member responsibilities include the following:
- Demonstrate by word and deed their love of God, and loyalty to the mission of the Polish National Catholic Church, supporting its standard organizations and publications.
- Promote spiritual development within the Society and denomination on all levels.
- Care for the church sanctuary, altars, linens and other articles required by the clergy for proper celebration of the Holy Eucharist, maintaining their cleanliness and quality, and making purchases as required in accordance with traditions and the approval of the pastor.
- Oversee the purchase, funding, and placement of flower decorations on the altars for weekly services and special occasions.
- Attend and assist in worship services, meetings, and programs for spiritual development.
- Wear the Society medal on designated occasions.
- Remember sisters who may be ill or unable to attend services, reaching out to them through visitations, cards and phone calls.
- Participate in a final tribute for a departed sister by attending the spiritual service at her wake and her requiem mass.
- Support the needs of their local parish.
- Subscribe to the Society’s national magazine, Polka.
Every active parish level Society is entitled to elect members to represent their parish at the Diocesan Convention held every two years. These conventions allow for opportunities to assess and evaluate the diocesan goals of Society and the effectiveness of its programs. It also allows for the exchange of ideas, spiritual development, fellowship and the development of future goals. A Diocesan Board elected at this convention is charged to carry out the will of the convention. The Diocesan Board consists of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Financial Secretary and an Organizer/Director chosen from each Deanery. The presiding diocesan bishop also has a seat on the Board. A national level convention is held every four years.
Each September, the Society celebrates “Adopt A Sister Sunday” to encourage membership. The Society medal, engraved with a rendering of the Most Blessed Sacrament on the front and the motto of the Polish National Catholic Church, “Truth, Work and Struggle” (Through truth, work and struggle, we will overcome.) on the back, is presented to newly received members.
A National Board of Directors oversees the United Women’s Societies for the Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The Society is governed by its own constitution and handbook, sanctioned by the Polish National Catholic Church and the Board is charged to guide its implementation and the will of its conventions at all levels. The National Board publishes POLKA: A Woman’s Journal, a quarterly magazine. It contains spiritual articles and information about the activities of member societies throughout the United States and Canada. The national convention of the Society is held every four years.
We are dedicated sisters in Christ, who love, adore, and serve Christ and His Holy Church.
Those interested seeking information about the Society should contact Laura Alfano, Diocesan President, by E-mail.