Adoration Chapel is Convention Powerhouse
Amid the bustle of preparations at the Knights of Columbus convention, one room in the palatial Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center maintains calm and quiet.
It is not a lifeless silence, however. Rather, it is a sacred silence – the silence of prayer, contemplation and of heart speaking to heart. Here divinity meets with humanity.
Welcome to the Knights of Columbus Adoration Chapel, a small conference room where the Blessed Sacrament is reserved in a gold tabernacle and where pairs of Fourth Degree Knights, rotating in 15- to 30-minute shifts, stand at reverent attention in full ceremonial dress.
Delegates to the convention and their wives, as well as Supreme Officers and Supreme Directors, stop in for long or brief visits at various times during the day.
“It’s always a special time, being there with the Blessed Sacrament,” said Harold Duvall of the assembly in Clarksville, after finishing his 15-minute duty before the Blessed Sacrament.
“This is our belief, that we’re really, truly in the presence of Christ, so it is an honor. I spend my 15 minutes in prayerful conversation with our Lord.”
The chapel, open at least eight hours a day during the convention, requires 20-40 pairs of Fourth Degree Knights to stand vigil each day.
In addition to the Clarksville assembly, Sir Knights from two Nashville assemblies and an assembly in Hendersonville are handling the bulk of the hours. Fourth Degree Knights from throughout the Order, as well, are invited to volunteer for Adoration Chapel duty.
Nuno de Lima, past grand knight of Mother Teresa Council in Toronto, has been attending conventions on and off since 1992. He took a few moments during convention preparations on Sunday to find the Adoration Chapel. “I came just to make a visit, to be in the presence of the Lord,” he explained. “I think it is very important to keep yourself focused on God, which means I try to attend daily Mass and to visit the Blessed Sacrament when I can. I think all of us Knights have a love of the Blessed Sacrament. That is part of who we are.”
Past Faithful Navigator Ed Wilson of Clarksville, who helped to organize his assembly’s schedule in the chapel, expressed similar thoughts. “I think this is something we needed to do as an assembly,” he said “It’s awe-inspiring. We have so much pride in what we’re doing.”