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The Florida Catholic

Holy Hours are a beautiful experience for family

holy hour

JUPITER  |  For the Whitten family of St. Bernadette Parish in Port St. Lucie, the current deanery-level series of Eucharistic holy hours has been a unifying spiritual journey. The six family members have made it a priority to attend all five of the holy hours beginning last August with their home parish.

The family had no intention of attending the other holy hours, said Kelly Whitten, St. Bernadette’s faith formation director, until they realized that the next event in the series would be at St. Joan of Arc in Boca Raton.

“Our 14-year-old daughter, Ailish, said that we had to go. She is being confirmed this year and her saint is St. Joan,” Whitten said. “She took it as a sign that God was calling us as a family to attend. How do you tell a 14-year-old no to going to a holy hour?”

While at the holy hour in Boca Raton, it was announced that the next location would be St. Luke in Palm Springs, and her 15-year-old son, Adis, had chosen St. Luke as his confirmation saint. “This was just confirmation that we were being called as a family on a sort of holy hour pilgrimage,” she said.

With husband Jonathan, son Adis and daughters Ailish, Bree, age 9, and Belle, 6, Kelly said the holy hour at St. Bernadette was the first time they had participated in Eucharistic adoration as a family. Each holy hour has gifted their family in a different way.

“It was beautiful to see my husband and children experience it,” she said. “At St. Joan, we each felt connected with our Lord in ways that we had not been before. St. Luke’s holy hour was so crowded that we had to sit towards the back and our 6-year-old daughter was very upset that we could not be close to Jesus. She made us promise that we would get to the next two holy hours earlier and be in the front. The people at each of the parishes have been so welcoming and kind.”

Each holy hour has offered an exceptional encounter with Jesus while allowing their family to experience a different parish in the diocese, Kelly said, adding that “no two holy hours are the same as God works differently in each of them, speaking and revealing different things to each one of us.”

Their shared experiences also have been opportunities for spiritual growth and treasured discussions, she said. “We have spent time camping while attending the past two holy hours and had many conversations pertaining to not only our experiences at the holy hours but with faith in general.”

Jonathan, who had never experienced Benediction before, has been drawn to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament and the beauty of Benediction, Kelly said. He even brought the family to a holy hour at Sacred Heart in Okeechobee during Lent. 

“We are very much looking forward to attending the holy hour at St. Peter in Jupiter as well as at the cathedral,” she said. “This has been such a wonderful spiritual journey for our family.” 


The next multi-language Eucharistic holy hour in a series of five is planned for Thursday, April 11, at St. Peter Church, 1701 Indian Creek Parkway in Jupiter. The prayer services are in cooperation with the parish phase of the National Eucharistic Revival, called for by the U.S. bishops. The final holy hour in the series is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, June 6, at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola, 9993 N. Military Trail in Palm Beach Gardens. 

The diocesan Office of Hispanic Ministry is leading the deanery-level series. For more about the office’s work, visit View a message about the series from Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito at To learn more about the National Eucharistic Revival, go to