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 | By Mike Frieseman

Praying before Christ in the Eucharist

Jack W. Chan of the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Lansing is a natural-born, tried-and-true missionary pilgrim if there ever was one. Jack would most likely shy away from calling himself a “missionary,” but considering his past service and current function as the scheduling coordinator of the Holy Spirit Oratory 24-hour Adoration Chapel, he is indeed answering the call to “Go and make disciples,” wherever that may be.

Born a twin of Chinese parents in the Philippines, Jack immigrated to the United States in 1981 and shortly thereafter joined the U.S. Army, in which he served for 20 years. His travels would lead him closer and closer to the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Jack says, “I was stationed in four different U.S. bases in Germany. During this period, my family and I made it a point to travel and explore Europe, not only as tourists, but as pilgrims. We were blessed to have visited several Marian shrines as well as eucharistic miracle shrines.”

Jack’s unit was deployed to Saudi Arabia in November 1990 for Operations Desert Shield/Storm. During this time, he ministered to his fellow troops. “In spite of facing the fear of the unknown going to war, I was so much at peace; peace beyond understanding that the Bible talks about,” he says. “During my deployment, I volunteered as a lay eucharistic minister, conducting Communion service when a priest was not able to come to our remote location.

“After our pilgrimages to the eucharistic shrines, `my belief in the true presence was solidified,” Jack says. “When we arrived in Lansing in 1999 we were attracted to the Immaculate Heart of Mary because of the close proximity of the adoration chapel. In 2008, the scheduler moved and asked me to take over, and I’ve been doing that ever since.”

Jack has his business cards ready to hand out to whomever might take up the call to prayer in adoration. Across the top reads the words of our Lord, “Could you not watch one hour with me?” serving as a reminder of the simplicity of it. Across the bottom are words of comfort for those who answer: “Come to me all of you ... and I will give you rest.”

Jack’s goal is to fill every spot every day, but he admits it is difficult to find volunteers, especially for the early morning hours. If anyone knows any night-owls in the area, he would be delighted to talk to them.