HANCEVILLE, AL (WBRC) - A little piece of Heaven is tucked away in Cullman County. The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament is full of prayer, singing, tranquility and faith.
In the mid-1990s Mother Angelica was in Colombia working to raise money for the Catholic Television Network, EWTN. While she was there, she was inspired to build a shrine honoring the Lord.
Mother Angelica then went to Hanceville to look at the area and says she felt this is where the nuns were meant to build their new monastery.
"Because of generous benefactors, people donating the funds to pay for the property, she was able to acquire this nearly 400 acre expansive property," says Johnasen. "And so, the nuns are here in the monastery, but also there is the Shrine here. So the monastery and the Shrine are here together on this property of 400 acres."
The shrine and monastery both completely paid for by donations.
"So for the last nearly 19 years of the Shrine's existence, there is no endowment, there is nothing. It is all donations," says Johnasen. "This is made possible by the generosity of people who have given even a little bit of what they have, a lot of what they have, to continue to up keep this Shrine and this monastery."
Johnasen says this is really a testament to God's providence.
And you do not have to be Catholic to enjoy the beautiful sites at The Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament.
"So it is definitely an experience for all people of all walks of life, all different religious affiliations, denominations," says Johnasen. "People definitely can take something from their experience of visiting here."
Johnasen also has a very unique story for how he ended up in Hanceville working at the Shrine.
"For me, this is my life. I came here from Hawaii in 2006. When I first came here, in my heart maybe, I didn't know it at the time, but in my heart I did feel like this is where the Lord wanted me to be," says Johnasen.
He ended up moving to Alabama from Hawaii. He says something about the Shrine spoke to him and spoke especially to his faith.
"My Catholic faith, that it spoke to me as this is what I wanted to give my life to be here," says Johnasen. "I didn't know that in the beginning but I do now."
If you would like to visit the Shrine of the Most Blessed Sacrament, click here for their daily schedule of events.