I married my husband when I was 22 and we both knew the importance of having God and Jesus in our married life, but we still didn’t know him the way he wants each of us to know him.
We carried on in our daily lives and had two girls along the way. Then on 8th December 2006 our family had a deeper encounter with Our Lady at a parish mission
Three years later we decided to visit Medjugorje to deepen our faith. During this trip I had a very special encounter with Jesus through his Sacred Heart and that has led to my work today.
My family’s faith journey led to us working at the 2012 International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin.
We helped coordinate a week of prayer, faith and fun for children and encouraged them to come closer to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
I enjoyed the week so much that when it ended I felt a great sadness and wanted this to be the beginning of something more.
In October 2012, shortly after the Congress, I devised a Children of the Eucharist programme.
I began working with teachers in our two local primary schools, doing adoration of the Blessed Sacrament for half an hour once a month with the sacramental classes.
Introducing the children to Jesus truly present in the Eucharist and in Holy Communion was a joy. I loved explaining how he is their best friend and the person they can go to with any problem.
To my amazement, the programme started to spread around the country. I received phone calls and emails from schools north, south, east and west.
They had heard about the programme and wanted to start it in their own schools. I have recently been contacted by Americans and Australians wanting to use our materials and programme layout in their own parishes.
I began to travel to schools all over, working mostly with children making their First Holy Communion and some Confirmation students.
The work grew even more after the Apostolate’s pilgrimage to Knock in April 2013. Some of the children from our two primary schools came and showed how they pray in adoration and shared what it meant to them.
Today more than 7,000 children have been introduced to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.
But it’s not about numbers, it’s about each child knowing how much he or she is loved by Jesus and that Jesus is always there for them no matter what.
Our mission is to bring our very young and not so young to the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, and let each one encounter him in a beautiful way so that they know the love of God.
The programme also leads them to a deeper love for the holy sacrifice of the Mass, and can help them through difficult patches in their lives.
We adults can learn so much from the children. They love adoration and the way they speak to Jesus and develop a relationship with him is a beautiful thing to watch.
If they learn to respond to Christ’s love when they are young it will make their lives easier, knowing he walks by their side in both good and bad times.
Adoration is for all Catholics. Everyone knows that the longer you are in a relationship, the richer and fuller the connection becomes.
Time allows loyalty and trust to grow, and this is true for a relationship with Jesus in Mass and the Blessed Sacrament.
When we take part in adoration Jesus fills us with the grace and strength to live and carry out our mission as Catholic’s in today’s world. It is the most important time we will ever spend on earth.