Fr. Lawrence Joseph CFR – Spiritual Director
Fr. Lawrence Joseph Schroedel, C.F.R has been a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal for over 18 years. Fr. Lawrence is originally from the States but, is currently based in St. Patrick’s friary in Moyross, Co. Limerick. Daily Eucharistic adoration is the focal point of the Community’s day of prayer and service and leads each friar to an intimate union with God. Antoinette first met Fr. Lawrence whilst on pilgrimage to Medjugorje in 2013. Fr. Lawrence was immediately drawn to the charism of COTE even in its infancy and truly believes that it has the potential to play a major part in the new evangelisation.
The COTE provides a real, modern-day parable of bringing children directly to Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament, so that Jesus may embrace, touch and bless them. The COTE ministers and teachers give an outstanding presentation of Jesus’ true presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament and then lead the children into adoration. The children continuously exemplify what Jesus meant when He said, “… do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” and “whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Their simple faith and humble trust can and does provide good examples to adults of what is necessary to enter into relationship with Jesus Christ’
– Fr. Lawrence
Helen Hand – National Core Leader
Helen is married to John, is mother to 2 beautiful daughters Ciara and Ann and a proud grandmother to baby Nicole. Helen & John from Co. Meath share an extraordinary and miraculous journey of faith against many odds which, only strengthened their marriage and deepened their trust and relationship with God. Antoinette met Helen through a mutual faith friend in 2009 and they have been great friends ever since. Helen became an intercessor for the work of ‘Children of the Eucharist’ since the ministry began in 2012. Then she became more involved in school’s as a Core Leader in the last 2 years.
‘I have received so many blessings since I began working with the children in this ministry. Why this ministry? As a child, Jesus was someone way out there, someone who couldn’t possibly know ME! When I grew in my faith, the realisation hit me that, not only did Jesus know me, he LOVED ME!!! Knowing through Adoration that, these children will be able to have a similar relationship with Jesus is such an amazing blessing for them, for the rest of their lives and brings me so much joy.’
Aoife Martin – National Core Leader
Aoife is from Dublin and has been involved in ministry in different forms since 2012, after spending a life-changing year in the lay Catholic Community, Craig Lodge situated in the Highlands of Scotland. Aoife had an incredible experience during this ‘year for God’ which transformed her life and is incredibly grateful to God and the Community for the gift of this year. Antoinette met Aoife for the first time during this year, at a retreat in Craig Lodge. They met again at the Divine Mercy Conference in Dublin in 2014 and formed a strong friendship. At the time, Aoife was working for the charity ‘Mary’s Meals’ but, supported the work of COTE and helped when she could. Aoife got more involved in the ministry in January 2016. Aoife has worked full-time for COTE as a Core Leader since September 2016 and finds the work most fulfilling.
‘It is such a privilege for me, to bring the little children before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to watch the wonder and awe in their faces as they realise who is before them and to help them develop a personal relationship with Him. The children are so pure and open to the love of God, they make an immediate connection. I learn so much from their unwavering trust and faith in Him. The COTE programme works so well because it is simple, beautiful and child friendly. The children especially love the quiet time with Jesus, because their lives are often so busy. Many children today are over stimulated from the use of technology and we find they often don’t know how to be still so, this is a new experience for them. However, they embrace this time with Jesus and quickly learn to be still and speak to Him through their hearts. It is in this silence they learn to hear Jesus speaking to them. The children tell us their hearts are filled with peace and joy or their hearts feel lighter and safe in the presence of Jesus. Their responses are amazing to listen to and truly uplifting’