Children of the Eucharist is a fruit of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (2012). I personally believe it is the work of the Holy Spirit, who inspired in Antoinette Moynihan and in others, the idea that more could be done to introduce children to the mystery of the presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As a Diocesan Bishop, I have seen Children of the Eucharist at work and I am convinced of its value as an integral part of the Church’s mission of evangelisation. I am delighted to know that this simple but effective programme is finding a welcome in many places around the world.
Children of the Eucharist offers children an invaluable support in developing a personal prayer life, which is not just about saying prayers, but about listening to Jesus and talking to Him in their own words. While it is a programme for children, it is about gently and appropriately laying foundations for a lifetime. It is about opening the hearts of children to the beginnings of a relationship which is not just for childhood, but for life and, indeed, for eternity.
I wish all those who are involved in the promotion of Children of the Eucharist, every blessing in the service of children and their parents.
My experience of ‘Children of the Eucharist’ and the need for children’s adoration
Matthew gives us that beautiful verse “Let the little children alone, and do not stop them coming to me; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Mt. 19:14) The Magi, the three Wise Kings, most favoured by young children in the Nativity Drama – Melchior, Balthasar and Caspar – they are ones we must thank for the gift that is adoration.
Some believe that children will find adoration difficult and complex; they are usually people who haven’t observed children become serene and quiet in His presence. Teachers will testify that a short period of ten to fifteen minutes has a profound effect on a class for the entire day. They know how to be quiet, and we also realise the same children can create a riot, but adoration and its gentle experience helps them to understand the gift and value of silence.
I saw this myself with a group of young children on pilgrimage to Our Lady’s Shrine at Knock. Knock is essentially a silent apparition focused on the Eucharist, the lamb on the altar.
Eucharistic Adoration is an encounter with the Lord. In the coming generation, it may be the younger children, the little ones who we must never stop coming to the Lord (Mt. 19:14), who will in turn bring their parents and family to Him also.
– His Most Reverend Denis Nulty, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, 13th May 2019
Pope Francis tells us that “to be friends with God is to pray with simplicity, like children”. The prayer of children before Eucharistic Adoration is a wonderful example of what the Holy Father intends. I am pleased that schools and parishes in the Diocese of Meath are providing opportunities for children’s Eucharistic Adoration through the ‘Children of the Eucharist’ programme. As we prepare for the World Meeting of Families next year, I am confident that children’s participation in this beautiful devotion will continue to provide a valuable witness to the joy of the Gospel and the sanctity of family life.
– His Most Reverned, Dr. Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath, Emeritus, 16th February 2017
What a wonderful weekend we had in Knock at the National Eucharistic Congress. There was a lovely energy about the place and even the weather smiled on us.
I want to thank you and all your team for your contribution to making the Congress a success through your energetic approach and commitment to the children’s programme. From the very high numbers of children who attended, it is very clear that this type of ministry is important to the growth of their faith.
I pray that our being together once again will be a source of encouragement to you as we embark together on the next stage of our pilgrim journey.
– His Most Reverend Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin, 1st October 2015
Introducing children to Jesus at a young age is giving them a gift for life. What better thing could we do than getting them to know and love Jesus?
As one teacher in my Diocese commented: “Children of the Eucharist gives children an opportunity to experience Adoration. This can be quite a rare opportunity for many children. They were walked through the meaning behind Adoration in a child-friendly way and given precious quiet time in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Children respond so well to this.
– His Most Reverend Alphonsus Cullinan, Bishop of Waterford and Lismore, 7th May 2019
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