.- Archbishop of New Orleans Gregory Aymond will lead the annual Worldwide Childrenâs Eucharistic Holy Hour on Friday, October 2 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.
The Holy Hour, to begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time, will be broadcast live to over 40 nations on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN). It is sponsored by Children of the Eucharist, the childrenâs program of the World Apostolate of Fatima.
More than 4,000 school children will gather at the basilica, according to the St. Paul/ Minneapolis division of the World Apostolate of Fatima. Children around the world will join them to pray the Rosary before the Blessed Sacrament in their own parishes, dioceses and schools. They will also pray the Entrustment to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, prayers of reparation taught by the Angel of Fatima, and the Benediction.
Connie Schneider, founder of Children of the Eucharist and local president of the World Apostolate of Fatima, Saint Paul/Minneapolis division, described the event by recalling Pope Benedict XVIâs teaching that catechesis is about bringing âthe flame of Jesusâ loveâ to the hearts of small children and through them, to their parents, to âreopen the places of faith in our times.â
âHe explained our movement to a tee,â Schneider commented, saying that the Holy Hour gathers together the children of the world to make reparation and to pray for their families.
âThen Jesus does what no one else can do; he fans the flame of faith in the hearts of the children. This is the door that will initiate the new times in the families of the world.â
According to the World Apostolate of Fatima, the Worldwide Childrenâs Holy Hour responds to the requests of Our Lady of Fatima in 1917 for prayers and sacrifices, and for the particular requests of the âAngel of Peaceâ to the three shepherd children visionaries for prayer and reparation before the Eucharistic Lord.
Bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph Robert Finn, who led the Worldwide Childrenâs Holy Hour in 2007, characterized Fatima as âthe first childrenâs Holy Hour.â
Marlon De La Torre, Superintendent of Schools of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, said that the Children of the Eucharist program has helped foster deeper appreciation for the true presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist.
âIn a world where atheistic opinions tend to be given more credence than not, this wonderful apostolate has provided a sanctuary for our students to embrace Christ in a truly remarkable way.â
Todd Amick, Director of the Archdiocese of New Orleansâ Office of Eucharistic Renewal, said the invitation to the Holy Hour is an opportunity for âEucharistic intimacyâ and for witness to âour Catholic Culture.â
âHopefully we can start to see this in more and more dioceses,â he continued. âAs human persons, we are made for the Eucharist and our children in particular have a receptivity for the Eucharist that is only waiting for an invitation. Thatâs our job as adults to make that invitation to help them come to love and serve Christ.â
More information on the Holy Hour, including prayers and programs, is available at http://www.childrenoftheeucharist.org