Father Erbin Fernandez blesses the parents. Photo by Nick Chua
SINGAPORE – Archbishop Nicholas Chia has appointed Father Erbin Fernandez as spiritual director of an upcoming community that promotes Eucharistic adoration for children.
Meeting 25 catechists and parents from various parishes Jun 18 at Church of the Holy Spirit, Father Erbin said that the activity of Eucharistic adoration is an indirect way of imparting the faith to children, and to ingrain in them that Jesus is truly present in the Blessed Sacrament.
He suggested that the community start small in parishes, and emphasise regularity and commitment in a few children. He recommended that parents first prepare their children at home by inculcating within them the awareness of God’s presence, and to help the children acquire the habit of being still and pray, even if it is just for five minutes.
Father Erbin’s proposal that Eucharistic adoration take place in the adoration room was met with disagreement that other parishioners might be using the room.
A parent suggested that a 10 to 20-minute time slot be reserved for children, subject to the approval of the parish priest. Another parent suggested that Eucharistic adoration be made available in Catholic schools. Parents also hoped that Father Erbin would introduce children Eucharistic adoration to the various parish priests.
Eucharistic adoration for children can begin in any parish with a core team of parents and the support of the parish priest. However, Father Erbin suggested that an archdiocese core team be established to assist parents who wish to start this activity in their parishes.
Those present were enthusiastic about having children in their parishes adore the Eucharist, especially during first Holy Communion and first Sacrament of Reconciliation camps, Sister Angeline Lim, FMDM, told CatholicNews after the meeting.
Blessed Sacrament Church catechist Noel D’Cruz, aged 48, said that children are rarely in contact with the Eucharist. He sees the activity as a chance for them “to come close and have a personal relationship with Jesus”.
Himself a parent, Mr D’Cruz also expressed hope that as children come to adore the Eucharist, their parents will be drawn to the activity, so that children might influence their parents instead of vice versa.
Meetings will continue until an archdiocese core team is established. The next meeting will be on Friday Jul 30, at 8.00pm at Church of the Holy Spirit.
By Darren Boon