BY Ryan McDougall | March 1 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

7-EUCHARIST

Children of the Eucharist group come from Ireland to teach Scottish pupils about the beauty of Adoration

CHILDREN in Scotland are being taught about the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and the beauty of Adoration, thanks to a lay apostolate group from Ireland.

Children of the Eucharist (COTE) was founded in 2012 in Co Meath, Ireland, with the mission of enhancing the Faith of youngsters by guiding them gently in the presence of Jesus in the Eucharist.

Having established their presence throughout Ireland, COTE has been branching out to the UK and aboard, even reaching as far as Malta and Alabama in the United States.

From February 18 to 22, representatives from the group travelled to Scotland, where they visited schools across Scotland including St Fergus’ Primary, Paisley and St John’s Primary School in Blackwood.

“The programme is really to introduce children to Adoration and the presence of Jesus, and to help them start a relationship with Him in the hope that they, themselves, will experience the adoration,” said Antoinette Moynihan, founder of COTE.

The team host presentations explaining the Sacraments to the children in order to help them better understand their Faith.

“The general topic is about the Faith, about Jesus, and always focuses on the Lord in preparation of Adoration,” Mrs Moynihan said.

“It depends where the presentation goes to a point, but in general we focus on Jesus’ presence and help lead them to understand who Jesus is and what the Eucharist is. Then we explain why Jesus is here and how He’s present with us, and how He tells us ‘the Eucharist is My body, and My blood.’

“Scotland is pretty new ground to us. In Ireland, we’re more established because there are so many Catholic schools, and since 2012 we’ve moved up to over 200 COTE leaders.”

Aoife Martin, a core leader for COTE, spoke about last week’s visit to Edinburgh’s two St Mary’s primary schools.

“We were invited to Edinburgh by the Missionaries of Charity who heard about our work, so they approached the principals at the St Mary’s schools and the chaplain invited us in,” she said.

Fr John Morrison, vocations director for Paisley Diocese, was present at COTE’s talk at St Fergus’ Primary School in Ferguslie Park, Paisley.

“I thought COTE were really excellent and the pupils really engaged with it,” he said. “The kids took to it like ducks to water.”

When asked if he feels COTE could play a role in future discernment for the youngsters, he added: “Definitely, if you talk to any of our students they all say Adoration played a huge part in their vocations.”

St Fergus’ pupils said they enjoyed the talk. Chelsea said she ‘liked when we had quiet prayer with Jesus’ while Dominik said he enjoyed ‘when we were singing to Jesus.’

Fellow pupil Louise said: “My favourite part was when we got to see the Monstrance in real life. It was shiny and made of gold.”

The group’s connection to Scotland has been assisted by Craig Lodge retreat house, Mrs Moynihan said.

“They got to know what we were doing around two years ago and they invited us to come and work at a family retreat week.

“Even the parents that attended became very invested and the following year they invited us to come to Notre Dame and St Ninian’s schools.”

COTE have gained the attention of media outlets throughout the world.

Mrs Moynihan said: “Last month I was in America and did an interview with EWTN and when I was there I started the programme in two schools in Alabama. We’ve also been invited to Uganda.

“We’re just praying that long may it continue to help guide the people.”

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