Children at Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro learn to adore Jesus
GREENSBORO — The prayers are the same, but the voices are higher pitched. Knees still bend in genuflection, but without that pesky stiffness. Hands clutch rosaries, but they can't quite resist the temptation to twirl them. This summer's Adoration sessions at Our Lady of Grace Church gave children a chance to worship in their own way.
Pictured: Father John Eckert, parochial vicar of Our Lady of Grace Church in Greensboro, instructs children on prayer during a special children's Eucharistic Adoration time at the church. The parish began the children's service over the summer and may continue it this fall. (photo provided by Barbara Markun)
The Greensboro parish, which already offered Eucharistic Adoration during the day each Thursday, began holding a special children's service in June. Parochial vicar Father John Eckert, who led the services, said as many as 50 children, ranging from infants up to about age 7, attended each week with their parents. "You can be so close to Jesus during Adoration," said OLG parishioner Tonya Wong, a mother of four whose idea it was to start the summer program. Before moving to Greensboro four years ago, she and her family lived in Wichita, Kan., where "they had Adoration in most of the churches," she said. "It was nice to be able to go to a church (to adore) if you had a busy day and needed quiet time."
The 30-minute service incorporates a decade of the rosary, personal petitions and a lesson. Wong and parishioner Meg Foppe designed the service, basing it on a format from an Illinois group called Children of Hope.
At a mid-August service, Father Eckert spoke about the Assumption of Mary and the relationship the children could have with her.
"What's that special prayer we pray to ask Mary to help us?" he asked them. "The rosary, that's right. ... Now let's just ask Mary to help us to pray the best that we can."
Parishioner Chrissy Rogan said she tried to prepare her daughter Maggie, 7, for the experience of adoring the Most Blessed Sacrament.
"One of the things I did with her was focus on the word 'adoration,'" she said. "We adore Christ and His sacrifice. ... (Now) she says she feels Christ's love and in turn she feels more love for Christ and for others. She really feels that closeness and intimacy in front of the Blessed Sacrament."
Children's Adoration may continue this fall, with a time change to accommodate liturgies for students at the parish school.
"We want to open it up to all the families of the parish," Father Eckert said.
Children who attend Eucharistic Adoration are setting the stage for a lifetime of involvement with the Church, Father Eckert said.
"From an early age, they'll be happy in the church and comfortable with prayer. From an early age, this will be part of who they are."
— Marian Cowhig Owen, correspondent
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FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy