Children, families pray for poor missions

By Deacon Guadalupe Rodriguez
Guest Correspondent

Bishop Joe Vásquez will preside at the Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. at St. Mary Cathedral in Austin. The Holy Hour, which will be celebrated around the world in more than 140 countries, will kick off World Mission Month in the Diocese of Austin. During the month of October, the Pontifical Mission Societies ask all people to pray for the poor missions throughout the world by praying the World Mission Rosary and by spending time in Eucharistic adoration. Then on World Mission Sunday, which is Oct. 19 this year, Catholics are invited to recommit themselves to the church’s missionary activity through prayer and sacrifice. 
Catholic children and families support the children of world missions by their membership in the Pontifical Mission Society of the Missionary Childhood Association (MCA), whose motto is “Children Helping Children.” In fact, for the last several years members of the MCA have held a similar Holy Hour to pray for the missions and children around the world. The diocesan Mission Office and the diocesan Catholic Schools Office extend an invitation to students, families, teachers and youth groups to attend this evening of adoration and prayer. 
As Pope Francis explains in his apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, there is great value to be found in spending time with Jesus. “Without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out,” the pope writes. 
Our Holy Father has also said several times that he spends an hour each evening before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration. 
St. John Paul II also knew well the importance of adoration. “To live the Eucharist it is necessary, as well, to spend much time in adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament, something which I myself experience every day drawing from it strength, consolation and assistance … To evangelize the world there is need of apostles who are ‘experts’ in the celebration, adoration and contemplation of the Eucharist,” he said in his World Mission Sunday 2004 message. He understood that without Eucharistic adoration, the life of a Catholic was in danger of becoming empty and devoid of power to change hearts. 
In 2007, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI implied that true spiritual development in the life of the Catholic lies within adoration. “The act of adoration outside of Mass prolongs and intensifies all that takes place during the liturgical celebration itself. Indeed, only in adoration can a profound and genuine reception mature,” he wrote in “Sacramentum Caritatis.” 
He also explained that in adoration we speak to our Lord. We also remain silent so that he can speak to us. 
Families can benefit by participating in adoration, according to St. John XXIII. He invited families to experience a God who wants to inundate his people with blessings if only they become students of His real love, “There is no doubt that a flood of graces will descend upon your family and the world if more souls would become docile pupils of adoration,” he said. Peace from stimulating addiction, loud noise, uncontrolled texting, internet obsession and violent video games is found in the stillness and silence before our Lord in adoration.
On First Friday, Oct. 3, join Bishop Vásquez and families from throughout Central Texas as we celebrate World Mission Month and the Worldwide Children’s Eucharistic Holy Hour praying for all missions and for the children of the five continents of the world. The Pontifical Mission Society of the Missionary Childhood Association in collaboration with Missionaries of the Immaculate Heart and the Children of the Eucharist promotes this universal event. The Diocesan Office of Mission and Mission Education sponsors it locally. Register your parish/school or group and bus online at www.austindiocese.org/worldmissions.
For more information, contact Colleen Schiller at (512) 949-2446 or colleen-schiller@austindiocese.org.

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