PLENTONG, JOHOR – Some 1,000 school children from six parishes in South Johor learnt about Eucharistic adoration and the urgent need for more religious vocations.
The young Catholics, aged seven to 17, came in busloads to Majodi Centre in Plentong on April 28 for a time of adoration, prayers and Mass.
Fr Lionel Thomas led the afternoon’s programme, which had the theme, This Is My Body. Parents and catechists also accompanied the children.
The young participants appeared initially puzzled about the significance of the session. However, many appeared to have understood after Fr Thomas’ explanation about what Eucharistic adoration was all about.
Children “need to know and believe that Jesus is truly, really present, body, blood, soul and divinity in the humble host,” he said, adding that this will help them have greater reverence for the Mass.
He urged the participants to pray for greater reverence for the Eucharist and for more priestly and Religious vocations. One hour of adoration then followed.
The children also prayed a decade of the rosary, after which a statue of Mary was crowned.
A hush fell over the crowd when a monstrance bearing the Blessed Sacrament was carried around the hall after benediction.
A Mass then followed during which Fr Thomas spoke on the shortage of priestly and Religious vocations in the diocese.
While he stressed the need for creating awareness in parishes, he also pointed out parents’ obligation in fostering vocations.
Participants said they were moved by what they experienced.
“As it was explained to us, I could feel our total nothingness in front of Almighty God and our total dependence on Him,” said Tessa Tan, 15.
Bishop Paul Tan said he was happy that so many children came.
“I’m delighted that the priests here are fully in support of promoting vocations and also supporting the children to know more about the centre of our faith which is the Eucharist, and with it the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament,” he said.
The World Day of Prayer for Vocations was celebrated around the world the next day.
The children came from Christ the King Church, Scudai Catholic Centre, Immaculate Conception Church, Sacred Heart Cathedral, Church of St Joseph and Church of St Theresa.
By Vincent D’Silva