by Elaine Arundell, Westminster Education Service
At the Education Service, we are really excited about the Adoremus Eucharistic Congress, and want to create a real and lasting legacy in our schools. We are launching a year of activities to support all those involved in education in the Diocese of Westminster.
Entitled 'Our Eucharistic Journey,' the year will run from Corpus Christi 2018 to Corpus Christi 2019. It aims to help our schools participate in the build up to the National Eucharistic Congress in September, and to perpetuate its legacy. The Cardinal is producing podcasts to launch Our Eucharistic Journey in our primary and secondary schools across the diocese.
An Adoremus launch pack, similar to that for the Year of Mercy, has been created to inspire and engage teachers in their faith formation and that of their pupils. It provides links to useful websites and educational resources to enhance their own understanding of and devotion to the Blessed Sacrament to pass this on to our children. We share the Cardinal’s hope for a 'rejuvenation' of love for the Eucharist in our communities and schools. Emphasising Christ is at the heart of our schools and learning, there is a plethora of cross curricular links to the Eucharist including music, art and poetry.
For example, we are giving students and staff the opportunity to explore the Eucharistic art of the Old Masters, Salvador Dali, Fr Sieger Koder and Elizabeth Wang. This has already inspired a retreat on Eucharistic art in Fulham this spring which it is hoped will be the first of many.
Whilst pupils and staff are familiar with the Mass, we plan to introduce them more to the experience of Jesus’s love in Eucharistic Adoration and to prayers such as the Divine Praises. To this end, we have created 'My Blessed Sacrament Booklet,' including St Teresa of Calcutta’s addition to the Divine Praises: 'Blessed be Jesus in the poorest of the poor.' This links to the recurring theme of mission throughout the launch pack, going hand in hand with the Eucharist and the Word. The Cardinal has also asked all children to learn the Eucharistic hymn ‘Sweet Sacrament Divine,’ written by a former Westminster priest.
Please do ask children over the year about the activities they are engaging in, and support them in deepening their love of Jesus in the Eucharist.