Catholic charity, Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) says it has been “overwhelmed” with support for its campaign encouraging devotion to the Eucharist as an act of solidarity with persecuted Christians around the world.
ACN launched its #Go2Adoration for those denied religious freedom at Adoremus, the National Eucharistic Pilgrimage and Congress. Marie Fahy, the charity’s schools and youth officer, said that since the 7-8 September congress, more than 150 schools and parishes had signed up to the campaign and that ACN has had to order a second print-run of its #Go2Adoration prayer cards depicting victims of persecution.
Ms Fahy said: “The number of teachers, chaplains, catechists and parish representatives who have agreed to promote this call to prayer pays testament the belief that ‘prayer linked to sacrifice is the most powerful force in the world’ [Pope St John Paul II].”
She continued: “ACN has long been aware of the Eucharist’s power to change the lives of the people we seek to help, those being persecuted for their faith.”
At Adoremus, she continued, there was enthusiasm and hope and a real sense of coming together: “ACN’s #Go2Adoration for someone who can’t (because they are being persecuted for their Christian faith) was very well received at the event and continues to create great interest in parishes across the country. It has nationwide appeal and has international interest – persecution of Christians is unfortunately global and the need to respond is greater, it is because people believe in the power of prayer. With ACN’s #Go2Adoration campaign gathering pace, the Diocese of Barcelona are using the Religious Education resources which accompany it, as have Sisters in America.”
Along with other charities, ASN gave a presentation before 6,000 people on Saturday launching the #Go2Adoration and urging people to continue to #Go2Mass. “We were so busy on our stall that we were the last ones to pack up. People were pledging to Go2Mass and/or adoration and asking for prayer cards for their families, friends, schools and parishes,” said Ms Fahy.
She said the campaign gives a way to participate actively in bringing blessings on persecuted brothers and sisters. “If we take seriously the Church’s teaching on the Real Presence, it offers a way to put into God’s hands something that only God can change.”
Before the Congress David Linaker made a video which showed the contrast between Catholics here and those in areas of persecution. One of the stars in the video was Brendan Osei-Antwi, who said of his involvement: “It’s nice to take a step out of my day-to-day life to see what I can do to help others such as John Abba. This was a very humbling and gratifying experience that I encourage more people to do.”