Father John A. Hardon, S.J. Archives
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Teaching the Devotion to the Sacred Heart
Editors: Thomas Diehl, S.J. and John Hardon, S. J.
The Eucharistic Crusade is a special section of the Apostleship of Prayer for children of grammar-school and junior-high school age. Its purpose is to teach children to live the morning offering in union with the Mass. Since it is a section of the Apostleship of Prayer, it retains the basic practices of the Apostleship. But it develops these practices somewhat to make them more immediately intelligible and attractive to children and adds a training program designed to make the spirit and the practices of the Apostleship a life-long possession.
Members of the Eucharistic Crusade may gain all the indulgences granted to members of the Apostleship of Prayer---one of the most indulgenced associations in the Church.
The chief educational tool of the Crusade is a weekly classroom meeting that is run, from the fourth grade up, by the children themselves.
As part of the Apostleship of Prayer, the Eucharistic Crusade can be said in a sense to date from 1844, the year in which the Apostleship was founded. But more properly it was established as a special section of the Apostleship of Prayer in 1914. From the first it has been highly approved by the Holy See. Pope Pius XI granted it the honorary title of section primaria Apostolatus Orationis, the primal section of the Apostleship of Prayer. The official Norms for Moderating the Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer were approved and warmly praised by Pope Pius XII in an autograph letter dated January 6, 1958.
The central office of the Apostleship of Prayer in Rome is also the central office of the Eucharistic Crusade (and of the Apostleship of Prayer) in the United States is at 515 East Fordham Road, New York 58, New York. In Canada, the offices of both the Crusade and the Apostleship are at 226 St. George St., Toronto 5, Ontario. Regional and diocesan offices of the Apostleship generally serve also as offices of the Crusade.
Members of the Eucharistic Crusade can be found around the globe. Everywhere the Crusade has won a reputation as an excellent means of fostering vocations to the priesthood and to the religious life.
The Spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer
To understand the spiritual program of the Eucharistic Crusade, it is necessary first to understand the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer.
The great, burning desire of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the desire for the glory of His Father through the salvation of souls. The Apostleship sets itself devotedly to the fulfillment of that Hearts desire by requiring its members to give their own souls more and more completely to Christ, and to work unceasingly to bring to Him the souls of others---all by means of consecration to the Sacred Heart. This consecration takes the form of the familiar morning offering made daily in union with the sacrifice of the Mass.
The Morning Offering
The morning offering is a giving of self to Christ, or a changing of self into Christ at least in intention and desire. Properly understood, the morning offering is a pledge that the whole of the day will be lived in a way truly Christlike. The member of the Apostleship making the offering is promising in effect to work to realize in himself as fully as possible his challenging vocation to be another Christ, and his correlative vocation to be also, in a sense, another Redeemer. For, insofar as he is another Christ, all his acts are in a special sense the acts of Christ; and therefore his acts share in the redemptive value of the acts of Christ.
Mystical Body in Action
What is operative here is the mystery of the mystical body. It is really baptism that makes a man another Christ, alive with Christs life, a sharer in Christs work. The sublime work of the morning offering is to make a persons membership in the mystical body more vividly realized, more actual. Pope Pius XII declared that by the morning offering the whole life of the member (of the Apostleship of Prayer) is changed into a sacrifice of praise, reparation, and petition and in explanation he continued: Thus are activated the powers implanted in the soul at baptism (October 28, 1951).
Mass, Communion, Rosary
The Apostleship of Prayer proposes to its members that they round out their morning offering by frequent attendance at Mass and reception of Communion of Reparation, and by practicing devotion to our Lady, especially through the Rosary, at least one decade a day---the Daily Decade.
This basic spiritual program of the Apostleship of Prayer, simple and easy but vast in its implications, has caused Pope Pius XII to praise the Apostleship as a perfect form of devotion to the Sacred Heart (September 19, 1948) and an ideal program of Christian living (October 28, 1951).
The Spirituality of the Eucharistic Crusade
The spiritual program of the Eucharistic Crusade is a development of the spirituality of the Apostleship of Prayer. It is summed up in the four Watchwords of the Crusade: Pray, Receive Communion, Sacrifice, Save Souls.
The Apostleship of Prayer is organized by dioceses. In each diocese there is a diocesan director, a priest who is, except in very rare instances, also the diocesan director of the Eucharistic Crusade.
Local Director. The local director of the Apostleship of Prayer, who must be a priest, is also local director of the Eucharistic Crusade. Where the Crusade flourishes best, the priest director, or one of his curates delegated by him, usually takes an active part in Crusade matters, especially those of a more general nature. He gets regular reports on Crusade meetings and activities, talks at general meetings on Crusade spirit and practice, speaks to the parents of Crusaders, and officiates at Crusade ceremonies.
Assistant Local Director. In some Crusade centers the priest director is specially assisted by one of the teachers. This assistant local director may act as an immediate supervisor of all Crusade meetings and activities in the school. The chief responsibility of the assistant local is to see to it that throughout the school the Eucharistic Crusade develops one heart and one spirit in accord with the Norms blessed and approved by the holy father. An assistant local director may be had wherever the office is found helpful. It is not necessary, however.
Classroom Teacher. The more intimate details of running the Crusade and work with the individual Crusaders is usually delegated to the classroom teacher. The teacher trains the Crusaders, supervises the organization and running of their meetings, checks their projects and, where necessary, their secret resolutions, and usually conducts briefing sessions for captains.
Regional Directors. Regional directors of the Apostleship of Prayer serve also as regional directors of the Eucharistic Crusade. In the United States, Crusade business is ordinarily referred to them rather than to the national director. In Canada, inquiries and other business are sent directly to the national director.
Members of the Eucharistic Crusade. Catholic boys and girls of good character who are of grammar school or junior-high-school age may be members of the Eucharistic Crusade. Moreover, provision is made in the papally approved Norms for Moderating the Eucharistic Crusade for membership to be extended also through all four years of high school.
Crusades are divided by age into three groups. Crusaders from about six to about eight years of age (grades 1-3) comprise the Little Crusaders. They form a kind of preparatory group for the Crusade. Crusaders aged from about nine to about eleven (grades 4-6), now members in the full and proper sense of the word, are the Junior Crusaders. Those aged from about twelve to about thirteen or fourteen (grades 7-9) are the Senior Crusaders.
Requirements for Membership. To be eligible for membership in one of the divisions of the Eucharistic Crusade, the child must be a member of the Apostleship of Prayer. He must also pass through a kind of simple probation period of two or three months, during which he gives evidence of sincere good will and earnest effort to live up to the Watchwords of the Crusade. With the approval of the local director of the Eucharistic Crusade the probationer then makes his Crusaders Promise and with suitable ceremony is received into the proper division of the Crusade. He may at the same time receive the badge of his division. Basically, the Crusaders Promise is a promise, not binding under sin, to be faithful to the Watchwords and spiritual ideals of the Crusade, and to attend meetings regularly.
Advancement. When the time comes for a Crusader to move from one division of the Crusade to the next, he must make a new request for admission to the higher division and he must successfully pass through a new probation. He then makes a new Crusade Promise and is formally received into the new division.
Children who drop out of the Crusade, or who are dismissed, do not thereby lose membership in the Apostleship of Prayer. They remain members for life and are members in good standing as long as they conscientiously make their daily morning offering.
How are the ideals and practices of the Eucharistic Crusade presented to the children? Chiefly by means of weekly thirty minute meetings held in the classroom or elsewhere in the school.
Little Crusaders. In grades 1-3, it is usual for all the children to join the Eucharistic Crusade as Little Crusaders. Weekly meetings for Little Crusaders are basically the same as the Junior and Senior Crusaders meetings explained below, except that the teacher conducts them. Also, Little Crusaders usually have much simpler projects then older Crusaders, and contests or games about the Mass or the missions instead of discussions or quizzes. The teacher adapts meeting material from Crusader, the monthly workbook of the Eucharistic Crusade (the little Crusaders themselves need not subscribe). There is additional material (games, simple projects, pictures to color) in the Idea Book for Little Crusaders Meetings available from the national and regional offices of the Crusade.
Junior and Senior Crusaders. Junior Crusaders (grades 4-6) and Senior Crusaders (grades 7-9) for the most part conduct their meetings themselves, with only general supervision by the teacher. Detailed meeting plans and material are supplied to them in the monthly workbook Crusaders, available on subscription from the national and regional Crusade offices.
A typical Crusade meeting for Junior and Senior Crusaders includes the following: opening prayer; a one-minute check-up on the observance of the Secret Resolution made in the meeting of the previous week; a story and quiz illuminating some aspect of Christian life and doctrine; discussion of a story of some simple problem of childrens conduct; a Liturgy Preview of the coming week with discussion of pertinent texts from liturgy or Gospels; a game or song; apostolic projects discussed and implemented; Secret Resolution made for the coming week; closing prayer.
Team and Captains. For their meetings (and other activities) Junior and Senior Crusaders divide into teams of approximately six members each. Each team should have its own carefully selected captain.
Organizing the Crusade
Briefing Sessions for Captains.
A day or so before the Crusade meeting the priest director or the assistant local director or, more ordinarily, the classroom teacher, has a preliminary briefing session with the captains. Together they go over the weeks material in Crusader, and the director makes sure that the captains understand it. The captains then assign parts of the meeting to be handled by various members of the team--one to say the opening prayer, another to conduct the check-up, another to read the story, conduct the discussion, quiz, and so forth.
Conducting the Meeting.
At the Crusade meeting each team gathers around its captain and under his leadership quietly goes through the meeting program as given in the Crusader independently of the other teams except for occasional games or songs, and so forth, that require the attention of the whole assembly. If the chairs in the classroom are movable, each team forms a circle. If not, Crusaders simply turn in their seats to gather around their captains. The teacher is there to give general supervision and help where needed. The teachers obvious interest in the Crusade and availability for counsel is very important at this time. If the meeting is held in the classroom and during class time, there will normally be some pupils present who are not Crusaders, and the teacher is free to supervise whatever work they may have been given to do.
Usually Crusaders have their regular meeting in their individual classrooms. Occasionally, however, all the Crusaders in the school come together for a general meeting. At such meetings there is usually a brief talk by one of the parish priests or by one of the teachers on some aspect of the Crusade program, a pantomime or playlet, a gospel contest or a quiz of some sort, a game and a song or two. Such meetings are fun for the Crusaders, and give them a sense of the scope and strength and importance of the Eucharistic Crusade movement. The same is to be said of diocesan meetings or rallies of Crusaders that are arranged from time to time.
How to Begin
Discuss the projected Crusade work with proper parish and school authorities, and get necessary approval. Since all Crusaders must be members of the Apostleship of Prayer, you must have a local center of the Apostleship in the parish or school.
If an Apostleship Center Exist. If the parish or school has a local center of the Apostleship, even though it has become inactive, there is no need for a new center to be established. The local director may begin at once to accept new members of the Apostleship and of the Crusade. If the Diplomas of Establishment have been lost, duplicates can be obtained through your regional or national director. Note that a local center for the parish in general suffices also as the center for the parish school. The parish school need not have a center separate from the general parish center.
If There Is No Apostleship Center. If the parish or school does not have a canonically established local center of the Apostleship of Prayer, arrange to have one established. First, obtain the consent of a priest to act as local director. Each center must have a local director who must be a priest. In parishes this local director is regularly the pastor. In private schools it may be any priest---chaplain, sisters confessor, nearby pastor, and so forth. The local director personally must approve new members of the Apostleship verbally or by signing the register of members occasionally after new names have been inscribed. If he wishes, he may delegate authority for all of the Apostleship activity to anyone he chooses---an assistant priest, one of the sisters or lay teachers, and so forth.
Establishment of Apostleship. Having obtained the approval of the prospective local director, write to the nearest regional director of the Apostleship of Prayer, or (in Canada) to the national director, requesting the establishment of a local center of the Apostleship in your parish or institution. Give the name of the prospective local director, and the office he holds (pastor, or in a private school or institution, sisters regular confessor, and so forth). The regional or national director will do the rest. He will obtain the approval of your diocesan director for you, will register the new center at the national office, and will send two diplomas--one for the local director, the other for the local center itself. With the diplomas will come a request for twenty-five cents to cover printing and mailing costs. There is no other charge for the establishment of a new center. Diplomas should be framed and hung in the sacristy or other appropriate place.
Register of Members. To become a member of the Apostleship of Prayer, one must have his name registered in a canonically established local center, and the reverend local director must approve his membership personally. The register of members may be a blank book of any kind, or a card file. For school purposes, a book is usually best. A special register book is available at the national office of the Apostleship of Prayer, but any blank book may be used. In the front of the book write the date of the establishment of the local center and indicate who is the official local director---copy this information as it is given on the diplomas. If there is already a register in the parish, ask the pastor to approve a separate register for the school. If this is done, the fact should be recorded in the front of the book.
Enrolling in Apostleship. Requirements for membership in the Apostleship of Prayer, therefore, are two: 1) sign up; and 2) say the morning offering daily. Children may become members of the Apostleship (not of the Eucharistic Crusade) as soon as they reach the use of reason, and once they become members they are members for life. Usually it is best to have them join at first Communion time. Explain the requirements for membership to the children and have them indicate whether they wish to join. Then have them write their names in the register, or have someone else write them. Afterwards ask the local director to approve the new memberships. He may give his approval verbally, but it is best if he gives it by signing the register at the end of each list of new member. This personal approval by the local director is necessary for valid membership in the Apostleship of Prayer.
Where To Begin the Crusade. Usually it is best to begin the Eucharistic Crusade in all classes of the school simultaneously. But there is nothing to prevent the Crusade from flourishing in one classroom even though none of the others in the school have taken it up. In any case, it is usually best if each classroom works at the Crusade more or less independently of the others in the school, yet always in keeping with the spirit of the whole and in full cooperation with the priest director and the assistant local director, if there is one.
Introducing the Crusade. Explain the Crusade to the children. Present it to them as a challenge, and an opportunity to do something big for Christ. Tell them what will be expected of Crusaders by explaining the four Watchwords. Tell them about the meetings, and about the probation period, and explain the cost of insignia they may wish to get. To Junior and Senior Crusaders, explain the cost of the workbook, Crusader. Then ask them to think it over, talk it over at home, and obtain their parents permission to join the Crusade. In some places the children are given a letter from the teacher which explains the purposes and methods of the Crusade to the parents. Suggested outlines for an introductory talk on the Eucharistic Crusade and a letter to the parents are given later on. The next day, if they decide to join, they should hand in a slip giving their name and one reason why they wish to be Crusaders. Posters, bulletin-board displays, and so forth, are useful during this recruiting period.
Preliminary Meeting. A few days later, hold a preliminary meeting based on any plan given in Crusader. Sample copies of the workbook are available from the national office of the Eucharistic Crusade. This personal approval by the local director is necessary for valid membership in the Apostleship of Prayer.
Where To Begin the Crusade. Usually it is best to begin the Eucharistic Crusade in all classes of the school simultaneously. But there is nothing to prevent the Crusade from flourishing in one classroom even though none of the others in the school have taken it up. In any case, it is usually best if each classroom works at the Crusade more or less independently of the others in the school, yet always in keeping with the spirit of the whole and in full cooperation with the priest director and the assistant local director, if there is one.
Introducing the Crusade. Explain the Crusade to the children. Present it to them as a challenge, and an opportunity to do something big for Christ. Tell them what will be expected of Crusaders by explaining the four Watchwords. Tell them about the meetings, and about the probation period, and explain the cost of the insignia they may wish to get. To Junior and Senior Crusaders, explain the cost of the workbook, Crusader. Then ask them to think it over at home, and obtain their parents permission to join the Crusade. In some places the children are given a letter from the teacher that explains the purposes and methods of the Crusade to the parents. Suggested outlines for an introductory talk in the Eucharistic Crusade and a letter to the parents are given later on. The next day, if they decide to join, they should hand in a slip giving their name and one reason why they wish to be Crusaders. Posters, bulletin-board displays, and so forth, are useful during this recruiting period.
Preliminary Meetings. A few days later, hold a preliminary meeting based on any plan given in Crusader. Sample copies of the workbook are available from the national office of the Eucharistic Crusade. This meeting should be conducted by the teacher, but with the children actively cooperating as much as possible. Renew the morning offering together. Call the roll from the slips received, and have any new recruits hand in slips. Teach them a simple game--meetings are always to be fun as well as work. (Perhaps the game: I am thinking of Christmas. Christmas reminds me of shepherds. The next child adds a detail not yet mentioned, and so on. Play for about five minutes.) Give a little talk explaining the Crusade further and invite questions and discussion. Be sure that the children understand that they are on probation for the first two or three months. Have a song, repetition of the Watchwords, closing prayer, remind them of the time of the next meeting, and dismiss them.
Forming Teams. Plan the division of your Crusaders into teams of about six, each with its captain.
A good way to divide members into teams is to have an election of captains, one for every prospective team. The teacher then permits crusaders--with a minimum of discreet supervision--to join themselves to the captain they prefer. It is important that members of the team get along well together, so groupings according to pupils preferences are generally to be encouraged. After the teams have been formed, each should choose a patron saint after whom it wishes to be called.
Captains. Team captains are key figures in the successful operation of the Eucharistic Crusade at the classroom level. The teacher should exercise tactful influence to assure the election of captains with some real leadership ability. Before the election the children should be warned not to choose captains on the basis of mere popularity. Captains to be chosen should be such as will be in earnest about their Crusade work, an example of faithfulness to their Crusaders Promise, reasonably tactful and imaginative in dealing with team members, able to build up a team spirit and an enthusiasm for the team and he whole Crusade. If after some experience a captain shows no sign of having or of developing such qualities of leadership, the teacher should not hesitate tactfully to arrange for someone else to replace him.
The Workbook. Arrange for the members to subscribe to Crusader, and, as soon as they are able, let the children begin to run the meetings themselves.
A subscription to the workbook should by no means be made a requirement for membership in the Eucharistic Crusade, but it is desirable that each member has his own copy. The price of a yearly subscription could be met by the sacrifice of a movie or two, so it should not be beyond the reach of most children. There is a considerable saving when the workbook is sent in bulk (ten or more copies at one time to the same address).
Crusaders Conduct the Meetings. How soon should Junior and Senior Crusaders begin to run their own meetings? The general rule must always be that they begin as soon as they have a reasonably good grasp of what is to be done, and how. This is an application of one of the cardinal points of Crusade methodology: The children themselves must, as far as they are able, cooperate in the promoting the spirit and the activities of the Eucharistic Crusade (Norms, page 274). This principle is obviously important for the development in the children of habits of Christian self-reliance and leadership. It underlines the necessity of resisting the temptation that may come to the teacher of continuing to conduct the meetings personally, even after the captains are able to do it with reasonable efficiency.
Generally, Senior Crusaders and most Junior Crusaders should be able to handle their own meetings after two or three weeks at most. In some circumstances, especially with fourth-grade children, it may be found advisable for the teacher to continue to conduct the meetings for some weeks longer. In some places Senior Crusaders help the new Juniors by acting as captains for them for a time.
Briefing Session. Before each regular meeting, the classroom teacher or the assistant local director should hold a briefing session with all the captains. The teacher goes through the meeting plan in Crusader with them, makes sure that they understand it and know what they are to do. The briefing session gives the teacher an excellent opportunity to observe the captains and to encourage in them qualities of leadership.
Where individual classroom teachers conduct the briefing session for the captains of their own classes, great care should be taken to assure a harmonious and unified development of the Eucharistic Crusade throughout the school.
When and Where to Meet. Generally it is best to hold Crusade meetings during the school day. If such meetings are held in the classroom, children who are not members of the Crusade may be given some work to do meanwhile under the general supervision of the teacher. Meetings might also be held in the gym or assembly room.
It is important that meetings begin on time, move quickly, and end on time. They are never to take more than thirty minutes---ample time if they are carefully prepared. There is to be variety and interest, always an enjoyable song or game, and active participation by all members of the team. Crusaders must never have the impression that their meeting is merely a disguised catechism lesson. Teachers should be careful to resist the temptation to do too much themselves. The captains run the meetings, and learn from mistakes they may make. In this way the Eucharistic Crusade helps to develop real Christian leaders.
Probation. The children should understand that for the first two or three months they are on probation, and are not yet properly Crusaders. The probation should be kept informal. The teacher should watch the children for sincere effort to live up to the ideals and practices of the Eucharistic Crusade according to their light. At the end of the probation the teacher should give to the priest director or to the assistant local director a list of children recommended for reception into the Crusade. Ultimately it is left to the discretion of the director to determine whether a child is to be admitted as a Crusader at the end of the probation period.
It should be kept in mind that the Eucharistic Crusade is very adaptable. In areas where perhaps the spiritual level of the people is very low, less should be expected than in places where there is generally a great deal of fervor; children in rural parishes will usually be unable to attend Mass and receive Communion as often as those in city parishes, and so forth. Like the Apostleship of Prayer, the Eucharistic Crusade adapts itself to all and seeks to bring all to whatever level of intimacy with the Sacred Heart is possible for them. This does not mean that no one is to be excluded from membership in the Eucharistic Crusade. Rather it means that good will and earnest effort should be the criterion for acceptance, not adherence to any universally promulgated list of practices. By all means, children who do not take the crusade seriously should not be admitted, and Crusaders who are notably and regularly unfaithful to their Crusaders Promise should be dismissed. This is important. Selection of this sort makes for success.
Reception. After two or three months, on an appropriate feast, those who have shown themselves earnest and sincere may make their Crusaders Promise and should be formally received into the Eucharistic Crusade and invested with the Crusaders badge. Suggested feasts are: December 3, St. Francis Xavier, patron of the Apostleship of Prayer; December 8, Immaculate Conception; February 2, Purification; March 25, Annunciation. Any First Friday would also be most appropriate.
Write to the regional or national director for a leaflet giving the impressive Ceremonial of Reception of Crusaders. Crusaders badges may also be ordered from him
Moving Up. When it is time for Crusaders to enter the next higher division of the Crusade, they are required to make a new petition for membership and to undergo a new probation. Note that their membership in the Apostleship of Prayer remains intact. Once they have joined the Apostleship by registering their names on an official local register, their membership never ceases.
In general, all probations in the Eucharistic Crusade are the same, but, other things being equal, more should be expected of the Crusaders as they grow in age and experience. Senior Crusaders may have the Crusaders Vigil Ceremony on the eve of their reception.
General Meetings. Unless there is only one class in the Crusade, a general meeting should be held from time to time. Such meetings will help to ensure a unified Crusade effort, and will encourage Crusaders to greater fervor and spirit. The heart of the meeting should be a brief but solid and inspiring talk on Crusade spirituality. Different classes may present brief gospel pantomimes, playlets, and so forth, and a game or contest should be held. The general meeting should be thirty to forty-five minutes in length and should be enjoyable for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders Parents. As much as possible the parents of the Crusaders should understand the Eucharistic Crusade and should be invited to cooperate with it. It is suggested that at the beginning of the school year the children interested in becoming Crusaders be given a letter explaining the Crusade to give to their parents. The small expenditure involved in subscribing to Crusader, and in procuring insignia, might also be explained.
Parents should be urged to attend the reception ceremony of Crusaders, at which they might hear a sermon on the meaning of the Eucharistic Crusade. Sometimes parents are asked to make the Crusaders Promise with the children.
Once or twice a year it is good to have a Parents Night, a demonstration Crusade meeting. Such affairs should be kept very simple. After the brief demonstration meeting the priest director might give a brief talk on the Crusade.
A Last Word. The very first weeks of the Eucharistic Crusade in a school can be difficult because of the general lack of Crusade experience. As experience is gained, however, the simplicity and effectiveness of Crusade techniques become more and more apparent. After a few years, a Crusade tradition becomes established. Even the newest Junior Crusaders will then have had three years experience of Crusade ideals and methods, and will be ready for fuller participation in them. If the work is begun and persevered in with courage and with confidence in the grace of the Sacred Heart, our Lord will surely bestow abundant blessings upon this undertaking.
Suggest Talk Announcing the Crusade to Children
When our Lord became man, He came to do a big job: to save the world. But He decided to have us help Him in the job. He told His followers: Go into the whole world and teach and baptize everybody (confer Matthew 28:18-20). That means you must help Christ save souls.
Two thousand years have gone by since our Lord gave that command. Yet there are still hundreds of millions of pagans in the world, and other hundreds of millions who have wrong ideas about our Lord and His Church. Why? We know our Lord did His part of the job perfectly. The trouble is that we havent done our part, as we should have. To stir us up to do our part, our Lord came to start devotion to His Sacred Heart. He showed us His Heart on fire with loving desire for us and for all souls; His Heart pierced and wounded by the sins that push away His love.
Now we wish to work extra hard to bring souls to the Sacred Heart---our own souls more and more and the souls of others. We are starting a Crusade, called the Eucharistic Crusade, and all of you may become Crusaders if you are up to working extra hard for the Sacred Heart. We have a big job ahead of us, so we shouldnt expect it to be easy to be Crusaders. The first crusaders were soldiers marked with the cross--and we too will be marked with the cross and will have hard things to do, an important work to do. It is better not to join if you arent serious about being a good Crusader. We dont want halfhearted players on the team.
Crusaders have to observe four Watchwords: Pray, Receive Communion, Sacrifice, Save Souls. They promise to pray the morning offering every day and to try to live it; and to pray at least one decade of the rosary daily. They promise to sacrifice themselves by trying always to do what they are supposed to do at home and school and everywhere, and by doing it in union with the Mass---obedience, honesty, kindness, hard work at the books, purity, and all the rest. They promise to do all they can to bring souls to Christ. Let me hear you repeat the Watchwords .
Crusaders also have a weekly meeting that will last a half hour. The meetings are important and serious, but they are also fun. For the meetings you should subscribe to the Crusader magazine that costs seventy-five cents a year.
(Note: in some circumstances it may be better to omit this paragraph.) Here is a letter explaining the Crusade to your parents. If you think you will wish to be a Crusader, take the letter home and talk it over with your mother and dad. If your parents approve, and if you still wish to be a Crusader, hand in a slip of paper tomorrow with your name on it and one reason why you wish to join the Crusade. Remember: its hard, but its worth it.
A story: for example, The Heart of Bruce. In the Middle Ages the good Scottish King Robert Bruce prepared to lead a Crusade, but just as preparations were completed he fell mortally sick. To his best friends, the noble and fearless Black Douglas, he gave command of the Crusade. At the same time he had Douglass promise that he would bury the kings heart on Calvary.
After the kings death, Douglas enclosed the kings heart in a silver casket, sailed with the army to the Holy Land and pushed the Saracens back all the way to Jerusalem. But there the enemy stood firm and was about to win the crucial battle---when Douglas rode to the head of the Scots army holding high a silver object. Men of Scotland, he shouted, Here is the heart of Bruce! Where the heart of Bruce is there should every good Scotsman be! With that he threw the casket right into the midst of the Saracens. After momentary astonishment, the Scots drove headlong at the enemy to recover the heart, and went on to capture the city. Thus did the Scots Crusaders keep their promise to their king.
It maybe hard for you to keep your promise, but its worth it. If you wish to join, hand in the slip tomorrow.
Any questions? Lets heart the Watchwords again. God bless you !
Sample Letter to Parents
(Note: In some circumstances it may be better to omit use of a letter to the parents.)
Today we have announced to the children the inauguration in school of the Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer. We wish to explain the Crusade briefly to you and to ask you to grant permission for your child to join.
The Eucharistic Crusade is not really something new. It is the familiar Apostleship of Prayer, or League of the Sacred Heart, in a form adapted to children. To the simple practices of the Apostleship, the Crusade adds a training program that will help your child make true devotion to the Sacred Heart a lifelong possession.
The purpose of the Eucharistic Crusade is, in brief, to teach children to live the morning offering. Its spiritual program is summed up in four Watchwords: Pray, Receive Communion, Sacrifice, Save Souls. Crusaders pray the morning offering and at least one decade of the rosary daily. They receive Communion as often and as fervently as possible. They sacrifice themselves by trying to fulfill their daily duties at home and in school as perfectly as possible in union with the Mass. Finally, they try in all they do to help save souls for the Sacred Heart.
Crusaders have a weekly half-hour meeting at school. There are some small expenses involved in membership. It is recommended that all Crusaders in grades 4 to 8 subscribe to the monthly workbook Crusader that contains complete plans for their weekly meetings. The cost is seventy-five cents a year, or less than nine cents a month. All crusaders will probably also wish to have the Crusaders badge, an inexpensive enamel pin that is worn for two or three years. We know that there are many such nibbles at your purse, but since these expenditures could be met through the sacrifice of a movie or two by the prospective Crusader, we hope they will not put the Crusade beyond the reach of your child.
The Eucharistic Crusade is highly approved by the Church, from the holy father to our own reverend pastor. Everywhere that the Crusade has been in operation there is enthusiasm for the results it produces. We hope that you will allow your child to join the Eucharistic Crusade. We are sure you will see most gratifying result if you do.
Sincerely in the Sacred Heart,
Norms for Moderating the Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer
What the Eucharistic Crusade Is
The Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer is a special section of the Apostleship intended for children and adolescents. In it, these young people are to be prepared for the Christian life of perfection, and trained in the apostolic spirit. This is to be accomplished through the knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and especially through an intimate union of life and sacrifice with Him in the sacrifice of the Eucharist, where He continually offers Himself for us. The educational purpose is summed up in the Eucharistic Crusades special Watchwords: Pray, Receive Communion, Sacrifice, Save Souls.
Means to be Used
In order to attain its purpose, the Eucharistic Crusade uses the same means as the Apostleship of Prayer, adapted, however, to suit the age and character of children.
The Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer is essentially dependent upon that Apostleship as being one of its sections. These are the four points of this dependence:
The central office of the Apostleship of Prayer is also the central office of the Eucharistic Crusade.
The national office of the Eucharistic Crusade is a part of the national office of the Apostleship of Prayer, or is dependent upon him. However, with the approval of the central office, a national Director of the Eucharistic Crusade is either the same person as the national Director of the Apostleship of Prayer, or is dependent upon him. However, with the approval of the central office, a national Director of the Eucharistic Crusade can be appointed who is moderator of the Eucharistic Crusade in his own right, but is subject to the national Director of the Apostleship of Prayer in regard to those things which concern their common good or the universal scope of the Apostleship of Prayer. Since these two works are so intimately connected, and ought to work closely with one another, an agreement should in every instance be drawn up between the national Director of the Apostleship of Prayer and the national Director of the Eucharistic Crusade, in which the relationship of these two works is accurately defined. This agreement is to be approved by the central office.
For a center of the Eucharistic Crusade to be considered a center of the Apostleship of Prayer, it must be associated with an existing center of the Apostleship of Prayer, or must itself be set up as a center by the diocesan director of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Privileges and indulgences granted to the Apostleship of Prayer are also granted to the Eucharistic Crusade. Any doubts, however, which may perhaps arise concerning these Norms of the Eucharistic Crusade are to be solved according to the statutes and the mind of the Apostleship of Prayer.
The Eucharistic Crusade, therefore, is juridically dependent upon the Apostleship of Prayer and the intimate connection between the two works must be preserved. Nevertheless the Crusade has its own proper organization with its centers, its local directors, and its diocesan directors.
The moderator-in-chief of the Eucharistic Crusade is at any given time, the superior general of the Society of Jesus. He may, however, delegate his office to another chosen by him. The national or regional directors who are named by him or by others who have received this power from him, in turn, assist this delegate moderator, in carrying out his work in the various regions.
The Eucharistic Crusade is organized according to dioceses. In each diocese there is one diocesan director unless particular circumstances require that there be more. The diocesan directors must be priests. They are designated by the Ordinary of the place and receive their official appointment from the central office. Or where this has been arranged for with the central office they receive official appointments from the Ordinary of the place, acting in accord with the national director of the Eucharistic Crusade. These diocesan directors of the Eucharistic Crusade have the power to appoint local directors (who must also be priests) and to establish centers of the Eucharistic Crusade. These centers, however, are not centers of the Apostleship of Prayer unless under the conditions laid down in paragraph 1, c, of this article.
Diocesan and local directors are subject to their local Ordinary in those things also which pertain to the Eucharistic Crusade with the exception of such as refer to these Norms approved by the Holy See.
It is the duty of national or regional directors to assist the diocesan and local directors by furnishing them with whatever they may find useful for the extension, development, and guidance of the Eucharistic Crusade in their own territory. They also have the right to publish or to have published periodicals, folders, and any writings that serve the purpose of the Eucharistic Crusade. The national director is also the channel for ordinary business between the central office and the diocesan and local directors. Finally, the national directors should be watchful, and carefully see to it that the genuine spirit of the Eucharistic Crusade be preserved and that norms and methods of Eucharistic education that it has established be exactly observed.
Sections and Grades
Since childhood is a time of continual growth of mind and body, the Eucharistic Crusade, in order the better to meet both the needs of children and adolescents and the needs of various regions, is divided into different sections. Generally, it deals with children and adolescents from six to fourteen years of age, unless special reasons favor the admission of youths up to the age of sixteen or even of eighteen years, or of children who have not yet attained their sixth year.
As a rule there are three sections, according to the age of the children: one for those from six to eight, one for those from nine to eleven, and another for preadolescents from twelve to fourteen. Another section for adolescents from fifteen to eighteen could be added. These sections are usually given some special name that corresponds to their particular character.
The first section that is made up of children from the ages of about six to about eight is to be considered a time of preparation in which the children according to their capacity are trained and become accustomed devoutly to make and live their daily offering and to receive Holy Communion frequently. As far as the frequency of reception is concerned it should be strongly urged and in a way that will bring results, that the children should receive Holy Communion at least once a month. As far as possible--by no means excluding daily reception. They must not, however, be forced to this or be subjected to undue supervision.
When they have passed through the first section, the children should have the conditions for proceeding to the second section explained to them. They should then make up their own minds whether they wish to ask for admission to the second section. This section includes children aged from about nine to about eleven, who are now called Crusaders in the proper sense, and who comprise a select group. The other children who do not wish to join this section, remain members of the The Apostleship of Prayer for Children, according to the rules explained in paragraph 3 below. The Crusades are to be given further instruction in the spirit and practices of the Eucharistic Crusade. This instruction should cover the following three points:
After completing the course in the second section the children may seek admission to the third. In this third section that includes preadolescents aged from about twelve to about fourteen, that which they have acquired in the first and second sections is filled out and adapted to their age level. Therefore, they should urged besides making their daily offering, to assist properly at the Sacrifice of the Mass frequently during the week. When possible, they should devoutly receive Holy Communion during Mass. They should live a spiritual and apostolic life suited to their years. But it must also be urged that besides the catechetical instruction which they receive in school they are taught the Catholic faith with greater fullness and appreciation of its meaning, and under the guidance of the Churchs teaching learn to live their lives according to the doctrine of the Sacred Scriptures and in the spirit of the Sacred Liturgy.
The conditions laid down in this paragraph that can be fulfilled by all are by no means intended to hinder the liberty and zeal of those who under the guidance of the grace of the Holy Spirit desire and are able to proceed to greater perfection suitable to their years. Therefore it is the duty of moderators of the Eucharistic Crusade especially local directors and confessors o be most careful that they give special assistance in the spiritual life to those who in the Lord are capable of greater perfection and that they earnestly foster in them apostolic zeal.
The individual sections may be divided into teams. This division is a very useful means for giving children a religious education on a surer foundation and also better suited to their varying temperaments. Finally the individual sections various grades may be set up, designed for the various duties or functions exercised by the children. Their own names and hedges may distinguish the individual grades.
Children who after having passing through the first section do not seek admission to the second still remain members of the Apostleship of Prayer. Until they reach adulthood they may form a separate division of the Apostleship of Prayer that is called The Apostleship of Prayer for Children (or Youth). Although this division is not distinguished from the Apostleship of Prayer itself and does not form a separate section, still, provision should be made for such a division of the Apostleship of Prayer intended for children in general and suited to their normal dispositions.
These children, members of the Apostleship of Prayer, should be urged to make their daily offering devoutly and diligently and to learn to assist at the sacrifice of the Mass properly and to receive Holy Communion at least once a month. Moderators of the Eucharistic Crusade should not neglect the religious training of these children, but rather, should try to exercise such influences on them that they may perhaps become suitable candidates for the Eucharistic Crusade itself.
Admission of Children
The following norms for admitting children into the Eucharistic Crusade are to be followed everywhere except in those places where norms for this purpose have already been approved.
Children of good character who are disposed to serve our Lord Christ the King and who desire to be admitted into the Eucharistic Crusade are to spend some time in preparation as aspirants. Having completed this preparation they may be received into the Eucharistic Crusade and enrolled in the Register of members. This also makes them members of the Apostleship of Prayer. This procedure is always to be followed whether the children are six years of age or older when they seek admission.
The transfer from one section to another is accomplished by a new request on the part of the children or adolescents and a new admission on the part of the local director. Their membership in the Apostleship of Prayer, of course, always remains valid.
Admission to the different sections can be made in a more solemn manner according to the natural temperament in different countries. Individual sections ought to have their own proper insignia corresponding to the taste and mentality of the children and of the country. In all this, however, anything that stresses external show and indicates a lack of serious purpose rather than religious education is to be avoided. Such things can easily put the Eucharistic Crusade beyond the reach of children of more modest circumstances. It is the duty of the national director of the Eucharistic Crusade to exercise careful control over all that has to do with the ceremonies of admission, the various meetings, and insignia. He should also have this accurately set down in the handbook of the Eucharistic Crusade for his region.
It is of the greatest importance for the promotion and government of the Eucharistic Crusade that there be available suitable assistants who by whatever name they are called are divided into chief promoters, secondary promoters, and group captains.
Chief promoters are true educators who are immediate assistants to the local director and work under his guidance. They should, therefore, be of an age which ordinarily presupposes some tested spiritual maturity and a more complete knowledge of their faith. Generally, then, they should not be less than eighteen years old.
Secondary promoters are those who, where necessary, assist the chief promoter. Adolescents can be employed in this office as long as they do not lack the qualities required for effective cooperation in the Christian education of children.
Group captains---who are often called Apostles---assist the local directors and promoters according to their ability, especially in the organization and actual carrying out of the works of the apostolate. For this task children are to be chosen who are outstanding for their piety, their apostolic zeal and their ability to act as leaders.
Great care must be taken to see to it that all these assistants are not only well suited to their tasks but are also well trained for their execution. Wherefore let the promoters meet regularly in order to receive from the local director both instruction in ascetical matters and such help as will assist them in their work of teaching and guiding the members. They should freely discuss everything that pertains to the formation of Crusaders. Once or twice a year there should be diocesan or regional meetings of promoters. If there are also secondary promoters they are to be trained by the local director or by an experienced promoter who has the duty of seeing that they perform their task competently and efficiently. In the same way the group leaders are to be prepared either by the local director or by the chief promoter to undertake their little apostolic duties.
Although perhaps not everything laid down can be exactly observed in every region, the following three points should always be insisted on:
But in whatever way the actual organization of the Eucharistic Crusade is set up and the training of assistants and their functions arranged for, it must always be kept in mind that the true and proper direction and the principal religious formation of both the children and the assistants is in the hands of the local and diocesan director.
Relationship to Parents
Diocesan directors, national directors, and most of all local directors are to keep in close touch with the parents of the children, especially where there is question of those who are not living in boarding schools, but at home. The parents are to know the norms according to which their children are being trained in the Eucharistic Crusade, and what is expected of them. Local directors of the Eucharistic Crusade, moreover, should be attentive to the desire of parents and as far as is reasonably possible accede to them. They should not fail to explain clearly to the parents how they themselves both can and should effectively cooperate in the Eucharistic education of their children.
Relationship to Other Associations
Although it is not desirable from the viewpoint of the unity and solidity of education that children should belong at one and the same time to several associations of the same kind, Crusaders are nevertheless free to cooperate with other associations that are being promoted by the ecclesiastical hierarchy in the parishes and dioceses. Moderators of the Eucharistic Crusade, as a matter of fact, should work to the end that the children, and especially adolescents, take part in the works of Catholic action which are suitable to their years.
Practices that do not accord with these norms are not to be considered as automatically suppressed but individual cases should be examined to find out whether they can be kept or whether they should rather be prudently brought into line with these Norms. Doubts in these matters are to be referred to the central office. In countries where the Eucharistic Crusade is introduced subsequent to this date, it is to be governed by these Norms.
Rome, January 27, 1958
PONTIFICAL LETTER OF APPROBATION
Health and Apostolic Benediction.
Enclosed in a letter recently received from you, beloved son, expressing as always your filial reverence, the proposed Norms for Moderating the Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer were brought to Our notice with the intention that We examine them, and, if We think them worthy of Our commendation, approve and ratify them.
We have considered the rules of this movement with careful attention and feel bound to bestow Our tribute of praise and grant them full ratification.
Obedient to the expressed wish of the divine Redeemer, whose keenest desire it was to bring closer to Himself, without restraint or hindrance from anyone, the joyful throngs of children in whose eyes their guardian angels behold a reflection of the light of their Father in heaven, We unite the expression of Our joy and gladness to well-deserved congratulations. We do so since We are convinced that under the watchful guidance of yourself and a chosen group of your sons, directives of this kind will greatly stimulate the growth, in numbers and virtue, of the Eucharistic Crusade of the Apostleship of Prayer.
To the end that children may preserve their innocence of soul, may excel in freshness and vigor of heavenly grace and may grow up equipped with sound morals, as persons on whom church and state may rely, what could be more desirable, what more salutary, than that they, from their earliest years, should throng as frequently as possible about the table of the angels, in order to partake of the Eucharistic Bread with humility and devotion and to assist actively in the Eucharistic Sacrifice? For they are praying with conscience unsullied and in purity of life and are learning to devote themselves wholeheartedly to the ideals of religion, justice, and truth.
Special devotion, moreover, toward the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, the snow-white lily amid the thorns, the star shining through the many storms of the world, will be implanted in their growing minds and developed with ripening age. Thus there will not be wanting reason for hope that they will pass without hurt or harm through the destructive forces of vice, and one day, by visible achievements joined to spiritual excellence, will shed luster on the Catholic faith.
These ardent desires, which love arouses in Our hearts, We entrust to the heavenly Infant, Silent Wisdom, the joy of the whole earth, and to His illustrious Mother, the shining gateway of salvation, while to you, beloved son, and to the moderators and members of the Eucharistic Crusade, We affectionately impart Our Apostolic Benediction.
From St. Peters, Rome, on the sixth day of January 1958, the nineteenth year of our pontificate.
Pius XII, Pope
A select bibliography of books, pamphlets, and articles on devotion to the Sacred Heart, compiled by Reverend Carmelo Gosioco, S.J., Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland.
Books and Booklets
Alacoque, Margaret Mary, Letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque. Chicago, Henry Regnery Company, 1954, 286 pp. Translated from the French by Clarence A. Herbat, S.J.
Anonymous, The Apostleship of Prayer, A Theological and Pastoral Guide, Rome, Apostleship of Prayer, 1958, 237 pp. Excellent on the theological foundations and pastoral applications of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Handbook of the Apostleship of Prayer, fifty-third edition. New York, Apostleship of Prayer, 1959, 82 pp.
Bainvel, Jean Vincent, S.J. Devotion to the Sacred Heart, New York, Zenzinger Brothers, 1924, 371 pp. One of the classic treatments of the devotion.
Biskupek, Aloysius, S.V.D., The Litany of the Sacred Heart. Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Co., 1956, 147 pp.
Blunt, Hugh Francis, The Heart Aflame. Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Co., 1947, 127 pp. Popular treatment of the devotion.
Bougaud, Emile, Life of St. Margaret Marty Alacoque. New York, Benzinger Brothers, 1920, 388pp.
Boyle, John, C.S.C., Behold This Heart. Notre Dame (Indiana), Dujarie Press, 1954, 87 pp. Devotion to the Sacred Heart for young people.
Charmot, Francois, S.J., The Sacred Heart and Modern Life. New York, P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1952, 261 pp. Translated from the French by Kathryn Sullivan, R.S.C.J.
Colombiere, Calude de la, S.J., Faithful Servant. St. Louis, B. Herder Book Company, 1960, 450 pp. Letters and notes of Blessed Claude translated from the French by William J. Young, S.J.
Croiset, Jean, S.J. The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Westminster (Maryland), Newman Press, 1948, 290 pp. Translated from the French by Patrick OConnell. Another of the classics on the devotion.
Dachauer, Alban, S.J. The Sacred Heart. Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Company, 1959, 209 pp. Commentary on the encyclical Haurietis Aquas.
Dooley, Lester M., The Love of the Sacred Heart, Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Co, 1954, 194 pp. Simple presentation of the devotion.
Endes, St. John, The Sacred Heart of Jesus, New York, P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1946, 183 pp. Translated from the French by Dom Richard Flower, OSB.
Gheon, Henri, The Secret of St. Margaret Mary. New York, Sheed and Ward, 1937, 39 pp. Translated from the French by F.J. Sheed.
Guitton, Georges, S.J., Perfect Friend. St. Louis, B. Herder Book Company, 1956, 440 pp. Edited and translated from the French by William J. Young, S.J.
Heagney, H.J. Behold This Heart. New York, PJ Kenedy and Sons, 1947, 347 pp. Popular life of St. Margaret Mary.
Link, Mark, S.J., Prayer for Millions. Chicago, Fides Publishers Association, 1959, 63 pp. Striking picture meditations on the daily intentions of the Apostleship of Prayer.
McGratty, Arthur, S.J., The Sacred Heart Yesterday and Today. New York, Benziger Brothers, 1951, 306 pp. Popular history of the devotion.
Moore, Thomas, S.J., The Morning Offering. New York, Apostleship of Prayer, 1952, 160 pp.
Noldin, J., S.J., The Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. New York, Benzinger Brothers, 1905, 272 pp. Translated from the German by WH Kent, OSC.
OConnell, J., The Nine First Fridays. London, Burns, Oates, and Washbourne, 1949, 123 pp. Brief account of the life of Margaret Mary and the promises, and a thorough treatment of the Great Promise from every aspect. Excellent.
Pesch, Christian, S.J., Our Best Friend. Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Company, 1953, 220 pp. Translated from the German by Bernard A. Hausmann, S.J.
Plus, Raoul, S.J., Reparation. London, Burns, Oates, and Washbourne, 1931, 108 pp.
Ramiere, Henri, S.J., The Apostleship of Prayer. Maduraj (India), De Nobili Press, 1956, 219 pp. Classic on the subject; first edition was dated 1861.
Schoberg, Ferdinand, S.J., Will You Save Souls? St. Louis, Queens Work, 1955, 30 pp. Popular explanation of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Stierli, Josef, S.J., Heart of the Savior, Feeiburg, Herder and Herder, 1958, 267 pp. Symposium, originally in German, on the devotion. Some parts highly controversial.
Trouncer, Margaret, The Nun. New York, Sheed and Ward, 1955. 297 pp. Fictionalized but highly perceptive life of St. Margaret Mary.
Verheylezoon, Louis, S.J., Devotion to the Sacred Heart. Westminster (Maryland), Newman Press, 1955, 280 pp. Thorough presentation of the devotion. Needs some revision in the light of Haurietis Aquas.
Watkin, Aelred, OSB., The Heart of the World. New York, P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1954, 106 pp.
Williams, Margaret, RSCJ, The Sacred Heart in the Life of the Church, New York, Sheed and Ward, 1957, 248 pp.
Windeatt, Mary Fabian, Mission for Margaret. St. Meinrad (Indiana), Grail Publications, 1953, 230 pp. Life of St. Margaret Mary for teen-agers.
Yeo, Margaret, These Three Hearts. Milwaukee, Bruce Publishing Company, 1940, 340 pp. Lives of St. Margaret Mary and Blessed Claude.
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