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June 28, 2005

Hardball? or Developing Standards?

Discussion at Amy Welborn's blog.

The News Article

This made interesting discussion at the breakfast table this morning. It is close to what we have been considering doing at the parish. I am not sure that I would dismiss the kids from class, but I am interested in separating attendance at class from formation for the sacrament. Why should attendance at class mean one is ready for a sacrament?

There are other factors determining readiness for a sacrament, the way you live being one of them.

Attendance at Mass is something to pay attention to. If you are not attending the liturgy, if your familiy is not part of the community, why is there a perceived right to the sacrament, unless it is diminished to simply a cultural rite of passage.

Posted by Fr. Jeffrey Keyes, C.PP.S. at June 28, 2005 7:40 AM

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I can see deferring the sacraments but not kicking kids out of class. Jesus didn't put any conditions on allowing the children to come to him and children shouldn't be denied formation for the shortcoming of their parents.

Posted by: Peggy Doherty at June 28, 2005 11:36 AM

I just wanted to share a little anecdote. When my son received First Holy Communion, a couple of years ago, the pastor asked all the kids if they could tell why Jesus chose to give Himself to us in the Eucharist. A lot of the other children raised their hands and gave their answers. My son was the last to raise his hand. The pastor called his name and asked the question again, and my son answered, "So we wouldn't be lonely." That's given me pause to stop and ponder ever since then.

Posted by: Dianna at June 28, 2005 5:12 PM

In our parish, the question "Is there a grandparent attending Mass, who will take responsibility for the child's attendance and participation?" is also a relevant question.

Also, in our parish, the faith formation is on Sunday morning between the 2 Masses, which makes Mass attendance, at least for the children, a bit easier to arrange.

Then there are always children whose parents are divorced, who spend every other weekend with the parent they do not live with, and often those parents do not value Mass attendance.

How much good will be accomplished by pressuring these parents to attend Mass for a year? My hunch is, not much. How much long term damage will be done? Perhaps a good deal.

I sympathize with anyone working in faith formation, there is a problem, but is this the solution?

Posted by: Maureen Lahiff at June 29, 2005 9:43 AM

In my last parish, the pastor taught the classes in the church himself; he rotated age groups throughout the year.

Every child was required to bring an adult (over 18, I believe) relative, who would sit next to the child during the class.

I think that this was modeled on programs in Mexico.

Posted by: Daniel Muller at July 1, 2005 7:51 AM

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