14 Comments

  1. Bridget

    Somehow all my children lose control of their spines when we go to Mass. My weekly pep talk involves reminders to not.lie.down. on the bench! Either that or they become perpetual motion machines. The oldest is gradually getting better, at age 8, but the rest have a long way to go. Thank you for the encouragement!

  2. Cathy

    I love this. I remember one Summer Mass where the singing was abysmal, the readers illiterate, Father’s accent was indecipherable and the man next to me smelled so bad I assumed it had to be Jesus in disquise. It was one of the holiest experiences of my life.

  3. Jamie

    Bless you! I spent some time pondering this on Christmas eve. Father managed to make it almost as long as the Easter vigil (I may be exaggerating). As we neared the hour mark and had yet to reach communion the children let us know time was up. There wasn’t a corner of that church without a crying, whining, squirming, babbling, child…including my 3yo who had reached her limit! As a Christmas miracle my 5&8yo kept their act together knowing gifts followed mass, lol! Many years ago we had a priest who actually enjoyed hearing the children and knowing they were present….boy did I love him!

    • Isn’t it fascinating how all the children lose it on cue at the one-hour mark? The same thing happens at every Parish I’ve ever visited. I remember one day when there were many (many) long announcements and one of my kids stood up on the pew and said (very clearly) “Ok, that’s enough!”

  4. Andrea

    I certainly can relate. I am due any day now with my 6th. When we first moved to where we live we were the only people with children at the 9 am Mass (11:30 family mass just was too late, since our children woke us up at 6:30 every morning). I like to tell parents there is a lot in perseverance, and perseverance is a virtue. I also believe Jesus wants our children at mass. So I say to myself in my tough moments, one of the few thing Jesus ever said regarding children. “Let the children come to me”
    Thanks for this honest post we all need to know we’re not alone in this beautiful challenge of raising children born with human nature not yet formed.

  5. Good job Véronique!!

    I don’t often take time to read through such messages, but your moved me enough to do so. Once I read it I wanted to applaud you!! I believe that God is honoring you for your efforts in raising up a child as he should go…. so that when he is old, he shall not depart! Being part of a church community should be pleasant and supportive. I am so sorry for the judgement and rejection you have already lived. If we as believers don’t bring our children to church, WE will be the last Christian Generation. Thank you for fearlessly continuing to honor our Lord Jesus Christ in the church of your choice! I would love to invite you to attend a church that does offer the fruits of the spirit, and children’s church! There are many out there. If anything, please know that you are not alone! My prayer for you is that you are blessed beyond measure! Julie Ottawa

    • Dear Julie, thank you so much for taking the time to read and to write in reply. Your encouragement means so much to me! Thankfully, I have been to enough different churches to know that some communities are more welcoming than others. We’ve seen the range! And I’m happy to say that the welcoming Christian communities far outnumber the not-so-welcoming ones. Of course, the negative always stands out more but there is more good than bad on the whole. Because of our teenagers’ work schedule, we often end up in parishes that are either closer or more convenient than our home Parish. Our home Parish in Lanark is wonderful and they love the children. When we first came, one of the older ladies told me: “It’s wonderful that families are coming now, we’re starting to have Baptisms again. For a while all we ever saw were funerals.” The older folks who have that wisdom can see their communities dying in real time. Those who can’t see it will just wake-up one day as the last Christian generation, as you say so well.

      May God richly bless you

  6. tanya

    No Catholic should be complaining about spirited children at mass. They should be grateful you are bringing your children.

    • You would think… I don’t want to paint entire communities with the same brush: every community hs a bunch of welcoming people but it only take one nasty comment by someone in a bad mood to leave a lasting impression.

  7. Andrea

    Why don’t Catholic churches do something specifically for children? the Orthodox do. Protestants certainly do, in fact they can go overboard, here, actually. But my concern for the Catholic children of the world is that they dislike church and leave when they are able. Not asked to be snarky, asked because I would genuinely like to know…

    • I started writing a reply and it turned into a blog post… Stay tuned! (Seriously though, I didn’t realize I had so much to say on that topic but being a mom of 9 with one grown kid out of the Church gave me a bit of an opinion…)

      • Andrea

        Cool. I can think of reasons myself. It’s important to be there for the Eucharist, for example. However, kids could be brought back in for this. (I believe this is what the Orthodox do, with the added benefit that the smallest of kids are allowed to participate.) My single most pressing concern is that children fall in love with Church and Jesus, and so the question is around how that happens. Of course, children can become disenchanted with whatever they were raised with, and they do… Plus, I do think what you do and say at home matters a lot more than how precisely you spend two hours on a Sunday morning. Needless to say, I’ll stay tuned for your post. 🙂

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