Resources for Parents
Though none of us is perfect, we do have the responsibility to try to model behaviors that we want our child to emulate. As much as kids learn from what we do, they also learn from what we do not do. When we don’t make going to Church a priority each Sunday, it speaks volumes about faith and life to the hearts of our children.
If we are truly a pro-life people, then how can we not welcome children -- the future of the Church -- at Mass? What follows are five more reasons why I believe children of all ages belong in the pews right along with us.
Comedian Tim Hawkins said, “Whoever wrote the song ‘Easy like Sunday morning’ didn’t take kids to church on a regular basis.” I completely agree. There is nothing easy about it.
Children are never too young to come to Church. They are family, after all; we’ve baptized them into our community, so they belong with us. And we realize that bringing them to Mass can be very hard work. We don’t expect children to be silent during Mass or to behave like adults.
Getting teenagers to pray, sing, and even listen during Mass can be a real struggle. With exasperation we might exclaim, “The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Christian life and they don’t even care!” How can we change this? How can we get them to appreciate Christ’s presence in the Liturgy and get them to participate?
If your son or daughter has drifted away from the Church, you're not alone. The Catholic Church is hemorrhaging young people. Half of young Americans who were raised Catholic (50% exactly) no longer identify as Catholic today. Roughly eight-in-ten (79%) who shed their faith leave before age 23.
If you come to Mass “out of shape” or unprepared, the graces you could receive are seriously diminished. So how do you get in spiritual shape for Mass? Getting in spiritual shape involves daily discipline and commitment. It’s not just something you can do for an hour on Sundays and expect to compete with the fitness champions in the front row who pay rapt attention to every word and gesture.