Thursday, February 12, 2009

Your Response

Suppose for a moment that you have a child preparing for First Communion and you receive the letter below from your Pastor or DRE. What is your response? Put your response in the comment box if you wish. Thanks!

Dear 2nd Grade Parent,

Praised be Jesus Christ! Please know of the prayers of the priests and catechetical staff of our parish for you and your family as you prepare for the reception of your child's First Holy Communion. What a beautiful moment in the faith life or your family. Our Lord will come to reside in yet another member of your family through reception of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

As we draw closer to the date of First Holy Communion we are asking that your family take a few extra steps to help prepare your children for this most wonderful of moments in one's childhood.

- Please attend Sunday Mass as a family. All of the children preparing to receive their First Holy Communion are asked to check in with the Pastor, who will be in the Parish Hall before and after Sunday Masses. As a reminder, the Saturday Night Vigil Mass DOES COUNT AS SUNDAY MASS. Those families who , due to extenuating circumstances, might attend Mass at one of our neighboring parishes are asked to just send in a not with their child. This note may be turned in to their teacher at either the Parish School or their division of PSR, and will then be passed onto the Pastor.

- The children should make use of the Sacrament of Reconciliation AT LEAST ONCE more before making their First Holy Communion. If Sunday Mass is missed, the child should be instructed that, except for illness, missing Sunday Mass is a mortal sin and should be confessed. Your family is invited to participate in the Lenten Family Penance Service.

- Please review, with your child, the prayers they are to have memorized so as to help build an environment of prayer in the home. The priests and teachers can only reinforce what is already taught in the home since you the parents are the primary educators or your children. The children preparing to receive Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament are expected to know The Sign of the Cross, The Our Father, The Hail Mary, The Glory Be, The Guardian Angel Prayer, and the Act of Contrition.

- Until your child has received their First Holy Communion, please refrain from having your children attend Children's Liturgy of the Word, as this will allow them to witness the unfolding of the Liturgy of the Word in the Church at Sunday Mass and to participate in the Creed which is recited after the Homily.

We wish to remain in service to you as you prepare your child for this wonderful sacrament.

In the Peace of Christ, The Pastor

9 comments:

Ana Maria said...

Thank the Lord!

munchesmom said...

I'm coming out of lurking to comment here. I can't remember where I first heard about your blog, but I've enjoyed following your family for a while & your children are just adorable!

For the most part, I think this is a wonderful letter. As parents who do our best to give our children a solid education in our faith though, I can see how some parents might be a bit upset.

But, I can tell this is aimed at those who do not take the time & effort. I take our oldest to our parish's PSR every Monday night. He will be making his First Communion this spring, so the parents have started meeting lately to plan the altar banner & Parents' Prayer. Several of the parents don't seem to have any idea about our faith & how important this wonderful sacrament is.

Also, I'm constantly amazed at the number of parents & children I have never seen before & those I rarely see at Mass (I've been a member of this parish since I was born).

The Dutchman said...

I guess it's just kind of sad that such normal stuff has to be spelled out in a letter to parents. Our younger kids saw their oldest daughter receive her first communion, and so they knew the drill already. Of course, we go to a hyper-traditional parish where they still kneel at the communion rail and highly discourage communion in the hand, so our kids think that reverence for the Real Presance, frequent confession, and mass every Sunday without fail are just the normal way of doing things.

James M. Hahn said...

Munchesmom, I too am amazed at some of the parents. The same folks who say they don't go to Mass would never dream of allowing their child to miss a practice, recital, etc. God is just another god in their book. They can say that's not true but I hear what is said by living more clearly than what is said by words. Thanks for lurking...and posting! God bless you!

James M. Hahn said...

Dutchman,
It's like St. Paul when he says the law no long applies to him. It's not that he is above the law but that the law is silly in his eyes. He doesn't need a law to tell him to love God, neighbor etc. He wouldn't dream of any other way. I don't need to be told to go to Mass, we wouldn't dream of missing. So, the obligation is no longer an obligation. It's an act of love! Like you say, this is just a part of being Catholic and it is a shame that letter like this has to be sent. It's even more of a shame when parents are upset by the letter - defending their sinful actions and example. Thanks for commenting. God Bless you and your family!

James M. Hahn said...

Dutchman,
It's like St. Paul when he says the law no long applies to him. It's not that he is above the law but that the law is silly in his eyes. He doesn't need a law to tell him to love God, neighbor etc. He wouldn't dream of any other way. I don't need to be told to go to Mass, we wouldn't dream of missing. So, the obligation is no longer an obligation. It's an act of love! Like you say, this is just a part of being Catholic and it is a shame that letter like this has to be sent. It's even more of a shame when parents are upset by the letter - defending their sinful actions and example. Thanks for commenting. God Bless you and your family!

scmom (Barbara) said...

(Shaking my head while reading.)

Jim,
I imagine that the DRE had the best intentions with this letter. I would not fault him/her at all. I am sad, however, that our Church has come to this point.

You and your family (and mine and others like ours) are clearly the exception in our Church. Like little children, who don't know otherwise, many families haven't a clue. The Church lost its Catechism (chose not to teach it) and now she has to remind its members that it's a sin to not go to Church, something that they should understand with every fiber of their being (like you said -- they should want to be there, not out of obligation ).

When our second son was preparing for Confirmation, at the beginning of seventh grade, we took all of our preparation materials to our Pastor and showed him what we were doing at home. We were fully prepared for him to pat us on the back and say "wonderful." We were teaching him the Catechism and bible history and all the traditions of the Church. Instead he told us our son would have to attend CCD -- "teen style" in order to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. We tried, honest we did. It was beyond ridiculous. We left that parish with heavy hearts.

But, sadly, that is where our Church has gone-- away from the true Church, seeking "happiness." We have sought to make the people content rather than disciples of Jesus Christ.

James M. Hahn said...

Barbara,
You hit the nail on the head. This is the fruit of a lack of catechesis for the past 40 years. In reality it should be laughable, like sending a note home to married couples telling them to love each other and that it is a mortal sin for them to cut one another up with a chainsaw.
Thanks for posting!

Patience said...

I'm lucky to go to a church run by the Oratory Fathers and my dd has a very structured, fact filled Confirmation class. The pastor is just wonderful about this and has worked out a program that combines cathechisis with moral character building. Having had such a spotty religious ed myself; I'm enjoying the classes probably more than dd! LoL
PS, Thanks for telling all of us about Kurt LeBlanc; I pray for him daily and really enjoy his blogging!