I WOULD agree with Mr Mullins of Albany Creek (CL 18/3/01), there are many confused parents in our parish communities wondering where they fit into the Catholic world.
May I say God hasn’t gone anywhere, we have.
Sending our children to the Catholic school doesn’t turn them into little Catholics. You can’t “catch” the faith – faith needs to be lived. The Second Vatican Council recognised that “parents are the first teachers of their child in the ways of the faith, not just for the first few years but throughout childhood”.
The parish based sacramental programs are so much about preparing our children to receive the sacraments, as they are a personal invitation from Christ to return to the practice of our faith as adults.
We are handing on our gift of faith to our children.
It is important that these programs of preparation for the sacraments are positive and welcoming, giving the taste of what it’s like to belong to God’s family, ie a faith community.
We have four children. The practice of the faith is not a choice in our household. Going to Mass and attending reconciliation we do as a family. As parents we make no excuses or apologies for it not being the “cool thing to do”.
It’s like healthy eating and immunisation, it is for their own good.
We encourage our children to be part of the parish family – children’s liturgy, altar serving, overheads and Antioch for the teens.
I too miss the experience of the Third Rite of Reconciliation.
It was wonderful to come together as a faith community and appropriate when you think seven of the commandments deal with our relationship with neighbour.
In our parish, the Second Rite is offered at Easter and Christmas and the First Rite offered every Saturday.
The parish priest makes himself available for the primary school children to experience reconciliation by way of Second Rite at least once a term.
He frequently says to children and parents alike, “the faith is not a head trip but a heart trip”. So what are we doing to nurture our love relationship with God?
We pray our children will continue with the practice of their faith, but at least they will have something to return to when life gets tough.
MARIA LAWSON Aspley, Qld