Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Children at Mass

At a time when my husband and I were invited to be Godparents, I started to think a lot about children's religious education as a whole. It is a lot of responsibility and not an easy topic, I must agree. At times like that I wish I were living closer to my group of Communion and Liberation to have some like-minded people to discuss with. Then I found an interesting post about Children at mass and I am up for that discussion.

I don't have any kids yet so I am commenting as an "outsider", ok? And I am fully aware that when mine will be born I will find them brilliant and amazing as any other parent does.  I only hope not to be so blind as to excuse them of every bad behavior and blaming the world for not seeing them as special beings the same way I do.

I bet noisy kids (at church, regardless of religion) can be frustrating to their parents but it is a lot more irritating to the rest of the assembly, as the parents are not the only ones affected by all the distraction. And I bet it can be extremely difficult for children up to 8 years old to feel minimally engaged at mass anyway - it is difficult for many adults too, some are always chatting during mass and have their cell phones ringing during blessings . And before you start to throw stones at me for calling your kids irritating (and let's face it, for the rest of the world, that is exactly what they are), I don't think parents are to blame alone or, even less, their kids. I think every parish is responsible to find ways to keep children engaged at mass and to learn about it. There will always be kids of all ages at every mass, anywhere around the globe, so I am not talking about exceptions here: this is a certainty.

I attended Catholic schools from the age of 4 until 17, and masses at school were at least once a week, during normal hours. Kindergarten masses were every Monday at the beginning of the day, and I always looked forward to those as we had to each take a flower to offer to Our Lady at the altar. We felt very special in participating this way and it was a solemn start that set us up in the mood for the ceremony. Those masses were short and the priest addressed to us, children, speaking in a language accessible to us. Scored! Silence and everybody paying attention to the altar at ages 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 while not even one parent on site. Only children and their teachers.

My parish was always a very engaging one, so every Sunday at 5pm there were Children's Masses, prepared with children in mind. We would be encouraged to sit all together at the front rows, away from our parents, and face to face with the altar. It can be intimidating to look at the priest if you are behaving badly. The Homily was done in a way to grab children's attention, there were stories with a moral end relating to the readings of the day. Absolute silence, while illustrations were projected at the wall helping the comprehension.  Children were called to the altar to give hands to the Priest to say the Our Father together. We all enjoyed that huge circle at the altar. The next day, at school, children would be talking about the story told on Sunday, and on Friday they would all look forward to go to mass again on Sunday to hear a new story and to meet their school friends and proudly show their families to them. Children learned how to appreciate mass, behave accordingly and understand what is that all about. Explaining to a child what mass is about in the same way you would explain to an adult not only won't make any sense in her mind, as it will sound just as a boring obligation - and this is certainly not what we intend to.

A lot later in life I ended up working with an Indian nun. Christianism is many times prosecuted in India, and Catholicism is even a much smaller group, so people have to really bond together to keep their faith strong and community is everything in such cases. Sr. Arun then told me that at every mass, in any parish, they have a nun responsible for the children. They are not locked away at an aquarium in the back of the church, but they all go and sit together at the front rows, with the nun, who then will guide them through mass. Kind of the same way it was in my parish during my childhood. And I do think this is an amazing solution.

In the end, complaining about the noise and disturbance won't help us in any way. Offering solutions, discussing about them and implementing, will. So what can we do in our own parishes today?


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

London Riots - Crying for London

We are now crying for beautiful London.  The best city in the world is being destroyed by a bunch of idiots.  I sincerely hope the Met will be able to control London riots sooner rather than later.  I could not find any article in any newspaper with any justification or explanation about what is going on now.  Maybe because there isn't any really.

Those yobs have everything paid by the tax payer: the best schools, housing, food, taxes, clothes in many cases, weekly earnings higher than national minimum wages. They don't work by choice, they don't want to. Living on benefits is a lot more comfortable than work to earn a living. They don't have a cause to fight for. They are attacking innocents just for fun. Destroying business, stealing all they can, terrorizing the population just for the sake of it. They are the same kids that destroy all common areas in council estates, that leave feces on public lifts and burglar flats while its dwellers are at work.

British government is like a protective mother that gives so much to her kids that ended up spoiling them. They are not "rioting" because they have too little, but because there is too much offered to them, leaving them  inept and unable to cope with real working life.

Clapham Junction Station: my daily route to work

Look at how the yobs are all smiling and having fun!

Terrorizing innocents on the street

Do the police care so much about their "human rights" to fight?

Rioters are stripping down passers to steal their belongings and clothes

This is what their fight is about: get new clothes and trainers without having to pay for it


If you live in the UK and find it all a total disgrace, consider signing the petition to suspend benefit payments to all arrested due to the riots. Click on the link bellow to access the petition:

Convicted London rioters should loose all benefits


Monday, July 18, 2011

Real Hope and Change for the New Year

Real Hope and Change for the New Year (the T-shirt)

This is the t-shirt Sister Lisa Marie Doty received from her sister, for Christmas last year. Maybe we all need one of those. He surely gets my vote!  Anytime, anywhere.


Monday, April 25, 2011

My Review

Stylish and Practical

By Vicky Londres from Albuquerque, NM on 4/25/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Attractive Design, Easy To Clean, Durable, Dishwasher Safe, Unique

Cons: Too Heavy, Stains

Best Uses: Daily Use, Informal Meals

Describe Yourself: Stylish

It took me a long time to find bowls that I consider beautiful and practical - I wanted something white with clean lines, no embossed details - so I was very happy with my purchase. It is used daily for cereal, soup, fruit, desserts. I was expecting a lighter bowl but my husband prefers heavy items in the kitchen so, it's OK.

My husband complains it is not "round" at the bottom and according to him it makes a little difficult to scoop beans and cereal until the end. It doesn't bother me at all, it just shows me that it may not suit everybody's taste.



Blog Widget by LinkWithin