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Catholic FHC question


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#1 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:30 PM

Child is Baptised, family never attends Mass. Child goes to Catholic school chosen by the parents so he can go to Mass (they "work too many hours" to go to Sunday Mass and think weekly school Mass is plenty). Religious ed director says the child can not receive FHC with his class which really upsets the parents. Is this correct??

Edited by Moxie, 17 May 2017 - 03:31 PM.


#2 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:39 PM

Yes because weekday Mass is not a substitute for weekend Mass. Sunday (or Saturday vigil) is an obligation. If you miss weekend Mass it's considered a mortal sin unless there's a reason like illness. Actually even travel is considered an excuse but I try not to be too loose with that. If I know I'm traveling I look up Masses on masstimes.org.


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#3 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:40 PM

If they have a problem with this, they should talk to their priest or someone to get a better understanding. Sounds like they are in the dark.



#4 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:41 PM

Yes because weekday Mass is not a substitute for weekend Mass. Sunday (or Saturday vigil) is an obligation. If you miss weekend Mass it's considered a mortal sin unless there's a reason like illness. Actually even travel is considered an excuse but I try not to be too loose with that. If I know I'm traveling I look up Masses on masstimes.org.


Right. But is that an ok reason to not let a child make his FHC? I know lots and lots of twice-a-year Catholics and their kids make FHC.

#5 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:44 PM

Right. But is that an ok reason to not let a child make his FHC? I know lots and lots of twice-a-year Catholics and their kids make FHC.

 

These seem like two separate questions. First of all, if a child is preparing for FHC then the parents would be taking him to Sunday school each weekend. If they are there for class, they should be there for Mass. I literally just went through this. Ds made FHC a couple weeks ago. Dh is not Catholic so he would usually drop us off at the church but I would stay with ds for Mass. Before that we did homeschool Sunday school using an online program. I still brought him to Mass with most of the time.
 



#6 AnnE-girl

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:46 PM

I think it depends on the church. Some are very strict about Mass attendance, but I'm not sure if the bishop would really allow them to exclude the child if the parents raised a fuss.

#7 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:46 PM

These seem like two separate questions. First of all, if a child is preparing for FHC then the parents would be taking him to Sunday school each weekend. If they are there for class, they should be there for Mass. I literally just went through this. Ds made FHC a couple weeks ago. Dh is not Catholic so he would usually drop us off at the church but I would stay with ds for Mass. Before that we did homeschool Sunday school using an online program. I still brought him to Mass with most of the time.


FHC prep is part of the 2nd grade Religion class. There are two events leading up to FHC that are on the weekend and both are on a Saturday.

#8 chiguirre

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:48 PM

Right. But is that an ok reason to not let a child make his FHC? I know lots and lots of twice-a-year Catholics and their kids make FHC.

 

Well, yeah, but that's because those parents go on Sundays for a couple of months while the Religious Ed director is taking attendance. I'm not even Catholic and I had to do the attendance chart and the homework and the various parent/child evenings so that Geezle and Trinqueta could do their FHC because dh really, really wanted them to (but didn't want to go to church or come home early to spend a couple hours doing the parent/child training). I've got no sympathy for these parents. You want the party and the pretty pictures, you have to check the boxes.


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#9 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:49 PM

There are other layers here, too. Part of First Communion prep is First Reconciliation (aka penance or confession). It's going to be hard to explain mortal sin/venial sin when you repeatedly allow the child to miss Mass. If FHC is so important to the family then going to Mass should be a priority.


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#10 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:53 PM

Well, yeah, but that's because those parents go on Sundays for a couple of months while the Religious Ed director is taking attendance. I'm not even Catholic and I had to do the attendance chart and the homework and the various parent/child evenings so that Geezle and Trinqueta could do their FHC because dh really, really wanted them to (but didn't want to go to church or come home early to spend a couple hours doing the parent/child training). I've got no sympathy for these parents. You want the party and the pretty pictures, you have to check the boxes.


That really is not their reason. They do work crazy hours, often weekends, and they send him to Catholic school so he has a chance to go to Mass. They are not rich people so this school is a sacrifice for them. They are not Catholic but want to do RCIA but can't commit to the crazy number of weeknight classes.

#11 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:53 PM

I've had 3 kids go through FHC at this church and there is no one taking attendance.
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#12 chiguirre

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 03:58 PM

That really is not their reason. They do work crazy hours, often weekends, and they send him to Catholic school so he has a chance to go to Mass. They are not rich people so this school is a sacrifice for them. They are not Catholic but want to do RCIA but can't commit to the crazy number of weeknight classes.

 

If I were in their shoes, I'd pitch a fit and be ready to withdraw the kid if they don't let him make FHC with his class.


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#13 chiguirre

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:02 PM

I've had 3 kids go through FHC at this church and there is no one taking attendance.

 

We had to fill out sticker charts with the kids and turn them in with the workbooks. They checked the workbooks (as in, leafed through them to make sure the kid had done all the worksheets while you waited with other people in line behind you) and the charts. I guess you could lie but since your kid was supposed to put the sticker on, it would be really lame parenting to do that. I actually had to explain why Geezle's book looked like a kindergartener had done it to the woman (with an audience of all the other parents in line) in order her to get her to sign off. Not my happiest memory.



#14 BarbecueMom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:02 PM

Former childhood Catholic with non-Catholic parents here... does he have Catholic godparents or extended family? As long as I had some adult in my life willing to take on the responsibility of a Catholic upbringing, they didn't have a problem with it. My aunt and uncle fulfilled that role.
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#15 hjffkj

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:08 PM

I don't think it is right.  The religious Ed teacher should not be withholding the Eucharist because the parents aren't helping him fulfill his Sunday obligation.  At such a young age he can not be held responsible for not fulfilling it so he is still in good standing with the Church and should be able to receive his first communion.  This sounds like a bullying tactic to force the parents to take him to Mass.  While I think he should be taken to Mass, I think they are wrong to punish him for his parents' mistakes.  If I were his family I would take this issue up with the pastor of the parish.

 

How do they even know he doesn't go to Mass on Sunday?


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#16 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:09 PM

Catholic school is not the same as FHC prep. Unless they are teaching FHC during class?? My child does not go to Catholic school. His Sunday school/CCD was done on weekends. Going to Mass is not a substitute for a First Communion class, either.

 

I'm honestly surprised they didn't go through RCIA before or during this year so that they would all receive Communion around the same time.



#17 scholastica

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:11 PM

That really is not their reason. They do work crazy hours, often weekends, and they send him to Catholic school so he has a chance to go to Mass. They are not rich people so this school is a sacrifice for them. They are not Catholic but want to do RCIA but can't commit to the crazy number of weeknight classes.

 

There are other ways to do RCIA than "the crazy number of weeknight classes", as you call it. There are parishes with online programs or personal instruction. Also, if they really want to be Catholic, why, if not to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist, which is the "Source and summit of the Christian life" according to Vatican II. It seems odd and like they don't really understand the faith.

 

They may be able to meet with the priest and the Religious Ed director and work something out for FHC. Most of them are pretty understanding. But, if they are not able to take the child to Mass on Sundays, which is one of the precepts of the church, I can see the parish's position. Essentially, the parents are putting a child above the age of reason in a bad position. Once he's received his FHC, he should be receiving every Sunday. 

 

This is a sad situation for everyone. I hope they are courageous enough to meet with the priest to work it out. 


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#18 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:12 PM

If I were in their shoes, I'd pitch a fit and be ready to withdraw the kid if they don't let him make FHC with his class.

 

They haven't even gone through RCIA. I don't think they really know what they are fighting for...
 


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#19 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:16 PM

There are other ways to do RCIA than "the crazy number of weeknight classes", as you call it. There are parishes with online programs or personal instruction. Also, if they really want to be Catholic, why, if not to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist, which is the "Source and summit of the Christian life" according to Vatican II. It seems odd and like they don't really understand the faith.

 

They may be able to meet with the priest and the Religious Ed director and work something out for FHC. Most of them are pretty understanding. But, if they are not able to take the child to Mass on Sundays, which is one of the precepts of the church, I can see the parish's position. Essentially, the parents are putting a child above the age of reason in a bad position. Once he's received his FHC, he should be receiving every Sunday. 

 

This is a sad situation for everyone. I hope they are courageous enough to meet with the priest to work it out. 

 

Exactly. To have him receive with the class, then maybe not even go to Catholic school in the future, the child will become a lapsed Catholic before he was even a practicing one. It's not his fault, but I think they should do things correctly. Make time for the classes or do the study at home (mycatholicfaithdelivered.com) and other resources. But if you're going to do it at home, the parents should know what they are teaching and it sounds like they don't. So yes, a godparent or someone else should step in.


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#20 AnnE-girl

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:17 PM

We prepared for First Communion as part of our religion class in my Catholic grade school in the 80s. It's more of a family activitiy to work through the book at home separate from religious education classes at our current parish. (We don't have a parish school.) Nothing was checked to be sure we were doing it though.

#21 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:17 PM

They haven't even gone through RCIA. I don't think they really know what they are fighting for...


Yes! They are very young in their spiritual journey. They are doing everything they know how to do. I imagine they have no clue what a mortal sin is. To them, weekly school Mass is the best they can do.

What are the chances that this kid will later seek out the sacraments?? Near zero, I'd guess. And missing Sunday Mass is not his fault.
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#22 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:19 PM

Catholic school is not the same as FHC prep. Unless they are teaching FHC during class?? My child does not go to Catholic school. His Sunday school/CCD was done on weekends. Going to Mass is not a substitute for a First Communion class, either.

I'm honestly surprised they didn't go through RCIA before or during this year so that they would all receive Communion around the same time.

All sacramental prep is done during school religion class.

The parents wanted to do RCIA but they could not make the classes and were given no other options.

Edited by Moxie, 17 May 2017 - 04:19 PM.

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#23 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:19 PM

FHC prep is part of the 2nd grade Religion class. There are two events leading up to FHC that are on the weekend and both are on a Saturday.

 

Sorry, I didn't realize you meant the class he goes to at school. I was thinking you were just pointing out that the second graders prep for FHC. The actually FHC service might be on a Sunday. Will they even attend?? Ours was on a Saturday but as a kid I believe mine was on a Sunday.



#24 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:24 PM

Sorry, I didn't realize you meant the class he goes to at school. I was thinking you were just pointing out that the second graders prep for FHC. The actually FHC service might be on a Sunday. Will they even attend?? Ours was on a Saturday but as a kid I believe mine was on a Sunday.


Sorry, I'm confused by your question. Of course they would attend. Why wouldn't they?

#25 ktgrok

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:29 PM

Technically attending Mass regularly is one of the requirements for FHC. That said, I'd think talking to the priest to discuss the realities is a good idea. Anon, going to Mass during the week isn't "enough". Most cities have MANY weekend Masses...in my parish there is a 5pm Saturday, 8am Sunday, 10am Sunday, noon Sunday and 5:30pm Sunday. They really can't get to any Mass on the weekends, EVER? If they were missing some and attending some, fine, they'd get a pass for working. But it sounds like they are saying they aren't even trying to get to Mass on the weekends...even if they aren't working they are tired or whatever? Not feeling like it isn't enough of an excuse. 

 

That said, all of this should have been communicated back at the beginning of the year if not last year. Now...it may be time for the Priest to show some mercy and grace. (and the word mercy is one I encourage them to use, to get things on the right track). They need to make an appointment with the pries to discuss this and how to handle things going forward, and should be prepared to commit to taking the child to Mass when they can. 


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#26 Sugarfoot

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:35 PM

I don't think it is right.  The religious Ed teacher should not be withholding the Eucharist because the parents aren't helping him fulfill his Sunday obligation.  At such a young age he can not be held responsible for not fulfilling it so he is still in good standing with the Church and should be able to receive his first communion.  This sounds like a bullying tactic to force the parents to take him to Mass.  While I think he should be taken to Mass, I think they are wrong to punish him for his parents' mistakes.  If I were his family I would take this issue up with the pastor of the parish.

 

How do they even know he doesn't go to Mass on Sunday?

 

I've taught First Holy Communion prep twice in our parish. This is how our church sees it. As a community, we want to support the children as much as possible. 

 

The Catholic school connected to our parish teaches all religious education content during regular school hours. So for those children, First Communion prep is done during school time. Both groups have an opportunities to attend reconciliation during the times they are normally attending religion class. So nothing "extra" is required of the parents.


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#27 HTRMom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:52 PM

Here's the question: Does the child have a serious reason for not attending Mass? If he wants to go and nobody will take him, then it's not his sin and he ought to be admitted to communion. You cannot hold the sin of the parents against the child. If he has no desire to attend Mass regularly either, then he really is not in the correct mindset for communion. To be prepared properly for communion, at least the child ought to know that missing Sunday Mass without a grave reason is a mortal sin.

Canon 912: Any baptized person not prohibited by law can and must be admitted to holy communion.

914: It is for the pastor to exercise vigilance so that children whom he judges are not sufficiently disposed do not approach holy communion.


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#28 scholastica

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 04:53 PM

All sacramental prep is done during school religion class.

The parents wanted to do RCIA but they could not make the classes and were given no other options.


That is so frustrating to me! This is precisely the kind of "tying up heavy burdens and not lifting a finger to help" that the gospel talks about and Pope Francis is working so hard to change. We should give people many options of how/when to learn about the faith and enter the church, not make it harder! People need access to the sacraments, not hoops to jump through.
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#29 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:49 PM

Technically attending Mass regularly is one of the requirements for FHC. That said, I'd think talking to the priest to discuss the realities is a good idea. Anon, going to Mass during the week isn't "enough". Most cities have MANY weekend Masses...in my parish there is a 5pm Saturday, 8am Sunday, 10am Sunday, noon Sunday and 5:30pm Sunday. They really can't get to any Mass on the weekends, EVER? If they were missing some and attending some, fine, they'd get a pass for working. But it sounds like they are saying they aren't even trying to get to Mass on the weekends...even if they aren't working they are tired or whatever? Not feeling like it isn't enough of an excuse.

That said, all of this should have been communicated back at the beginning of the year if not last year. Now...it may be time for the Priest to show some mercy and grace. (and the word mercy is one I encourage them to use, to get things on the right track). They need to make an appointment with the pries to discuss this and how to handle things going forward, and should be prepared to commit to taking the child to Mass when they can.

The child will be in second grade next year.

I just think it is nuts to punish a young family with a checkered past who are doing the best they know how. They don't understand it yet. Telling them that they MUST go to Mass every Sunday is like me telling you you MUST wash your car at midnight every Thursday. Huh? Why?
Could they try harder to get to Mass? Sure.
I talked to one of our more well-to-do families after Easter last year. They had a great Easter! They went to the local mega church for "Mass" (she called it that) because they had a bounce castle for the kids. Not kidding!! No one batted an eye at her daughter making FHC.

Edited by Moxie, 17 May 2017 - 05:52 PM.

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#30 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 05:51 PM

I understand the rules. But, irl, what is happening is that this family is getting really cold on religion. They were excited to have their infant Baptized and now they aren't.
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#31 imagine.more

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:00 PM

Hm, well if he's never going to sunday Mass that puts him in a tricky situation of receiving communion but always being in a state of serious sin if this pattern continues to the point where he could get there himself. Being in a state of mortal sin would preclude being able to take communion anyway.

I would say the religious ed instructor should not make that call and instead have the priest talk with the parents. Figure out how truly not able to get to Sunday Mass they are, their intent to do RCIA, etc. Then HE can really make the call on whether it's reasonable for the boy to make FHC.

I made FHC as a child of parents who did not attend Mass and honestly I think it was irresponsible on the part of the church to allow that with me having zero catechism from home. I didn't know confession beyond the first was required and not just recommended until adulthood! I still struggle with making confession a habit as a result. My parents did not give the eucharist proper respect in letting me take it while telling me "oh, it's just bread, don't worry" because THEY were so poorly catechized themselves
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#32 PrairieSong

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:17 PM

That really is not their reason. They do work crazy hours, often weekends, and they send him to Catholic school so he has a chance to go to Mass. They are not rich people so this school is a sacrifice for them. They are not Catholic but want to do RCIA but can't commit to the crazy number of weeknight classes.

I read most of the thread. If I'm understanding you, the parents are not even Catholic yet? How is it that the second grader is Catholic but the parents aren't? Am I missing something?

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#33 Crimson Wife

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 06:25 PM

If the Church is willing to let my multiply disabled child make her FHC (we're holding off on it because I don't think she has yet attained the "age of reason") it seems mean-spirited to exclude a child who attends Catholic school simply because the parents are not doing what they are supposed to.


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#34 teachermom2834

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 07:48 PM

Oh that is really a tough situation the school is in (or the DRE). I am sure they are trying to do what is right. I used to fall more along the strict line and really think it was wrong to put a kid in that situation (Catholic but unable to actually live up to what that entails). Technically you are putting the kid in a practically perpetual state of sin.

But I have come to see these things more from a place of mercy. I would let the kid go forward and trust in God to fill in the details. I wouldn't want to be the one standing in between the child and the sacrament.

I wouldn't beat the DRE up for the decision though. I get where he/she is coming from. It is a sticky situation.
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#35 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:03 PM

Sorry, I'm confused by your question. Of course they would attend. Why wouldn't they?

 

Because they can't seem to ever make it to the church on Sundays. Maybe they think that First Communion will also take place during school Mass or on a Saturday. And maybe their reasoning is just that they don't want their son excluded from what everyone else in class is doing, rather than the importance of the Sacrament. From what little I know it's hard for me to figure out.

 

Are you Catholic?

 

Was the child baptized in the Catholic church or elsewhere? Because if they were baptized in the Catholic church then that confuses me that they haven't made the time to go through RCIA yet but took the time to set up a baptism there. How long has the child been baptized? If they were baptized in the Catholic church they should have Catholic godparents, hopefully someone to help guide the child spiritually. If they were baptized in a non Catholic church then the role of godparents is not the same. In my experience godparents in other faiths are more like who the kid will live with if something happens to the parents. YMMV

 

Anyway, I don't think it matters if people can reference exceptions for comparison. "My friend's kid made FHC and didn't have to do that." Maybe that church dropped the ball by preparing a child without the support system at home.



#36 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:18 PM

I hope they find the right person to talk to about RCIA accommodations. I have talked to locals about situations similar to this and yes we have had to come up with alternatives. Like, my ds was going to prepare for FHC alone with me, but a church we often attend encouraged me to bring him to their classes. This was a pain as it's 40 min. from my house and the classes meet between the morning Masses (we usually went to the evening service when we went there). Because our registered parish doesn't have a Sunday school program (no kids) and is linked to another parish that does FHC in 3rd grade, ds was one of the oldest children in the group. Most were second graders, he was in third when we joined their program. Now other families I know said they had a similar problem years ago. Their children were in band and were told if they missed any Confirmation classes they would not make confirmation. But because they met on weekends and the kids sometimes had concerts to perform at, it was not going to work. They spoke to a priest and he worked with them to do Confirmation prep separately.

 

If the family wants to get their ducks in a row it might be better for them to go through RCIA and have him do FHC in third. Honestly it's weird to me that they do the prep in school. Weird because not everyone that goes to Catholic school is Catholic. Now at the beginning of the thread I thought the child was finishing second and they were about to receive Holy Communion right away, but it sounds like he'll be entering second? In that case there's still time to figure this out. What if the parents go through RCIA and decide they don't want to become Catholic? Then what? Do they still want their child to? I just feel like the cart is before the horse here.


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#37 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:42 PM

 

 

If the family wants to get their ducks in a row it might be better for them to go through RCIA and have him do FHC in third. Honestly it's weird to me that they do the prep in school. Weird because not everyone that goes to Catholic school is Catholic. Now at the beginning of the thread I thought the child was finishing second and they were about to receive Holy Communion right away, but it sounds like he'll be entering second? In that case there's still time to figure this out. What if the parents go through RCIA and decide they don't want to become Catholic? Then what? Do they still want their child to? I just feel like the cart is before the horse here.

Why is it weird?  Everywhere I have been Catholic school students did their preparation during their school religion class and those that didn't go to the Catholic school did it during the Religious education classes.  Just like all the rest of faith formation of youth.  The only exception is that there are one or two retreats outside of school that everyone attends together. 

 

If I paid all that money to send my kids to a Catholic school and then had to have them go to sacrament preparation in addition to religion classes at the school, I'd be pretty upset. 


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#38 Daria

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:47 PM

Why is it weird?  Everywhere I have been Catholic school students did their preparation during their school religion class and those that didn't go to the Catholic school did it during the Religious education classes.  Just like all the rest of faith formation of youth.  The only exception is that there are one or two retreats outside of school that everyone attends together. 

 

If I paid all that money to send my kids to a Catholic school and then had to have them go to sacrament preparation in addition to religion classes at the school, I'd be pretty upset. 

 

Our local Catholic schools do FR/FHC prep but not confirmation prep.  They feel that an important part of confirmation is committing to a parish, and so they want it done by the parish.



#39 HTRMom

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 08:53 PM

The child will be in second grade next year.

I just think it is nuts to punish a young family with a checkered past who are doing the best they know how. They don't understand it yet. Telling them that they MUST go to Mass every Sunday is like me telling you you MUST wash your car at midnight every Thursday. Huh? Why?
Could they try harder to get to Mass? Sure.
I talked to one of our more well-to-do families after Easter last year. They had a great Easter! They went to the local mega church for "Mass" (she called it that) because they had a bounce castle for the kids. Not kidding!! No one batted an eye at her daughter making FHC.


It's insulting to compare the obligation of Sunday Mass to a car wash. Many Catholics know shockingly little. I'm sorry they've chosen the most good-intentioned family to be hard-noses with. This isn't bringing anyone closer to the Church.
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#40 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:03 PM

Why is it weird?  Everywhere I have been Catholic school students did their preparation during their school religion class and those that didn't go to the Catholic school did it during the Religious education classes.  Just like all the rest of faith formation of youth.  The only exception is that there are one or two retreats outside of school that everyone attends together. 

 

If I paid all that money to send my kids to a Catholic school and then had to have them go to sacrament preparation in addition to religion classes at the school, I'd be pretty upset. 

 

I could go either way on this. It was just weird to me because I guess I felt like it must be incredibly awkward for the students in the room that are not Catholic and that the parish classrooms might be sparse if say, lots of the parish children that age are already doing their prep at school.

 

Then what, they have the parish classroom with 3 kids and they do all their prep separately but meet once with the Catholic school kids for rehearsal before the big day or what? Can the church justify a First Communion class if only one child in second grade at that church doesn't attend the Catholic school? Yeah, it is fine to put the prep in the classroom, but some of these thoughts come to mind. I get where you are coming from, though.

 

When I was growing up my CCD classes met on weeknights. When I moved out of state they met on Sundays between Masses. I know either way it can be inconvenient for parents doing the transportation.



#41 Moxie

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:17 PM

I could go either way on this. It was just weird to me because I guess I felt like it must be incredibly awkward for the students in the room that are not Catholic and that the parish classrooms might be sparse if say, lots of the parish children that age are already doing their prep at school.

Then what, they have the parish classroom with 3 kids and they do all their prep separately but meet once with the Catholic school kids for rehearsal before the big day or what? Can the church justify a First Communion class if only one child in second grade at that church doesn't attend the Catholic school? Yeah, it is fine to put the prep in the classroom, but some of these thoughts come to mind. I get where you are coming from, though.

When I was growing up my CCD classes met on weeknights. When I moved out of state they met on Sundays between Masses. I know either way it can be inconvenient for parents doing the transportation.


I've been on all sides. I've taught CCD, my older children have been in CCD and now my children are in Catholic school. CCD usually is small. And the prep at the Catholic school is better than the 1 hour/week CCD class mostly because there is more time. And I would be excited about spending the big bucks on Catholic school if it didn't include sacramental prep. As far as the non-Catholic kids, you know what you are signing up for when you choose Catholic school.
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#42 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:21 PM

I've been on all sides. I've taught CCD, my older children have been in CCD and now my children are in Catholic school. CCD usually is small. And the prep at the Catholic school is better than the 1 hour/week CCD class mostly because there is more time. And I would be excited about spending the big bucks on Catholic school if it didn't include sacramental prep. As far as the non-Catholic kids, you know what you are signing up for when you choose Catholic school.

 

I hadn't ever given the Sacrament prep any thought til this thread, actually. And we have looked into Catholic school but it's just not in our reach now. One church around here only has CCD for the Spanish speaking community so a family we know is out of luck as their children don't speak Spanish. But now that you mention the prep in school, maybe their children will receive that in their Catholic school when they are ready for First Communion.



#43 AnnE-girl

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:34 PM

I've been on all sides. I've taught CCD, my older children have been in CCD and now my children are in Catholic school. CCD usually is small. And the prep at the Catholic school is better than the 1 hour/week CCD class mostly because there is more time. And I would be excited about spending the big bucks on Catholic school if it didn't include sacramental prep. As far as the non-Catholic kids, you know what you are signing up for when you choose Catholic school.


We had a couple non-Catholic classmates. I think one of them went to the library to read during First Communion preparation (her parents' choice) and the other stayed in class and sometimes shared her experience as a member of the Orthodox Church. It might be that I've always lived in fairly heavily Catholic areas, but I think we had as many kids in CCD as we had in our regular class, if not more. In eighth grade, Confirmation preparation was an evening class as it wasn't assumed that everyone would choose to be confirmed. We did still have religious instruction as part of the school day, but it was separate from Confirmation. Some diocese don't do confirmation until high school, so that would automatically be up to the parishes.

Edited by AnnE-girl, 17 May 2017 - 09:36 PM.

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#44 reefgazer

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 09:59 PM

NM

That really is not their reason. They do work crazy hours, often weekends, and they send him to Catholic school so he has a chance to go to Mass. They are not rich people so this school is a sacrifice for them. They are not Catholic but want to do RCIA but can't commit to the crazy number of weeknight classes.

 


Edited by reefgazer, 17 May 2017 - 10:04 PM.


#45 dirty ethel rackham

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:00 PM

I could go either way on this. It was just weird to me because I guess I felt like it must be incredibly awkward for the students in the room that are not Catholic and that the parish classrooms might be sparse if say, lots of the parish children that age are already doing their prep at school.

 

Then what, they have the parish classroom with 3 kids and they do all their prep separately but meet once with the Catholic school kids for rehearsal before the big day or what? Can the church justify a First Communion class if only one child in second grade at that church doesn't attend the Catholic school? Yeah, it is fine to put the prep in the classroom, but some of these thoughts come to mind. I get where you are coming from, though.

 

When I was growing up my CCD classes met on weeknights. When I moved out of state they met on Sundays between Masses. I know either way it can be inconvenient for parents doing the transportation.

I guess we live in a weird area.  Our parish has only 30 kids per grade at the school, but there are so many RE kids that they can't meet at school.  They have to meet in catechists homes.  We usually have 200-300 kids making their FHC every year, necessitating 2-3 FHC masses.  My friend at a rural parish has a deacon do FHC prep for the small number of kids they get each year.  (And we are one of 5 Catholic parishes in our small city, But Catholics are still a minority religion here.  )


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#46 heartlikealion

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Posted 17 May 2017 - 10:17 PM

I guess we live in a weird area.  Our parish has only 30 kids per grade at the school, but there are so many RE kids that they can't meet at school.  They have to meet in catechists homes.  We usually have 200-300 kids making their FHC every year, necessitating 2-3 FHC masses.  My friend at a rural parish has a deacon do FHC prep for the small number of kids they get each year.  (And we are one of 5 Catholic parishes in our small city, But Catholics are still a minority religion here.  )

 

Wow, those are big groups!! The church we drove to to join CCD classes this year had their largest FHC group yet and it was 28 kids. Had we not gone to classes with them I probably would have just had ds do FHC by himself in our nearest parish which has only about 20 members and only one weekend Mass. The priests take turns driving to that parish from a bigger city. There is no rectory at the church and it was not that uncommon to show up for Mass and instead have a Communion service because a priest was unable to come.



#47 ksr5377

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:08 AM

Catholic school is not the same as FHC prep. Unless they are teaching FHC during class?? My child does not go to Catholic school. His Sunday school/CCD was done on weekends. Going to Mass is not a substitute for a First Communion class, either.

 

I'm honestly surprised they didn't go through RCIA before or during this year so that they would all receive Communion around the same time.

Everyone I know who went to Catholic School, including myself, did First Reconciliation and First Communion prep during religion class at school.  Religion class, not just in 2nd grade but throughout all of school, took the place of CCD.

 

I think it is crummy to deny a child this, especially if it's at the last minute (around here First Communion has happened the last few weeks).  If this was a problem it should have been brought up weeks ago, as their not attending on the weekends is not a new thing.


Edited by ksr5377, 18 May 2017 - 12:09 AM.

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#48 carriede

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 12:24 AM

Another thought.

My diocese requires TWO years of RE classes before FHC. If the child just started at the school he'd only have 1 and would therefore be out of phase.

#49 Reluctant Homeschooler

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:05 AM

The child will be in second grade next year.

I just think it is nuts to punish a young family with a checkered past who are doing the best they know how. They don't understand it yet. Telling them that they MUST go to Mass every Sunday is like me telling you you MUST wash your car at midnight every Thursday. Huh? Why?
Could they try harder to get to Mass? Sure.
I talked to one of our more well-to-do families after Easter last year. They had a great Easter! They went to the local mega church for "Mass" (she called it that) because they had a bounce castle for the kids. Not kidding!! No one batted an eye at her daughter making FHC.

 

A car wash? Apples and oranges. When the child was baptized, the parents and Godparents promised to support the child spiritually, did they not? Taking the child to Mass is part of that. (I'm kind of wondering how adequate the preparation they received prior to the baptism was. In my experience, it's odd that the infant of non-Catholic parents would even BE baptised Catholic. You had to be a parishioner.) If this is important to the parents, they really need to sit down with the parish priest, who needs to have a loving, gentle, guiding conversation with them about what it means to be Catholic and how he can best help them--and their child--on the journey. As far as Mass, if the parents can't go at this time, maybe Godparents, friends, neighbors, or even parents of classmates who are concerned about the situation can step up to help in the interim. If the parish priest isn't helpful, I'd call the diocese and see if someone there can put them in touch with an understanding priest. The right person offering counsel can make all the difference.


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#50 City Mouse

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Posted 18 May 2017 - 08:40 AM

I will preface this by saying that I used to be Catholic and both of my kids were raised Catholic for a time.

If they can't commit to attending mass with heir child, are they really ready to commit to the child being Catholic. It sounds more like they just want this as a rite of passage like an 8th grade graduation or something.

What is the point of First Communion if they will never be taking the kid to mass outside of school?


My daughter attended Catholic school through third grade. Although the majority of RE was done as part of school, First Communion required monthly parent/child classes outside of school that all families in the parish attended not just kids from the school.

Edited by City Mouse, 18 May 2017 - 08:45 AM.

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