Be patient with families


To the Editor:
This letter is in response to Sister Marie Vittetoe, CHM, concerning her recommendation (Jan. 29, 2015, Catholic Messenger) that parents withhold fluids from their children before Mass. This opinion fails to hold water!
First, as Catholics we need to take more responsibility for our individual roles at Mass. Before going to Mass perhaps we should practice this mantra. “It is my responsibility to participate fully, actively and consciously at Mass. If I am distracted, that is my error. I will not blame my failure to focus on others.” As a member of the assembly, you can make a choice to be unhappy that a “distracting” child is at Mass, or you can celebrate they are there in the first place. The choice is yours.
Secondly, keep in mind it isn’t easy or fun for parents to take their kids to church. It’s an important sacrifice that these parents choose to make because they feel bringing their children to church is important. These parents are to be commended, not criticized by any member of the congregation or clergy. In nearly all cases, parents are doing the best they can.
Lastly, remember these children are the future of our church. They deserve the same consideration we are challenged to give to each other. Children aren’t second class citizens and basic needs shouldn’t be withheld for any reason, let alone the convenience of others.
As a person who is a parent to young children, here is my advice to parents. Please hydrate your children as needed before Mass. Also, if your child needs to use the facility during Mass, please feel free to take him or her. I think even the clergy would agree that standing in a puddle at Monday morning’s Mass is more “distracting” than a parent taking a child to the bathroom on Sunday.
Andy Burman

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