Oh, how I long for the days when thumb sucking was a SERIOUS ISSUE

It’s interesting that I saw this story today, since I am pretty much dealing with the exact same situation.  It’s especially difficult to say that, as a Catholic, Mass attendance is not optional, when fellow Catholics are more than happy to make excuses for missing it every once in a while.  You know, for a really good reason.  
I like how the Catholic administrator tells the girl that sometimes you have to make “sacrifices.”  Some girls would have to sacrifice a dance competition or, I don’t know, a weekend at the beach.  This girl has to sacrifice her Mass attendance.  Not that she would have to sacrifice an hour’s worth of interesting programming to go across the street to the cathedral’s earliest Mass.  No, she has to sacrifice her mortal soul.
Dance competition disappointment vs. eternity in hell.  Hmm.  I guess they’re roughly equivalent.
Yes, that was sarcasm.
For us, the difficulty is Scouts.  We seem to be the only Catholics in the troop who have an issue with missing Mass.  Fortunately, the Sunday evening Mass at a church in town is an oft-used option.  But when the trip extends through a federal holiday (Monday), it gets tricky.  I hate being the bad guy.  I hate to wag a finger at other Catholic parents and say, “How could you let your son go and miss Mass?” – which is the message I send, even if I really don’t care what their parenting choice is and don’t want to imply that.
“A Scout is always reverent.”
I just wish the Catholic version of reverent was respected.

10 thoughts on “Oh, how I long for the days when thumb sucking was a SERIOUS ISSUE

  1. Dealing with the same thing with AHG this weekend but without the Monday complication. Disappointed in other adults and frustrated.

  2. Our son hasn't done any Troop camping trips into Monday, so we haven't run into this. But the Sunday 6 pm Mass at a neighboring parish has quite a few scouts from his Troop after most camping trips. So it has been very helpful. (A couple are even altar servers, one is a lector, and one of the dads is a deacon.)

    But yes, a scout is reverent! So sorry you're running into this.

    Thanks for linking to the article about the young woman in Florida. The schedule issue was bad enough, but the rude response blaming her for “her decision” and excusing it all because “God understands” — yuck.

  3. Dad didn't like being the bad guy with the Pawlowicz's and the Sunday truck unloading from the truck competitions, but he put his foot down & the upshot was that most of that family went back to attending Sunday Mass – albeit at St. Paul's eve. Mass. There is hope. Hang in there & stay strong, you two!

  4. “The officer says that in her 19 years of service no one has ever questioned this “sacrifice.” “

    Therein lies the problem. For too many years parents have “sacrificed” Mass to go to soccer games, dance competitions, baseball practice. Name it. Any excuse to miss Mass.

    When my children are involved in activities we make it clear to coaches and leaders that our family is unavailable for Sunday activities if they are scheduled during our church time. If they choose to punish our children with bench time, then so be it. Unless more people stand up to this idiotic behavior, it will continue.

  5. Exactly! We've never hit a Scout event yet that didn't allow for Sunday night Mass and fortunately there is one nearby so that's our fall-back. Sports has been more difficult, expecially since we pray in one parish and study & play in another, so they schedule practice for Sunday noon (after that parish's last Mass but my family is at noon Mass at our parish, serving and singing.) Sometimes we play “divide and conquer” which gets everyone to church but it's not so great for family togetherness.
    If this Scout troop is sponsored by a local parish or Catholic organization, then they should provide for worship–find a nearby church and send the boys in their class A's on Sunday. If your husband is going on this trip, can he and your boys go to church on their own?

  6. It's the group going to Philmont in July – they are backpacking the Appalachian Trail about 6 hours from our house. Bill didn't go – but we told them he would take Fritz to an alternate camp/hike in the same area that weekend to ensure he got the training. Of course, they also wanted the team building experience (and Bill really didn't want to go). One dad said he would talk to my (our) pastor, and I said I would abide by his decision. My pastor said that the Catholic boys could do a make-up Mass on Tuesday evening – just for them. Highly generous of him…I'm not sure it's orthodox, but I feel that the onus is mostly on him, somewhat on Bill and I, and completely off my son, and I'm more comfortable with that than if I made that decision myself.

  7. I remember facing it with scouts (and Orthodox don't have the option of choosing Saturday or Sunday evening masses) and currently with baseball.

  8. Well, it may not be totally kosher, but it's amazing of the pastor to offer that–and a special Mass just for them might be an excellent experience.

  9. I'm appalled at the response to her letter. Just another adult who claims to be Catholic, who doesn't live and represent the faith. We run into this,too. All the time. Thankfully, my husband and I are on the same page, as are all our boys, so we make it work. Even in my own extended family we have this. (aka We're on vacation and our cousins aren't going to Mass – why do we have to go?) Sigh.

  10. It took me all of 5 minutes after I read your post and the article to fire off an email to that Girls' State program.

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