Friday, September 14, 2007

Our Challenged Children at Mass

The editor of my diocesan newspaper, while discussing reverence at Mass in this column, shows an extraordinary amount of understanding that, in some cases, the children who are disruptive, have special needs, and that loving tolerance is called for. Bravo, Rick Hinshaw!
I was on my way home from my parents' home this evening, and had no time to drop the girls at home in time to make it to adoration, so I reluctantly brought Christina inside the Church, leaving her under Bella and Gabbi's care, while I entered the separate adoration chapel.

A few minutes later, remembering her past experiences of recognizing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, and knowing that adoration was about to end, I brought all three girls into the chapel. Within 5 minutes, Christina was becoming disruptive, but the leader of the Holy Hour, a saintly man, let me know that it was OK. The period of silent adoration had been anything but silent, thanks to Christina's pointing our the light, Jesus, and her sisters to those in the chapel. Finally, she decided to run up to the Monstrance, and, unwilling to risk what she might do next, I scooped her up, and sent Gabbi out of the chapel with her.
As we left for the evening, the dear gentleman said smiling tenderly, "is this the little baby you used to bring to adoration in her car seat?"
What a loving way for him to show his appreciation of my attempt to bring my special little daughter to the feet of Jesus!


Steve said...

We have a daughter with special needs and this is something my wife and I have talked about several times. It is interesting the reaction you get when we take the kids to the 10am Mass ("Family Mass") as to the 8am Mass ("Mass for older people"). It's unfortunate because I enjoy the 8am Mass much better. We have gotten dirty looks from people at the 8am Mass but have received numerous compliments about how well or kids are from people at the 10am Mass. Our kids aren't perfect but they aren't going to learn if we take them out every time they act out. Also, we have found it helpful to sit close to the front and explain to them what is going on. Last week my son and I went to the Sunday night Mass and during a certain part of the Mass Father had his eyes closed and he said, "Father, night, night". I said, No, he is praying". Also, they love the bells at the consecration and Alex always says, "Jesus". He's learning.

Elizabeth Kathryn Gerold-Miller said...

That is beautiful! I have often thought about how the Church wishes us to take our young ones to church after they are Christened. It takes a few years for them to learn how to behave properly. But if they are brought again and again, eventually they will learn. The entire body of Christ needs to be supportive of families to encourage them to keep coming! I often wonder if the baby is being distracting and whether or not I should leave - but usually someone tells me how much she delighted them - and I am happy some joy was shared in the House of God.

Margaret Mary Myers said...


I just read your article in Celebrate Life magazine (read it online, thanks to Esther). It is a beautiful story, well written and inspiring.