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A letter to the parents who keep bringing their disruptive kids to Mass, week after week

Dear exhausted, discouraged parents,

So your kids are just terrible in Mass. Chaotic, disobedient, and disruptive, week after week. It’s like a big old spotlight is shining on you the whole time, you and your apparently sub-par parenting.

I’m right there with you. I’ve started to dread Sundays. I mean, we’ve tried everything. Going to the early Mass, going to the evening Mass, Mass books, whispered explanations, whispered threats, sitting in the front, sitting in the back, marching straight to the cry room … and maybe a few of the tricks have helped, but the bottom line is that we’re not getting out of that building without somebody screaming, making a mad dash for the altar, or God knows what.

But in spite of it all, every week, I and my loud, chaotic family are going to be there (in the back!) wiggling around and distracting everyone, and subjecting ourselves to the judgment of a large number of people who might not understand how hard it actually is to teach a toddler to sit quietly for 45 minutes. It looks insane. Still, we button up our wrinkled Sunday clothes anyway, and get our bodies under that roof, just like Mother Church asks us to.

I want you to know that if this is you too, that’s okay. It’s better than okay. Christ had something pretty important to say about people like us:

When [Jesus] looked up he saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the treasury and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood.” (Luke 21:1-4)

Isn’t this exactly what we are doing? We are giving it literally all we’ve got, in obeying the Church’s request to make it to Sunday Mass. (Sheer embarrassment, unfortunately, isn’t a good enough reason to stay home.) To the outside world, it looks like we’ve done the bare minimum. We’ve gotten into the building, sure, but are we concentrating? Are we having a spiritual experience? Did we even hear a word of the Gospel, for heaven’s sake? It doesn’t look like much. We are the only ones who know how much we are really giving. But Christ knows, too.

Just like the woman’s two small coins into the collection box look like nothing in comparison with the rich man’s gigantic bag of gold, our contribution looks so small a person might wonder why we even bother. Why even come to Mass, if you’re just going to spend the whole time doing toddler damage control? But Christ is there to remind us that he doesn’t see what the rest of the world sees.

Pretty often, I leave Mass feeling like the whole thing was a bust. I didn’t even manage to follow along, and I left so fast I forgot to genuflect. What kind of a Catholic am I? If that’s how you feel too, don’t forget — having little kids, or kids with special needs, or whatever situation you’re in that makes it impossible to kneel quietly and listen carefully, this is a unique kind of poverty. And we, in our poverty, really do give all we have, just by doing our best. Even if our best is just showing up.

So don’t stop. And please don’t worry too much about how your family looks. Even if it never gets easier, keep doing what you are doing, and know that even when the world doesn’t, God sees how valuable your sacrifice is.


Source: A letter to the parents who keep bringing their disruptive kids to Mass, week after week


R.I.P. Beatrice Battis (nee Conroy)

Bea Battis

Passed away peacefully on July 12, 2018, in Manoir Sacre-Coeur, Mansfield, Quebec at the age of 91 years.  Predeceased by first husband Maurice Allard and by second husband Harry Battis and son Ronnie as well as brothers Michael (late Mona) and Bernard (late Theresa).  Beloved mother of Richard (Regina Ricci) and Janice (Rene Leblanc) and Debbie (Anthony Romano).  Cherished Nanny of grandchildren David, Emily, Danielle, Jordan, Mark, and Chase and great-grandchildren Casey, Quinn, Grayson, Wyatt, Levi, Aria, Eva and Charlotte.  Beloved sister of Gordon (Toni), Kenneth (late May), Francis (late Lois), Joan (Henry Sallafranque), Marilyn and Norma (John Duggan).  The family wishes to express its gratitude to the staff at Manoir Sacre-Coeur for their compassionate care and kindness to “Miss Bea” as well as to her family.

Friends may call at Hayes Funeral Home, 56 St. Jacques Street, Chapeau, Quebec on Tuesday, July 17, 2018 from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. and on Wednesday from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m.  Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday, July 18, 2018, at 11 a.m. in St. Alphonsus Church, Chapeau, Quebec.  In lieu of flowers, donations to the Fondation Manoir Sacre-Coeur, Heart and Stroke Foundation or Alzheimer’s Society would be appreciated.

“I Come from the Valley!” hits the stage 

A review of the upcoming play in Sheenboro on August 11, sponsored by the Fort William Cottagers Association with bar profits going to St. Paul the Hermit Parish. Check out the parish bulletin for info on how to obtain a ticket(s). Don’t delay as seating is limited in the Parish Hall and tickets will sell out fast!



Source: “I Come from the Valley!” hits the stage | Pembroke Daily Observer

R.I.P. Mrs. Frances Langton (nee Michaud)

langton_francesFrances Langton (nee Michaud)

Passed away peacefully in Ottawa at the age of 94 years. Born in Chichester, Quebec, daughter of the late James and Anastastia (Watters) Michaud. Beloved mother of Ellen Slevin of Ottawa and Patrick (Lori Lindsay) of Pointe-Claire. Cherished grand-mother of Andrew (Steph), Matthew, Ryan (fiancée Christine), and Sean Langton, Stefan and Claire Carny and Jennifer and Andrea Slevin. Great-grand-mother of Aiden, Braden, Audrey and Spencer. Lovingly remembered by son-in-law Stan Carny.

Pre-deceased by husband Harold, daughter Sheila, son John (Jackie) and son-in-law David Slevin. Dear sister of Jim (Mary) of Ottawa. Predeceased by 6 sisters and 2 brothers; Mary O’Neill, Anne-Mae McGee-Baker, Aileen Burton, Rose Poirier, Carmelita Doyle, Monica O’Leary, Edward and Lawrence Michaud. Aunt Frances will be remembered by many nieces and nephews.

 Her strength of character, kindness and thoughtfulness will be remembered by her family and friends. A Thank You to the devoted Staff of the Peter D. Clark Centre, especially to her caseworker Salome Johnson.

 Friends may call at Hayes Funeral Home, 56 St. Jacques Street, Chapeau, Quebec on Tuesday, July 10, 2018 from 11:00 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Paul the Hermit Church, Sheenboro, Quebec, at 2:00 p.m. Interment Parish Cemetery. Reception to follow.  Donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, the Kidney Foundation or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.