Call Me Catholic

A Question From Scotland: First Communion Dilemma

From time-to-time I receive heart-rending emails from you, dear Readers.  Most often, I respond privately, if I’m able, but in this case, I offer both her email and my response to the public because this woman’s story is the story of families all over the globe.

Naturally, I’ve removed some private information, and I’ve put a few sentences in bold, which seem to sum up her plight.  Following the email, I’ve attempted to offer advice, for those of you who are interested.

Email From Scotland

Firstly thank you so much for your blog. I stumbled upon it while searching to contact Darci from youtube. I have a few questions and I’d love some advice. BUT I know you are a busy mom and totally expect you must get so many messages-so no stressing about a response!

Prior to the churches being closed I brought up reception of Communion on the tongue to my Priest. He was very dismissive of me-and gave me a response that I wasn’t very happy with (to summarize-Because Jesus chose bread, of course then the worldly consequence would be that particles are expected to be lost during communion). He also mentioned that I was getting close to arguments that were bordering on traditional practices that turn away from the NO (Novus Ordo) mass. For this reason – we went to our first TLM to receive Holy Communion on the tongue in ***, 2.5 hrs away. That was to be our last Mass until now.

During this time in the desert, God was calling us. My husband and I could feel his gentle leading. We had been hearing brave Priests on the internet, listening to many people discovering the beauty of the Latin Mass. Masses began to open two weeks ago and we called the TLM parish in ***. The parish secretary (being very careful not to ‘give away’ her priest because of the restrictions made by the Bishop ) said that no one was being denied Communion wink wink. We took this as a sign and drove 2.5 hrs on Sunday. Thanks be to God we were able to receive.

So you must be wondering what my question is. Our 9 year old was meant to receive First Holy Communion in June, and there has been no talk about when it will be celebrated. And even if it is, we are unsure if our priest will even allow her to receive on the tongue, based on what I’ve already encountered. My husband has suggested we ask the priest at the TLM (who by the way got his secretary to call us yesterday to say that he was so happy to see us there on Sunday) if we could have her receive there. I imagine there will be an issue with the certificate, and not celebrating with her class (she goes to a Catholic school). To be honest I’m not worried about offending anyone at this point, only what would be best and most reverent for our daughter, but can you foresee anything I’m not thinking of that could go wrong? What do you think you would do? Is it more important to be strong in our desires with our own priest and possibly make a bigger situation, or disregard the protocol for our parish/school?

This whole time we have been praying, researching and learning. I do feel like God is truly speaking to us and opening us up to His plan. I can’t believe He’s led me to your blog for instance, as I’ve just read that Cardinal Burke (He came to Scotland in 2017 to consecrate Scotland to Mary!) celebrated your children’s Confirmation-and also that Fr. Altman is your priest! We have also been praying for Paul-and your whole family. Thank you for listening to my message and thank you in advance for any insight you may offer me.

A Response

I am terribly sorry for your difficult situation, but I am glad for two things:

  1. You and your husband seem to be united in your desire for the Sacraments–they are worth fighting for!– and in your desire to seek more information about the TLM.  The Mass is important.  Our Rites are formative.  Poor liturgy equals poor formation.  You know this.  Sitting in banal Masses, Sunday after Sunday, where all kinds of liturgical abuses are present, eventually numbs the soul.  It’s uninspiring in the least.  Beautiful Masses, however, lift the soul heavenwards and aid us in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving, etc.
  2. You found a priest willing to do his ordained job, albeit it 2.5 hours away; this is a good thing.  Not everyone is so blessed.

You ask what I would do?  Without hesitation, and with the full support and leadership of my husband, I’d have my child receive the Sacraments at the TLM parish NOW.  In fact, I’d become a member there.  Now, I don’t know your personal situation very well, and I don’t know if you can a.) afford to drive that distance every Sunday or b.) if your children could handle it, but chances are once a month might be doable.  Perhaps more?

And why wait on the Sacraments?  Either they mean something and give one’s soul sanctifying grace, or they don’t.  Which is it?

IMG_2444.jpg
Our 7-year-old received First Holy Communion during the Corona-Madness.

But I want to stress a couple of other things too:

  1. Be sure that you are praying together as a family every day.  Oh, boy, are you going to need this, especially if you decide to switch parishes and keep your children in that diocesan school.  But are you praying a rosary every single day?  Are you praying with your husband?
  2. How about fasting?  Mothers are not always capable of doing this, but in the very least, one can do a little.  Perhaps it’s plain bread for breakfast every Friday?  Even children are capable of that one.  The point is, do something!
  3. I want to encourage you to keep learning.  Read, read, read.  And involve your children in this.  Go through THIS book together.  We’ve also found Dr. Peter Kwasniewski’s books very helpful.  I’d recommend any of his.  Or watch Dr. Taylor Marshall on YouTube.  He’s got great videos.  Indeed, is there anything more important in one’s life than Faith in God?
  4. Consider moving to that city where the TLM is being offered.  Marshall calls it the Great Catholic Migration.  That’s what we did.  (Certainly our circumstances are different, however.  I’ve written about it HERE.)
  5. Lastly, know how much Jesus loves you and your family.  He cares deeply about you.  No matter what you decide, He will always be there for you.

May His holy angels guide and protect you!

 

Life is Worth Living

May Day Baskets, Wine, & Guns N Roses: May Favorites

Welcome to the month of May!  And to celebrate, I’ll offer a few of my favorite things.

My May Favorites:

  1. Every year I forget about May Day and May Day baskets, but my children don’t.  They gave my husband some of their own money and directed him to buy a particular chocolate turtle, found at a local chocolate shop, knowing it’s my favorite.  Then they wove a basket from construction paper and lined it with drawings and notes.

    That night, while my husband and I were enjoying a Brandy Alexander, and I was losing at Gin Rummy, they snuck out of their window, ran to the front door, rang the bell, ran back laughing, and I had a May Day basket waiting on the front steps.

IMG_1287.jpg
Here it is.  Except the chocolate is gone; I ate it.

2.  I love drinking wine.  And lately, I’ve been enjoying a wine named Josh.  Their merlot is fabulous, especially when I can get it on sale.  I think it runs around $16 normally, but I found it for about $11.

IMG_1290.jpg
Here it is, empty.  We drank it all.

3.  Speaking of wine, I also enjoy drinking Dreaming Tree, but when I crack that bottle open, my husband just rolls his eyes and barely deigns to drink it.  For you see, this wine is a collaboration of Dave Matthews and Sean McKenzie.  Dave Matthews is, of course, the famous lead singer of the Dave Matthews Band, and my husband can hardly tolerate him after spending his college years being forced to listen “to that sappy crap” all day long from his obsessed roommate.

Me?  I only ever listened to his song “Crash Into Me.”  While it’s not highly offensive, I don’t recommend it.  But I do recommend the wine.

IMG_1291 2.jpg
This bottle is usually around $16, but I found it at Sam’s Club for $12.88.

 

 

4.  The other day, I got sick of the Magnificat.  I had been using it to read the Mass readings to the children every morning, but I wanted something more beautiful.   I wanted the Old Mass readings and prayers.  So I grabbed my 1962 Missal and haven’t gone back.  Wow, are these prayers beautiful.

So, the 1962 Missal is one of my May Favorites.  In fact, when I’m forced to attend the Novus Ordo, I just bring it along and pray the the TLM prayers instead.

5.  Since we cancelled our Magnificat subscription, we had funds available for a different publication.  What do subscribe to?  The Remnant.  Seriously, this newspaper is a hidden gem.  It’s based out of St. Paul, MN, and is pretty traddy.  Some of you may not care for it, but for the rest of you, click HERE for their website.

6.  The other Sunday, as we were sitting through another banal Novus Ordo Mass, complete with horrible music, we were accosted with a particularly bad song called, “Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door.”  (Click HERE for it on YouTube, if you dare.)  Anyway, after Mass my husband hopped in the van with a big smirk on his face, and I asked, “What’s so funny?”

“You know that terrible song about knocking on doors at Mass?”

I groaned, “Yes.”

“Well, all I could think of was the Guns N Roses’ 1990 song, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

Naturally, we pulled that song up on the phone, plugged it into the van, and blasted it for the posterity and education of our children.  Just picture it – a white, 15-passenger van, spilling over with kids with crazy parents, windows down, while THIS graced the streets of Mandan.

In between singing as loudly as I could and laughing uncontrollably, I had to thank God for my insightful husband.  He’s my All-Time May Favorite.