I have a Reason to Worry…!

In one of the parishes I worked, after doing a funeral, I shared my experience to someone in the parish. I said, “It was tough.” “What do you mean tough?” she asked. I said, “There were hardly 7 people for the funeral; they don’t know any prayers; they looked out of place.” When I asked the funeral home director about it, he said, “None of the deceased's family are practicing Catholics, though they were raised Catholics. In fact, they don’t have any religion. They just came through the church because their mom wanted a church burial.” Then, the lady told me, “I am worried about my funeral; because my children don’t attend the church; what will happen to me when I die?”

I have faced this kind of situation several times, including some from St. Bernadette. I think this is the feeling of some of the elderly population in our area. I often think about this kind of situation and try to do something as a pastor who cares for the sheep.

It is a fact that many of our children do not attend the church. The parents who put their children in our faith formation classes signed in the registration form that they would attend church on Sundays. I am happy that a few of them (maybe five to ten) have taken it to their hearts and are attending the church. The teachers in their classes remind the students about their Sunday obligation. Though the children learn some elementary things pertaining to their faith in their classes, I fear that it goes like in the air. If I can make an analogy, you keep filling with water a pot which has a hole. It will never get filled unless the hole is fixed. In the same way, it is my firm belief that unless and until the parents with their children attend the church and practice the faith they won’t grow in grace.

I am speaking to the parents who show deaf ears to my appeals. If you are not practicing your faith and not being a witness to your children, I am afraid that your children will become very worldly and secular. One day when the Lord calls you to his eternal abode, I am frightened that your children may not bother about giving you a Christian burial. Parents, who are away from the church, please give a thought to it.
I have written many articles in the past and posted them in our bulletin regarding the practice of faith, but this one is different. The reason is this: On the 12th of September 2021 at 10:30am Mass when I elevated the Sacred Host and pronounced, “Behold the Lamb of God…” I had a flash of thought. That thought which occurred in my mind at that sacred time, I have expressed in these words; they are my genuine feelings. I hope and pray that this does some good...

In the Service of the Lord,
   Father Thainese Alphonse



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