Sure lots of parents need to learn how to discipline their kids better and teach them how to sit still and keep quiet when they’re supposed to. But those families aren’t learning how to do that. Why? Because they are at home by themselves on Sunday morning, making excuses for not going to Mass and not watching how other families do it successfully. Because the few times they mustered the courage to try it, they got snide remarks from the priest or annoyed looks from parishioners. Because they ended up in a crowded cry room like second-class participants. Because they didn’t feel welcome. And they didn’t feel equipped. Because they are still learning how to raise kids. And because they haven’t yet learned how truly important Mass is for their growing family.

We need to teach them. We need to help them. We need to smile at them. We need to encourage them. We need to invite them. We need to celebrate the noise of children. What a beautiful noise to hear at Mass. It’s the sound of a living, breathing, growing Church.

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