Sorry, you and your kids are not welcome at Adoration.

For the past month i have been trying something new with my 4 year old. In the mornings after dropping my 7 year old at school, me, Annabel -4, and baby Angelica – 9 months, go across the road to the church to pray.

We take rosaries and mantillas and books and other interesting things to look at while we are there. I make Annabel take her shoes off when we go into the church because bare feet are quieter. She knows she has to whisper because Gods house is a special quiet place where we all come to pray. Angelica is an easy baby who is not walking and is usually very quiet apart from letting out the occasional loud “Ba!” which happens to be her best sound at the moment. We blow kisses to the picture of Therese of Lisieux as we walk past. We watched her film together last week and loved it. Annabel has come to love Therese as much as i do and even dresses up as her by putting her blanket over her head as a veil!! Ha! Ha!

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We all go down to the back of the church to Our Lady’s chapel which is well out of the way of the main congregation area. I kneel, the baby sits at my feet and plays with her cloth book or her plastic slinky. Annabel dances around the chapel – in silence – usually with her blanket tied round her head because she is playing Therese of Lisieux. Every so often she comes to sit with me and we cuddle while i continue to pray. She waves and blows kisses to “Mummy Mary” as she dances past her statue. She understands this is home. She understands she is loved here. She understands God is here. She witnesses her mother praying in silence. She sees how much I l value and love prayer.

There are usually 4 or 5 other people in the church praying at that time (our church can hold approx 3000 on a full day). On Monday there are the volunteer cleaners who chat away as they clean, which i feel they really shouldn’t do – especially on the sanctuary – but I’m sure they mean no harm!

On Wednesdays it is Adoration. As usual i take the kids down the back to Our Lady’s chapel so as not to disturb the other people there. From our spot you can just see Jesus in the Eucharist from the back of the Monstrance on top of the altar. I need this time with Jesus desperately. I get so little time with Him. Every so often i bring Annabel close to me and ask her “Look! Who’s that over there?” to which she replies “Jesus!”. My daughter understands the real presence. She blows a kiss and then goes back to playing Therese of Lisieux.

I have noticed a real difference in Annabel over the last month. At bedtime her prayers have changed from being a shopping list of toys that she wants to talking to Jesus who she knows loves her. She now prays from her heart because she knows what real prayer is – a conversation. She has felt the presence of God – i have no doubt of that. This has come about because i have ensured she has had the time and space to feel it in our daily morning trips to the church.

My Medjugorje Trip, Day 4 - Adoration

This morning a dear friend of mine came to talk to me as we were leaving the church. She had been asked to pass on a message by one of the more mature (and i use that word ironically) lady’s of the parish. The message was this:

“Please don’t come to Adoration with your children as they are very distracting and we prefer complete silence.”

I hid my initial shock and hurt and thanked her for passing on the message.

I’m glad i don’t know who this person is because then i would probably have to go and say something to them which would probably result in me having to go to confession, again. And if i do find out who it is, i will have to restrain myself from unleashing the tirade of sarcastic responses that start popping into my shocked and hurt brain:

“So when should i bring my kids to adoration then?”

“Sorry – i didn’t realise we were spoiling your adoration.”

“Perhaps the Lord is calling you to spare a prayer or two for my kids? Or even for me?”

“How many other 4 year old’s do you know who understand the real presence? Most adults don’t even get it!”

“Should we not adore as a community?”

“Perhaps you should tell the Priest we are bothering you?”

“How long have you been talking about me and my children to other people in a negative way behind my back.”

“Why did you not have the courage to come and tell me yourself?”

“Perhaps you should just go to the evening session when we are not there?”

“Does the 20 mins that my kids are here distract you so much? Oh I am sorry – try doing it 24 hours a day 7 days a week.”

“Shall i tell Annabel you said she is not welcome? Or would you like to do it yourself?”

“Do you know how hard i try as a Catholic Mother living in a militant secular culture?”

“How dare you try to stop someone from coming into the presence of Jesus.”

“You are like nearly 80. How much more formation do you need?! My daughter is just at the beginning of her life with Jesus.”

“Have you told Jesus what you told us? Perhaps you should, and see what He has to say about it (you will have plenty of time to do so next Wednesday morning during Adoration.)”

It’s best i don’t find out who it is.

Tomorrow is Tuesday. I will be taking my children to the church to pray as usual. I will also be feeling un-welcomed by a stranger i know is watching me and wishing i wasn’t there. I will pray for them.

110 thoughts on “Sorry, you and your kids are not welcome at Adoration.

  1. Fish and chips, that makes my blood boil! Honestly, I think it’s great when there’s a nice harmony of little ones being noisy. Sounds like the future of the church to me! Fair enough, Fake Ryan, a real meltdown might merit a visit to the cry room or lobby. You go to adoration, power mama, and you take your little ones! You leavening, pharaisical misanthropes! Get thee to a nunnery! Or better yet, learn to pray and adore in a non – sterile environment. Ironically, today is the feast of the first martyrs… Who prayed vehemently, I’m sure, while being slain for their faith. You’re telling me people can’t pray when a cute little girl is dancing for Mary and playing “the little flower”? Get over yourselves.

    Adore more! Pray hard! And I’ll pray for you and your congregation of myopic curmudgeons.

  2. Okay….first of all….pay NO attention to anyone who thinks like this!!!! And then stop sitting as a back street patron……YOU and your little girls MARCH right up to the altar where Jesus is and sit in the first pew closest to Jesus. And think of someone like me who does sit in the pew each Wednesday night @ 9 pm in my church and I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to have you sitting in my pew with your little girls!!!! We are to pass on our love for Jesus and you are doing it the right way!!! Do NOT stop going to adoration and please move closer to Jesus for your little girls sake!!!

  3. I love what you are giving to your children! That part of this story is beautiful. The other part is sad. It reminds me to remember that we don’t know where others are coming from & the church is human. Praying for that person is a great idea! I think I will do the same! Keep going-maybe the Holy Spirit will work through you & your kids to soften the hearts of those around you! 🙂

  4. Ryan,
    You have a point. But so does the Mom.
    I go to Mass at a parish where an elderly deacon makes loud noises (“I love you, Jesus,” etc. throughout Mass including during the consecration. His behavior is perhaps inapprpropriate — and so might be his drooling — but no one seems to want to tell him he’s not welcome.

    The point is, I’ve seen all sorts of disturbing or inappropriate behavior at Mass and in restaurants and elsewhere.

    A child can and should be quiet in church and in restaurants. Not silent. Not motionless, but quiet. That means when the child gets restless or makes too much noise they should be taken outside, walked around “to get the boogies out,” reminded to be respectful of others and brought back in.

    Jesus did say to let the little childrn come to him. He didn’t say that only during a children’s liturgy. But he also say to do unto others as you would have others do unto you.

    I wasn’t Catholic 60 years ago, but I would hope that children were welcomed then. When I became Catholic one of the things that surprised me was very young children at Mass. But I was assured by several grey-haired ladies that very young children had always been brought to Mass. I find it hard to believe Catholic kids 50 years ago were much different than they are today.

    That having been said, when childn are disruptive in any public setting, they should be removed, given an opportunity to walk it out, reminded to be quiet, and then brought back in.

  5. I pray ,that you continue to pray in church at Adoration with your children . Many people have commented that chidren are the church of the future but the truth is they are the church of today , the present , the here & now and so our children should be welcome & present at Mass, at Adoration , at the celebration of the sacraments , at requiem Masses, at ordinations ……
    We are all the Church , today , Christ’s witness in the world …….my children are so often better witnesses than me, speaking openly about the love of God & God’s love of them , worshipping in song &dance , so often I pray to be like them.

  6. Real contemplation is more concerned with inner silence, inner peace. it is then that we begin to see and hear God in everything around us. I contemplate all day long – in fact it is my favourite way of praying, so much so that i am considering becoming a 3rd order carmelite! I contemplate God in the situations of changing nappies, cooking the dinner, driving the kids to school, being with my husband, etc. With 3 kids there is not much silence in my life – yet i have found this to help with prayer because i am being constantly called away from my ‘selfish’ desire to sit quietly and study or ‘be’ with the Lord. Instead He is calling me to get up and ‘love’. Isn’t that the biggest training in holiness He could give me?

  7. Way to Go if the devil does not like it he can sit on a tack. I bring my whole day care to adoration the kids are sponges The Lord said let the children come to Me why not they deserve Him they are His. God bless you. Don’t ever stop!!!

  8. Monsignor Bernard at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Auckland NZ always mentions that its great to have kids along and for parents not to feel embarrassed by their kid’s noise and He acknowledges that parents may find it too hard sometimes. Families must be made welcome and other people should give them a little bit of slack for families are the church’s future. Without them….well no church within a generation. I suggest if others don’t like kids noises then maybe they need to bring earmuffs (just saying). Or they could always go and hang out in a Convent (just saying)

  9. People are so used to talking on churches. Don’t demonize me for what i’ve said. I can assure you, this was common understanding years ago and no one questioned it. Children masses ring a bell?

  10. Who was it that said “Suffer the little children to come to Me and forbid them not?” The name’s slipping my mind at the moment…..

    • You are so correct the bible is so easy to read. Suffer the little children come to me must mean children can moan and cry all through mass and patents should not do anything about it. I think the children should sit on the altar all through mass. This would fulfill the mandate in the verse.

      • What a Christ-like spirit you have! Amazing is your grasp of reductio ad absurdum.

        I do not believe, Ryan, that I was advocating such a silly scene. The original poster was not in that situation at all.

        And as an aside, as one of my priests once said, a child crying in Mass does not disturb him, it gladdens him. It is the sound of the Church growing.

      • Im glad you like the sound. The average person doesn’t. I took a little poll at my office and they think it’s rude too. Take your crying kid into the vestibule!

        My sarcastic point was merely to say not to use a verse to prove a point when the verse can be interpreted 20 ways. We aren’t protestants here. Suffer the little children happened at a specific time in a specific place.

        I never argued children shouldn’t be in a church. I argued they don’t have a right to disturb the services.

      • And was this woman’s children disturbing the service?

        And never accuse me of me of being a heretic, you ass!

      • Actually Ryan, that verse is exactly as it says. The Apostles were not letting the children come to Him, but Christ called the children to Him and even warned that not allowing such is wrong.

        Yes, crying and screaming isn’t the same as children who are quiet but not silent. I agree that screaming kids can be a distraction, but instead of being annoyed and angered by it, maybe try thanking God for the opportunity of patience and perseverance.

  11. I’m disheartened by those who think children don’t bring in church, adoration, etc. I do think some parents could be doing more (not the OP), to help kids understand Mass, Real Presence, etc. but it sounds like the OP has educated her little one on reverence, respect, etc.

    Check your missals on Good Friday, folks. Doesn’t it suggest removing shoes and dancing as possible ways to venerate the cross? If it’s appropriate for veneration, why not adoration?

    Not taking your children to Mass/Adoration until they’re older, denies their baptismal call to be priest, prophet, and king. It also teaches them that Christ isn’t for them until they’re older. There’s something to be said for Eastern Rite churches (ex. Byzantine) where children receive all 3 Sacraments of Initiation as infants and receive Eucharist each week because they are worthy.

    I could go on all day…

    • I disagree with the not taking them until they are older denies a potential vocation. I have two friends who did such, and one mother has two sons in seminary, and one has a daughter as a novice.

  12. I am so sorry this happened to you. I think we forget all the time, ‘WE ARE A CHURCH WHO SUPPORTS LIFE!” IN DOING SO WE SUPPORT ALL THAT GOES ALONG WITH THAT! I will pray for you and your children. I admire you greatly for taking them with you. Jesus knows your hurt with this, as I am sure He felt just as hurt. My motto on kids acting up in Mass always is. . ., music to my ears. They were not in an abortion mill. Again, I am so sorry for the inconsideration of others in our Church. God Bless, SR

  13. All I can say is that the disciples tried to keep the children from Jesus in the Gospel and He reprimanded them and said ‘let the little ones come to Me.’ If children get fidgety or misbehave, then all mom or dad has to do is take them outside for a few moments. Reverential silence is helpful but we should never make families with children feel unwanted. My parents brought me and my three brothers to Mass every weekend and to Forty Hours devotions annually. We had to make a holy hour with our mother or father and we knew well we had to behave. It is a two way street. Some folks do not have enough patience and some parents do not have enough common sense. The former need to be more sympathetic and compassionate and the latter need to be more considerate of others. Both sides are on the same team for Pete’s sake. Sadly, too many folks cannot endure any inconvenience or distraction. Offer it up.

  14. Got another update…shocked to see all the ‘devout’ people so uncharitable towards someone who merely posts what the Church has always taught; It’s all about THEM and THEIR children and what THEY want. Is this ‘my way’ not Lucifer’s “non serviam”?

    Mass is a solemn act of worship of the almighty God, not a playground! The appeals to the ‘noble simplicity’ of the catacombs are part of that modernism that wishes to throw off the beauty of our liturgy and the dignity of a proper disposition and replace it with a circus like atmosphere, with man at the center rather than God. “Look at ME and MY children. WE are the reason you’re here”.

    The fallacious appeals to ‘let the little ones come to me’ of Matt 19:14 fail because this was not a statement by Our Lord to let parents and children disrespect God in His house or impede the worship of others. Read a reliable commentary and you’ll find no reference to a liturgical instruction to chaos. In fact, quite the contrary, St. Ignatius and St. Chrysostom point to the child’s soul being free of vice. Read Haydock’s Commentaries on it and you’ll find a shocking quote from Chrysostom that refutes these pentecostalist interpretations offered above.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi. It’s an ancient saying of the Church. The law of praying is the law of believing, roughly, and if you are sloppy, prideful and uncharitable in your public prayer (the liturgy), this reflects on the nature of your belief. The opinions so uncharitably sloppily expressed here prove this axiom.

    • Hmmm. Let’s look at the op’s statements shall we?

      “Every so often i bring Annabel close to me and ask her “Look! Who’s that over there?” to which she replies “Jesus!”. My daughter understands the real presence. She blows a kiss and then goes back to playing Therese of Lisieux.”

      hER DAUGHTER UNNDERSTANDS. sHE IS BEING QUIET. “fORBID THEM NOT” WAS A COMMAND TO TEH DISCIPLES WHO WERE PREVENTING PEOPLE FROM BRINGING THEIR CHILDREN TO TEH lORD FOR A BLESSING. bEFORE YOU START CALL PEOPLE UNCHARITABLE, EXAMINE YOU OWN CONSCIENCE.

  15. I had always take my five children to adoration, since babies. The make noise, some times they are tired, some times very quiet and some is difficult but I know this is the best place on earth for them and they need the presence of Jesus more than food, or school or even sleep. Keep doing what you do and do not worry about little things because the King is right there.

  16. The hardest thing to do is completely ignore the comment. Tell your friend thank you for the heads up, but the blue hair brigade will just have to suffer it out on Wednesday mornings for 20 minutes. And then do it. Adoration is 24 hours, let them choose another time slot. And yes, pray for them. And pray that their selfishness doesn’t repel more people from the Catholic Faith than it already has in their 80 years. I can’t count how many people tell me they are no longer Catholic because of the “hypocrisy” of church-going Catholics. God Bless you & please don’t let the close-mindedness of one or two individuals keep you away from Adoration, or let your heart hold resentment. I know you need that time. (I do too!)
    Here’s one idea for you if you need something a little different to keep the little ones busy during Mass. (it might be too noisy for Adoration.)
    http://www.angelslane.com check the article called Wild Ones.

  17. Have you considered that this senior lady may be close to death, or have some other heartache that she needs some time with Our Lord alone to pour out her heart? I’m sure your daughter is very sweet, but perhaps this lady was sent to you as YOUR cross. Instead of thinking all those accusatory things that you would say to her, have you ever considered asking to compromise? Pick a different day, or explain to your daughter that dancing is for home and keep her beside you?
    Do it for the Lady’s soul and perhaps when she is gone, you will have a friend in Heaven.

  18. Don’t let it bother you, sister. Your little girls belong there with you, Jesus wants all of you there. He wants all of us there!! Forgive the old lady, as hurtful as it is, and pray for her. I commend you for going to adoration and taking your children. Don’t ever stop. You all need the graces. Peace be with you.

  19. “The disciples tried to keep the children away from Jesus and He reprimanded them and said ‘let the little ones come to Me” !!!!!.
    My parents always took us with them and we were in awe before the Holy sacrament because when I was a kid there was so much silence, respect and awe for the Holy Sacrament, there was no talking or handshaking or laughing or guitar playing in the church. There was complete silence. During the Consecration nobody even dared to cough, coughing was for after the Consecration :o). (they made jokes about that outside the church.) I am so longing for the old liturgy of the Mass and the Churches of old, there was so much respect. You went for Godly adoration, not for socializing celebration.
    Rita Biesemans
    Oh Lord may Thy Kingdom come SOON on earth as it is in Heaven.

  20. Please, please don’t stop going! This person, whoever said it, does not know our Lord. Didn’t He say: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I love that you take your children to adoration, if i ever become a mother i will definitely do the same, what a wonderful idea!

  21. I have heard so often that we should be gentle with little kids in the church as they are the future of the Church. BUT… they are al;so the PRESENT of the Church. Enjoy them. Ian McGuinness

  22. Dear friend, I’m sorry you went through this, but don’t take offense, these poor people don’t have silence in their minds and is hard for them to pray quietly in church, they aren’t used to having kids around, you don’t know what’s going on in their lives, it may be they’re battling a major issue, even life threatening, and this time is their time of consolation. Again, take no offense. You’re doing your job as a mom to bring your kids to see Jesus, one note, maybe don’t let her dance inside the Church, even quietly, you want to instill reverence in her heart toward God and His house, keep your visit short, kids can’t sit still for too long and that can back fire you later when they find it boring to be in church for too long… I always took my son to Adoration, ever since he was a baby. I’d go for 5-10 min, just to say hi to Jesus, blow kisses at Him and the saints and pray… one day a guy was rude to me because my baby was making noise, but instead of getting angry at the guy, I prayed for him, God knows what he was going through…
    Another thing I started was a Holy Hour for children, I asked a priest friend of mine, and we gathered the kids once a month for a half hour (again, kids won’t do long time in a engaged mode), father leads them in prayers, talk about the saints and everything Catholic, we also sing Traditional hymns in Latin to expose the kids to the beauty of our Catholic heritage, then we also started doing children Advent and Lenten retreats, it seriously has been such a blessing! Maybe God is calling you to something the like? Pray and seek God’s will for you and your family, and be that instrument He will use to bring His Kingdom to others… There’s nothing better than to bring children to Christ! God bless you sister!

  23. Happy to see so many are involved in Adoration to the point they can comment. Myself, I would probably try to find out the time slot the woman (who wrote the note) adores during (if she’s a regular adorer) and then avoid that time.

    You’ll find, though, that most all people who adore regularly are troubled or sick or very sick. That’s what brings them to Jesus in the first place, and little children, no matter how sweet, cute, and utterly miraculous they are, can be annoying (or taxing to the nervous system), just by their mere movement alone. We have youngsters who come to our chapel every week with their parents during the nocturnal hours of 11 p.m. until 3 a.m. the next day, and they come in their jammies and sleep in the pew or on the floor in a sleeping bag. It’s really sweet, and guess what, they are very quiet too. 🙂

    We also have a preschool that comes during lunchtime to adore for about five minutes. It doesn’t bother me because without my hearing aid, I’m deaf (other than listening to the wretched tinnitus I’ve had since the 70s), so I just turn it off until they leave. But not everyone is thusly “gifted.” Whatever you do, keep adoring. You’ll build saints with the potential of becoming one yourself.

  24. I realize this is over a year old but thanks for writing this. A similar thing just happened to me with my 16 month old. We stopped in a parish that is not our own but that I pass everyday when I take my older son to therapy. I took my little one in and he was very well behaved but he kept saying “Jesus” and pointing to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament and an image of Divine Mercy. Apparently this bothered a lady who got in my baby’s face and with a scowl said “Shhhhhh!” I was mortified and left. I told the priest who was in his office and he brought the woman out to explain what she did. She said she didn’t think I’d get so upset (I was crying) but that I needed to think of her because she was trying to pray in silence.

  25. Take your beautiful children and let your little princess dance before Jesus and Mary……
    God bless you beautiful don’t give up….I’m struggling with kind of the same thing with my 3 little ones…..just don’t give up going to adoration and prayer is our strength to love our children the way Jesus asks us to. God bless….

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