19 October 2017
"Do this in Memory" by Fr Sean


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A chance remark at a recent conference about the Family set me thinking. When I say that the remark came from the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin, you will realise that it must be taken seriously.  He told how many parents have said to him from time to time that they simply did not know how to pass the faith on to their children. 

At first sight this seems a ridiculous statement, but when you reflect you can see that many parents do have a problem.  The programme of religious instruction in Primary Schools is simply too much for many parents, as it demands plenty of study and reflection.  Anyway, if the school is doing the work, why should parents bother?  The answer is that you should bother because it is your child, and you have the responsibility of handing on the Faith. 

However, we must allow for the difficulties parents experience in dealing with the religion programme, and accept above all else, their good faith.  The programmes for First Communion and Confirmation are a first step in pointing the way for parents, in helping them to share in the preparation of their children for these big moments in their Faith development. 

So, when we come to a Sunday Mass where the children are involved in a "Do this in Memory" ritual, or a Confirmation ritual, it is important that everybody will recognise that this is a valuable exercise.  And even if the segment of our Liturgy is geared to children, we should remember that we can all learn from what is taking place.  We are neither too old to learn, nor too sophisticated to be above the simple ritual that have a deep meaning for young people.

Sean Heaney, P.P.