Last Thursday, I attended a mandatory meeting at my son’s school for the parents of all second grade students who will be making their First Communion in the Spring. It was a lengthy meeting where we were provided with a packet outlining all of the events leading up to the Communion and a calendar to help us organize our schedules around all of these events. I can definitely say that it was overwhelming, to say the least, and I don’t remember this much preparation being involved when I made my First Communion over 25 years ago.

    For those of you who are not Catholic, the First Communion is considered one of the holiest days in the life of a Roman Catholic. It is the day when they receive the Eucharist, or the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Children around age 7 receive this Sacrament because it is considered that this is the age when they have the ability to reason. Now, I don’t want to get into a lengthy debate about religion because that is not the purpose of this blog post nor is it the purpose of this blog. I am simply giving this brief explanation for those readers of mine who might be of different religions and might not know the significance of this ceremony within the Catholic Church.

    Now, those of you who follow my blog know that I am extremely liberal when it comes to dogma and practicing religion, however, I do have strong personal beliefs and I send my boys to parrochial school so that they will have a spiritual foundation. Unfortunately, I do not prescribe to all of the theories of Catholicism including attending church every Sunday and having to confess my sins to a priest through confession.  This brings me to what was discussed at this meeting for parents…

    You see, as I have experienced many times before, the Priest used this opportunity to lecture us about the fact that we are poor examples and role models to our children because we do not attend church every Sunday.  This is always a sore spot with me because I don’t believe that one has to go to church on Sunday in order to have a personal relationship with God.  I’m sure many of you disagree with this and attend church regularly.  That is my whole point, I respect your right to praise and attend church weekly and you should respect my right to not attend church and to speak to God in my own way, on my own time. 

    As I looked around, I could see the other parents shifting uncomfortably in their seats as the Priest chastised us for not being “good Catholics” and it really just reiterated the fact for me that this is exactly the reason why I hate going to church, because of the judgment.  I love God and he has blessed me in ways that are too personal to even share on this blog but, that is exactly it, I am only accountable to Him and not other men and women who are humans just like me.

    I guess I will always be torn in this way, loving God, wanting my children to be raised in His grace, and hating that organized religion has somehow managed to confuse most of us to some degree.  There is no easy answer when it comes to religion and the way that individuals choose to worship their gods.  At the end of the day, I am content with the personal relationship that I have with my God and it will continue to be just that, personal and between Him and I…

© 2010, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. AGREE COMPLETELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I feel the same way about organized religion.

  2. I totally agree – I don’t feel like I need a mediator to have a relationship with God. I haven’t been to Church in a long time, since the Baptism of my boys, but they will be going to Catholic school as well. My mother gets annoyed with me because she knows I won’t be taking them to Church any time soon…If it bothers you so much, YOU take them. lol.

    I believe in the Christianity, and since my family is Catholic, I will remain so, but issues like ProLife and Priests not being allowed to marry irk me something awful.


    • That is exactly how I feel, I don’t plan on converting or anything but there are so many aspects of Catholicism that make being a Catholic extremely difficult, especially having to share your relationship with God with the Priests and the rest of the congregation.

  3. You hit it on the head. When “doing church” becomes a guilt-ridden form of answering to other humans, that’s a problem. If you are right with God (and only you-and God-know if you are), then you are right. Period.

  4. I agree completely. You said it really well.

  5. I was raised Catholic, and had issues with confession. I converted to Episcopalian and find it very similar but without the things I didn’t like about being Catholic.

  6. Honestly, going through the preparation for sacraments would drive even the staunchest Catholics to be become Wiccans, wouldn’t it?! I still remember the woman in charge of Baptism prep at our church calling me the night before our youngest son’s Baptism to tell me one of my choices for godparents wasn’t appropriate. WTH?? We are currently “between churches” and although I miss having a church home I don’t think it has harmed anyone in out family to miss organized religious services for a while. And don’t even get me started on First reconciliation – traumatic for BOTH my children!

    • Angie, this is exactly what I am worried about. My older son is very sensitive and thoughtful and I am worried that he is going to be traumatized by having to confess all of the “horrible sins” that his seven year old mind can conjure up.

  7. Our relationship with God does not require a third-party mediator. Sure, you could go to church every week to make the priest happy. But if your heart is not in it and you’re only doing it to please him, how does that do anything to improve your relationship with God? My mom actually changed her mind about sending me to Catholic school when she met that disapproval…By the way, I’m Episcopalian and we have TONS of Catholics in our congregation! 🙂

  8. A lecture? Really, how do they think this really draws people IN to the church? I agree with you. Nothing like being scolded as an adult.

  9. I’m Catholic too, but I don’t look at going to Church as a mandatory for everyone. But to me, the Church is a hospital for those in need, I just happen to always be in need. So even if I skip a few Sundays, the Church gives me the attitude readjustment I need to go forward. My daughter attends a different Catholic school than our regular Catholic church where we attend mass, so that alleviates the “good Catholic” speech, lol! But her school gives me credit toward volunteer hours even if I do nothing with the school, and opt to attend mass, or adoration. So I do take advantage of Mass right after I drop her off, so I can get my hours in and hear the word at the same time. At the end of the day, I definitely don’t think going to church will get you into heaven any faster than the next guy though. So try not to let the Priest bother you with their “good Catholic” speeches.

    By the way, you were the inspiration for the post below. I loved when you talked about the girl vomiting information in your post last week!

  10. AMEN.

    This is a constant struggle for me.

    Thanks for sharing!


  11. Same goes here. I am totally not that religious and I tend to pray anywhere, anytime it hits me. I always thank God and pray even at the toilet, onboard train, while driving etc.

    I respect priests and nuns. But I do not agree in everything they say nor am I fond of the manner.

  12. Priests are meant to guide us spiritually, with the ultimate goal of helping us attain heaven, and that includes regular confession. The precepts of the church are for the same purpose-to help us get into the presence of God. That includes church on Sundays. Many Catholics don’t see why it is necessary, but if you believe that is the Real Presence of Christ, wouldn’t you want to be with Him any chance you can get? You can also think of it another way… we make our kids eat their veggies even tho they cannot conceive why in the world it that important to eat them regularly. Church on Sundays is the Father’s way of having us each our spiritual veggies. It is healthy for us, even tho we don’t see how or why. The point is getting to heaven. Shrug off the judgment, most priests say something because they love and care for us, their spiritual family-not because they think less of us. Just think-if we barred sinners from church there would be no one left to proclaim the Gospel LOL. We want to see our loved ones in heaven…so priests tell us the hard truth even when we are not ready to hear it.

    You are a great writer btw. God bless!

    • Andrea, that is exactly what my Grandmother keeps telling me, not to worry about anyone else who is in the church but to worry about being in God’s house. I feel that I have a wonderful and personal relationship with Him and that I don’t have to attend church regularly to prove it. Thank you so much for your compliments about my writing and for your honest feedback, I really appreciate it and would love to see you commenting here more often.


  1. Maria says:

    Religion, such a controversial topic…RT @toughcookiemom: Amen! #blogchat #latinabloggers #b2sb2b

  2. Maria says:

    New Post Religion, always a controversial topic.RT @toughcookiemom: Amen!

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