Adult Children and Mass

By Kim Roberts

My husband and I have raised all of our children in the Catholic faith since birth. They were baptized, received their first Communion and were confirmed in the church.
They attended catholic schools, were members of the CYO, served as altar servers and eucharistic ministers and truly lived their faith every day.
When they went off to college, my older two continued to go to Mass. They even went together. But, now that they are older, I expect that they will continue in the Catholic traditions or in the very least continue to participate in Mass.

But, what does a parent do if their 20-something child stops going to Mass?
Clearly, they are old enough to make their own decisions and as a parent you can’t demand that they go. If you do make such a demand, it will most likely be met with resistance or an argument, or both.

As parents, we spend all of a child’s formative years laying the groundwork, doing what we think is best for them and teaching them about the Catholic faith. So, when they turn their back on the church, it can be confusing and, in some instances, painful to watch them stop going to Mass.

You are left wondering: What is the reasoning for this decision. You want to say, and maybe you do say, to your child, “You were raised better than that.”
I think the best we can do is pray that they find their way back to the church. Invite them to go as a family whenever they are able, stay calm when they tell you no and don’t stop gently nudging them back to the church.

Because it is true, you never stop being a parent and worrying about your child no matter their age.

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