Do I have a responsibility to take my grandkids to Mass?

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Q.Our daughter has moved back to our area after a divorce, along with her two children — now ages 8 and 10. The children are baptized; the older one has made her first Communion and the younger one will do so next month. My daughter is the product of Catholic grade school, high school and college, but she does not attend church with them except for Christmas and Easter.

Is it my husband's and my responsibility to get these children to Mass each Sunday? We have taken them at times, but now they are coming up with any excuse not to go. We took our own four children to Mass every Sunday. (City of origin withheld)

A. I do not think that you are under any strict moral obligation to get your grandchildren to Mass each Sunday. It was your daughter who chose to have her children baptized.

Presumably, in the baptismal preparation class, she was reminded that she was accepting the responsibility of raising her children as regularly practicing Catholics. And hopefully, during the first Communion preparation, that point was made once more. If your daughter has chosen to default on this agreement, the burden is on her conscience, not yours.

At the same time, though, you and your husband are grateful for your Catholic faith and practice, consider it the preferred way of Christ and feel that it offers the clearest path to salvation. Because of that, you naturally desire to pass it on to your grandchildren.

Perhaps, when the opportunity presents itself, you and your husband could convey to your daughter how much your religion means to you and why you would like your grandchildren to share in that same benefit. Your daughter might even have thought (as some people erroneously do) that the fact of her divorce itself has made her ineligible to participate in the sacraments.

On occasion, without overpowering them, you might also let the little children know of the satisfaction and peace you feel from your faith. And would it be possible that there is another young family in your neighborhood, whose children your grandchildren like and enjoy, who might be willing to bring your grandchildren with them to Mass?

In answer to your question, then, I believe that you are presented not with an obligation but with an opportunity.

Questions may be sent to Fr. Kenneth Doyle at askfatherdoyle@gmail.com and 30 Columbia Circle Dr., Albany, New York 12203.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018