Three Great Signs of a Healthy Parish: Sign 2 Loud Children & Baptisms Baptisms Baptisms

Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Matthew 19:13-15

There was a slightly comic moment last week at mass.

At the point where the Our Father (or as our Protestant Brother’s call it the Lord’s Prayer) was stated there was one voice that was much louder than the rest.

It was a boy about four or five years old who said it with such gusto that the entire church could hear it. Both my wife and I smiled and after Mass before grappling with a crowded parking lot she talked to his mother (and I his father) about how it brought a smile to our faces before I ducked into the confessional for a quick confession.

The reason why the parking lot was so full and the reason my confession was so quick was because Father was flat out. Apparently two Baptisms were scheduled for after mass one at 11 & one at 11:30 so as the time was tighter than normal he asked the 1st family to show a tad early and the deacon asked the 2nd to show a tad late.

There have been baptisms after mass almost every week lately so much so that the absence of them at yesterday’s mass stood out.

But while there were no new Baptisms the little boy who had been loud the previous week was there in the pew ahead of me along with his three sisters and two older brothers with his parents flanking him taking up the entire pew. He was not as loud but just the sight of him kept the smile up.

And when I turned to greet others (the sign of peace is not longer explicitly done due to COVID but everyone turns and waves anyways) it was clear that their pew was not the only one filled by a family with four or more children.

Some are annoyed by the crowd these baptisms make in the parking lot or the large amount of kids, I’m not.

I would like my parish to still be there in my old age and the bottom line is that if the people at your church do not take the time to “be fruitful and multiply” as scripture says there won’t be a church in a generation.

Sign one: Crossed Arms at Communion

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