The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) estimates that only 24% of adult Catholics attend mass every week. Catholic school children frequently report that they don’t go to mass because their parents don’t take them. As a Director of Religious Education, I hear many “reasons” for not going to mass: too busy, don’t get anything out of it, it interferes with important things like sports, etc. For your reflection, then, I present my Five Top Reasons to Take Your Kids to Mass.
5. Health! In April, 2013, the New York Times reported that regular church attendance boosts the immune system, lowers blood pressure, and can add 2-3 years to one’s life!
4. Social support! Regular church attendance connects your family with a community of families who share your values. Stanford Professor of Anthropology, T. M. Luhrmann reports that regular church members care for one another, provide emotional support, and set a standard that leads to less recreational drug use, alcohol consumption, and promiscuous sex.
3. Quality family time! Familylife.com lists prayer as one of the top ten quality time activities for families – right up there with playing games together and being available and willing to listen when your kids need to talk something over with a parent.
2. Praise and gratitude! Psychologist Richard Nicastro from New Mexico encourages patients to develop a grateful mindset. Expressing praise and thanks to God actually lifts one’s spirits, helps one’s daily outlook, and increases happiness.
1. Eucharist! Where else can you touch God?! The Master of the universe is present at every mass – in his word, in the assembled community, in the priest who acts in the person of Christ, and in the Eucharist. It really doesn’t get any better than that!