My son doesn't want to go to Mass

My son doesn't want to go to Mass
Question from Eduardo on 6/18/2008:

Last week our 17-year-old son told us that he doesn't see the point in going every Sunday to Mass. He said that he doesn't pay attention to what the priest says and what he is doing in the Mass. He also wants to know where is the law that says he must go to Mass every Sunday.

He believes that if he goes to Mass maybe once a month or once every two months, everything is okay. He said that he will go to Mass on the big Church "dates" when he does't have the "pressure" to go. He still wants to be a Catholic but not have the "pressure" of going every Sunday to Mass.

How can we help him to go to Mass every Sunday?
Answer by Catholic Answers on 6/18/2008:


If he is still a minor under your parental authority, you do not allow the matter to be "negotiable." He must go because you say so. Even once he is 18, if he wants the privilege of continuing to live at home, you still have the right to make going to Mass one of the house rules that he must follow as a condition of his residency. Only once he is fully independent does he have the right -- and the solemn responsibility -- to make his own decision in the matter.

Once it is understood and accepted that he has no choice right now about whether or not he will attend Mass, then you can work with him to help him better understand the Mass and to better appreciate the Mass. For some ideas for how to do this, please click here.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers

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