Sunday, November 01, 2009

I was doing my Precepts homework at the tennis center while the boys took their lesson. A woman I know from the boys' old school asked what I was reading and I told her Genesis. She puzzled so I clarified, "Genesis, from the Bible." She asked me whether I'd considered parochial school for the boys and I confessed, "Several times but the nearest schools are still too far." Her children attend one but her dilemma this year is that it's a sacrament year. "We aren't Catholic. Well, not practicing. We attend a non-denominational church." But her child is feeling left out and she wants to petition the school to allow the child to participate in the rite.

After I got over the initial shock of a non-Catholic wanting to make their First Holy Communion, I thought about the matter. As a mother, I understand the emotions involved. It may not matter much that other children in the grade are likewise affected. It's probably a moot point because the school has its policies. The mother is willing to re-baptize her children Catholic in order to qualify them for the sacrament. I wouldn't think their Christian baptism a hinderance.

I admit that if the shoe was on the other foot and I had my kids in, say, a Methodist day school, I would want them to participate in whatever rites the school observed. Most schools make families sign agreements saying they support the school's policies. But even so, it's inevitable that a family has little choice than to send their children to a school with which they aren't in complete agreement. And, as this mother said, the school accepted her non-Catholic children into the academic program and they receive religious instruction.

Well, I can't imagine she'll prevail. But I think I'll ask around and see what the outcome might be.

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