I am an occasional substitute catechist at my parish - and last night I found myself facing 20 or so Hispanic American teens in their second year of Confirmation preparation for a lesson on the Eucharist. I knew I was in for it, when, while setting up the opening prayer, to the Saints, I asked how many of them had been to Mass last weekend and experienced the celebration of All Saints Day - and only 2 of them had done that.
How irrelevant is it to talk to youth about Eucharist as the source of all that we are and the most important thing we do at church, when they don't go? It's hard to refer to words said at Mass when they don't hear them, or to describe actions they never see. Yes, these are kids who can't drive themselves to Mass yet - and the issue is with their parents...
I know in this case that they come from working class families who mostly struggle - some with multiple jobs or parents working two shifts... and these parents make the commitment of time and money to send them to religious education. Obviously they want their children to have the sacraments. But, how to reach the parents? How do you catechize them in an occasional "mandatory" parent meeting? I'm not the DRE, so I don't know what she has in mind, but I am guessing she has been trying. It's a challenging cultural reality.
Last night I did my best to reach them. I hope I planted a seed or two.