I wrote about this issue last summer. And I noticed today that a Queens pastor I know has taken the bull by the horns (or the baby by the diaper) and posted this on his parish’s Facebook page:
One of the things we try hard here is to create a welcoming and child friendly atmosphere for our people. Whether it be at our Sunday Morning Family Mass or at our Youth Mass, we especially want parents to feel welcome to bring their children. Our children are the treasures of the parish! Parents: you are always welcome to bring your children and, in particular, your babies to our church! I admire parents who work hard to prepare their children to come to church. My married friends tell me that it is a job well worth doing, but it does take time and effort. It behooves all of our parishioners to be understanding with the children and babies we attract to our welcoming atmosphere. Even when the babies cry it is still wonderful to have this sign of future possibility and growth. I often think of the babies and children who were present when Jesus spoke his sermons in the open air! Some people find children annoying. I would respectfully say to them that this church will always welcome children and especially babies! Remember what Jesus said to his apostles when they got annoyed with all the children present: “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them. For the Kingdom of heaven is theirs!” So I want to repeat those beautiful words of Jesus: Let the Children come to us and do not hinder them! If parents can think of any way we can make this parish more child friendly, please let me know!
I thought that was a sensible and pastoral approach.
What do you think?
Oh: and crying rooms? I’m still not a fan.