is it acceptable for a 13 year old person, ( i.e. Me) to attend church alone ? : LUSENET : Catholic Pages Forum : One Thread

I'm 13, and none of my parents attend church anymore. I live near the church, and go usally, by myself. There has been some shock over this, people asking why, my Mom can't come, etc. So what I want to know is , IS acceptable for a youth to go alone?

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998


I can't believe how hard all you people are being on Laura's parishioners who are inquiring why she comes to Mass alone. Why is everyone assuming they're nosy busybodies?

Laura, I know exactly how you feel. My family thought being Catholic meant sending your kids to Catholic school and not eating meat on Good Friday. The thought of going to Mass rarely crossed their minds and the statue of Our Lady in the living room and the big picture of the Sacred Heart whose eyes followed you around the room obviously didn't make them feel any guilt about it.

I was an altar boy when I was 11 or 12 and had to go to Mass on my own. It's so hard when you're family doesn't encourage you or help you. Pray that you don't get discouraged because noone else in your family is feeling the attraction to God and the Church that you are. I got discouraged and ended up rarely going to Mass all through High School and University until my Grandfather died and I came back with a big thud and a big smile and haven't missed Sunday Mass since (that was about 8 years ago). Stick it out.

As for your parishioners. It is odd for a young person to go to Mass alone. That's probably because so many teens have to be dragged to Mass by their parents or they go to an atrocious Youth Mass on Sunday night with guitars a-strummin'. People may simply be concerned that your parents aren't well (maybe they might like communion taken to them, they're probably thinking).

I know that I used to hate thinking that my mother was not as good a person as she could have been. And the natural instinct is to defend your parents, even when a bit of admonishing is what they really need. It's not comfortable feeling you have to explain to people who _do_ go to Mass why your parents _don't_ go to Mass, and you are anything like I was, you get defensive about it and think the people must think your parents are awful, when they're really not quite that bad!

My advice, go to Mass every Sunday for the rest of your life! Love God with all your heart and always do what He wants you to do. And pray for your mum and dad. From the sounds of your question, it appears they're Catholic, but don't practise. Start looking for the opportunities to plant the seed of faith back in their hearts. Pray that one day they will be coming to Mass with you every Sunday (I can assure you that there are plenty of parents praying that about their children!). I'll bet that you going to Mass and coming home with a smile on your face every Sunday is already working small miracles inside them!

I'll bet if you told people at Mass that you come alone because you want to go to Mass and you're still trying to convince your parents they should start going to Mass again too, people wouldn't be awful at all, they'd think you're amazing! (We all do!) They'd all be saying, "Oh please come and visit and get to know my son/daughter. They really need a friend like you!" Getting to know people at Mass and making friends with them is really important. Especially at your age, you need friends who are going to support your Faith, not make you feel as though it's uncool to go to Mass and love God.

So, yes, you're an oddity, but a good oddity (and God loves it when you do things for Him even though everyone else thinks you're being a bit crazy! We have to be "fools for Christ" and go against what TV and friends tell us is what 13 year olds are meant to be doing).

God bless, Paul

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

Be proud when they are shocked. Most people your age have to be dragged to church. I certainly did. The fact that you are willing to go on your own says something wonderful!

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

13 year old going to mass alone


Pay no attention to busybodies who want to know why your parents are not at church with you - if they cannot simply admire you for your own resolve and faith, then anything further they think or inquire about is really not worthy of excuse or explanation..."Never complain, never explain" might seem arrogant to some, but I've found that there are times when the adage has value. Explanations are usually futile anyway, because they beget more curiosity - and people believe what they want to believe anyway.

I am thinking that perhaps if people are remarking on you being in church by yourself it would be out of sheer astonishment that a 13 year old would have the maturity of faith and love of God that would bring her to church on her own. Faith is a gift, though, and I think sometimes we sell our teenagers short when we act as though none of them have that gift, or the capacity to WANT to be at mass, of their own volition. I admire you, and I bet many others do, too. And don't forget, Therese of Liseux persevered in her own faithfulness and her own understanding of what God wanted of her, even going to the Pope in pursuit of it all - when she was about your age...(isn't that just too amazing to even consider? A 13 year old finding her way to the pope and telling him what she needed? Blows my mind.) Good luck and God bless, you! Ave Maria, Dana

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

As someone from a Jewish-atheist family who started attending Mass (in deadly secret) at the age of 12, I can only say "Cheer up! There's lots more people like you, who love God and want to know him despite your family, than you might think. God bless!


-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

To more directly answer your question Laura, let me ask you three in return to think about:

1) Would you agree that God calls us all, regardless of age, sex, nationality, appearance, etc.?

2) Would you agree that He calls us individually and in groups.

3) How could it *not* be acceptable for you to go to church?

Does this answer your question?

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

Be assured that God smiles on you Laura. He awaits your arrival at Mass with Joyful anticipation. The others have answered on how to answer the others very well. Don't worry about what they think worry only about what God thinks!

"The Lord Bless you and keep you: The Lord make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The Lord lift up his Countenance upon you, and give you peace." The Blessing of St. Francis of Assisi.

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

Laura, I wish I had followed that voice that suggested, when I was older than you are, that I go to church... it took me may years to get back. Keep going and don't worry about those others: why are they so curious anyway?

-- Anonymous, July 09, 1998

Laura.....You go girl!

Jesus loves seeing you there, ignore the rest of the group and tell them its "nunya" None of their buisness. If you can't do that just tell them you would prefer not to discuss your parents with them. Its your right!

-- Anonymous, July 11, 1998

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