Conflict with RCIA class time

I am a baptized Christian attending RCIA with my unbaptized husband. We have been in it now for about five months. We really enjoy it. Our only issue has been that we have two small children that make it difficult to attend our classes because we don’t always have the convenience of a babysitter. We were taking a class at 7pm and the teacher was kind enough to allow us an hour instead of the usual hour and half. Most of the time we would take our kids with us because we were the only two in the class. And since it was an hour it was easier taking the kids with us than driving 30 minutes roundtrip to my parents…which made the night even longer by the time we got home.

Before Lent began things changed and the priest in charge of RCIA wants us to be at the church at 9:30am for class, attend Mass at 11am and then meet again for another 30 minutes directly after Mass. This is extremely long for our children, who are two and four. It’s a challenge just to ge them to sit through Mass.

I tried to let the priest know, politely, that we were concerned about having our kids be at the church for so long. I also asked if we could work something out to go back to our evening lessons and his response was that we try to get a babysitter on Sunday. I wasn’t upset by his comment, but it was discouraging. It did leave me feeling guilty that I even had to tell him it was a problem for us. But at this time in our lives, with little kids, it is an issue. If they were 10 and 12 they could read a book in the back of the class, but they are two and four and asking them to sit quietly for three hours is impossible.

I have since put in an email and a phone call to this priest so I can meet with him personally to discuss this, as well as other things. It has been a week and he has yet to respond. I know our priests are very busy men, but I’m starting to feel like he just doesn’t want to deal with us.

We are very excited about becoming Catholic and don’t want to let scheduling prevent us from continuing.

Should I be feeling guilty for letting the priest know the new schedule isn’t going to work for us because of our kids?

I suggested to my husband that maybe he quit RCIA so I can continue and he can start again later. He said no way.

Before I forget the new 9:30am class time is with a bunch of little kids . I think because we are the only two adults they are just trying to put us with another group for their convenience. And is it even appropriate to have two 35 year olds with 10 year olds???

Any advice?

I would speak with the RCIA director or the priest directly, family obligations should not be left at the church door. Try to get a sitter or leave them with family on Sunday mornings or maybe Saturday/Sunday with grandparents if possible. If not then bring them, alternate weeks. When necessary you leave with them, the next week your husband does.

I suspect that the pastor is trying to get the RCIA group together for the Liturgical Rites at the same Mass, as Easter approaches. I would assume that the 10yo’s are in a childrens version of RCIA, and no that would not be inappropriate for these weeks leading to Easter Vigil. There should have been some explaination given to you.

You are probably right that we are being asked to attend the same Mass as Easter approaches. And like you implied we should have been given an explanation. We are always left wondering, but that is another issue and one I have tried very hard to get past and to stay focused on the big picture…becoming Catholic.

We are not celebrating our sacraments this Easter so we were a bit confused as to why we are expected to participate like we are. (We were told during our inquiry phase that we would be expected to do this when we will receive our sacrament.). I have been trying to get answers from the teacher and priest but they don’t have time after class and don’t call us back. So I have turned to the forums for advice which helps ease my mind.

I liked your advice on alternating weeks. It had crossed my mind and was actually something I was going to suggest to the priest and teacher and see what they think.

Thanks :slight_smile:

Ask around in the Church. I would be surprised if someone can’t jump in and lend a hand. If you were closer, I’d volunteer. I know if I had someone in my Church going through this type of problem, I would help with a temporary daycare and line up other adults or CYO teens to help. We do not have a daycare for Mass, but receiving people into the Church is too important. I think it is worth an exception.

Do you have Sponsors in the local Parish? It does seem odd that no one will answer your questions.

Might there be another Parish nearby?

I have done a lot of praying and decided it would be nice if we could remain local and loyal to our parish. There have been many times my husband and I thought about switching parishes but we would have to drive into another town, about 20 minutes away.

We have selected who we would like to ask to be our sponsor but we have sort of put it off since it’s not really stressed we really need one quite yet. When we discussed sponsors in class when we started RCIA it was never mentioned someone from the church could be our sponsors, it was always left that we use a friend or relative. That is ok with us so we never thought much of it.

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