dolls at mass


Hi,we are new Catholics and we are in trouble again ! :frowning: Last time we didnt pay the priest for baptisims :confused: This time our 5year old brought her doll to mass.The 5year old and my wife were scolded by the priest.I guess dolls are not allowed.Nobody else had heard about this rule before.After the priest complained about not geting paid we tried to pay him but he was offended and wouldnt take any.I know we are in the right church but it shure isnt easy.:shrug:


:confused: :confused: :confused: He complained about a doll at mass? Wow. When I made my first confession, I brought a giant stuffed animal right into the confessional with me. I don’t remember anyone complaining about it. (In fact, I remember the priest asking me if the stuffie had anything to confess, lol) :stuck_out_tongue:

I don’t understand why the priest would complain. (Assuming the kid wasn’t banging or throwing the stuffie around, distracting everyone) I used to bring small toys with me to church when I was 5. I’ve even seen plush Jesus and saint dolls made specifically for this purpose.



Dear me, this priest sounds like a curmugeon. I’ve seen many a child with a doll at Mass and as long as they weren’t throwing them around, no one minded a bit.


Perhaps you should go to a different parish.


Haha… you reminded me of my little sister’s friend, Audrey. After Sunday mass, her mum asked her to go and asked blessing from the priest, then she asked whether she should bring the Teddy Bear. The mum replied yes. Unfortunately, Audrey misunderstood it so she also asked the priest to bless the Teddy Bear. :smiley: And yes, the priest did bless the stuffed animal. LoL


This just reminded me! A priest at a neighboring parish actually had a “blessing of the teddy bears” service for the kids! And he even brought his own teddy bear!! :smiley:

So adorable!! :wink:



PAY for baptism? Nobody can really PAY; there’s no price tag attached. Baptism itself is a free gift from God. Usually, people will offer the presiding priest a monetary gift as kind of a thank-you. After all, he has expenses to pay too. However, for him to get mad when you offered him nothing (out of ignorance----just meaning that you didn’t know) is so juvenile. Sounds like he has some issues. Yes, I’d find another parish too, one that has a priest who has grown up.


My sister in law almost stopped going to Mass entirerly when the priest complaiined about the noise that the children (not her’s, incidentally) were making at Mass. He said it was a disruption of the liturgy and the parents should keep them quiet. They hadn’t been making enough noise for my sister in law to even notice that they were there.
Maybe the poor priest thought that by becoming a military chaplain (it happened at a base in the midwest) he wouldn’t have to deal with anyone other than adults. I wonder how we would have dealt with the noise of artilery in the field?
Some people are just unhappy and like to complain.



You do have recourse. Whether you want to act upon it is another story.

There are no fees for sacraments. You cannot pay the priest to give them to you. To do so would be simony. The sacraments are not for sale.

HOWEVER, it is assumed the priest or the parish prepared you for the baptism of your children by instruction, some form of booklet, etc. Those cost time and/ or money.

There is a custom among Catholics to give the priest a stipend, or small offering, for the time and work he puts into sacramental prep. How much it is varies from locale to locale, and even from parish to parish.

If this was expected by the parish, it should have been mentioned when you had your children baptized. By inquiring about it, your priest was rude. BY then refusing it, he was even ruder.

The doll is probably just a ruse for a use of anger. Kids bring dolls to church all the time, along with tons of other stuff. A doll for a little girl is hardly a problem; at least, it is not a bag of sticky snacks, juice boxes, and melty wax crayons!

By 5 or 6, depending on the child, children should start paying more attention to Mass, and less to things to distract them from misbehavior. By 7, their full attention needs to be on Mass. If your little girl is in Kindergarten or younger, a doll is a nice thing, IMOHO. How like the Blessed Mother, and other “mommies”, to bring her baby to Mass!

What to do: If you wish to stay in the parish, you need to make an effort with Father. Priests are only human- some more human than others.

You could let all this slide, and just let your daughter bring her doll, using the explanation I gave above. You could make an appointment to sit down with Father and your spouse, and discuss hard feelings. You could invite Father over for supper some night, if he has time.

If those things don’t work, and you still want to stay in the parish, you could drop the dean or the bishop a letter, asking what could possibly be wrong with Father X, as these things are happening, and you don’t understand why. esp. since you are a new Catholic.


Now THAT is really-really lovely!! :clapping: :bounce: :rotfl: :grouphug:


If Father will not accept the stipend now that he has his collar in a bunch, perhaps if you make a donation to a local religious order in honor of him, and send him a nice card stating that you have done this and apologize for any oversight.

Yeah - the oversight was probably on the part of the parish, but humbling ourselves can go a long way - toward the relationship, as well as your own wellbeing.

Or find another parish. :shrug: He does seem pretty curmudgeonly to me too, but you never know, if you stay long enough you might learn something about him and from him, and it could turn out to be ok in the long run.



Well first you do not have to pay the priest anything for Baptisms. Small toys for small children are fine as long as they do not make noise, 5 or 6 yro’s should start paying attention to Mass little by little, in preparation for First Holy Communion.


Seek another parish.



A 5 year old should be participating at Mass, not playing with dolls.


I tend to agree.


Surely the Priest should have more on his mind then a young child holding a doll? The OP never said she was “playing” with it. Of all the things that may be going on with the parish, I find it hard to believe this makes the list.

To the OP ~ did the Priest really “scold” your wife & child or did he just suggest that the doll be left in the car?


I respectfully agree! A small Mass book for kids would be more benefitial to her. She should (and you and dw could gently encourage her) be paying a little more attention to Mass (at that age you could not expect her to pay perfect attention each second. I have a 6 year old–I know. It is however, possible for them to learn so much and participate in Mass. DD knows just about all of the responses for Mass. So much so that she has just made her First Communion!!) God Bless! You are doing a GREAT job bringing your children to Mass. You may need however to find a more “child friendly” Mass. Our Priest always tells us that “he can talk louder than they can scream!” :smiley: and kids are always welcome at Mass. He has even told me when we began going to his parish several years ago that if anyone gives us a “dirty look” when dd makes noise to let him know!!! (at another parish, “old folks” shot me very dirty looks when my infant would make little baby noises-!) Take care and Welcome to the Faith!!!:thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


I would disagree.

My two year old sometimes brings her stuffed doll with her. She uses the oppurtinity to teach the doll how to behave at Mass :thumbsup: For example, she will have the doll ‘bless’ herself, or kneel at the correct times.

Needless to say, this both prepares her for motherhood AND reinforces the rubrics to the two year old herself.


There is some difference between what is expected of a two-years old and a five-years old.
That said, not all five-year old kids are prepared to give up dolls or soft toys and pay attention to the Mass.
Paying attention does not exclude having a doll with them, either. I think if you want your kid to be more involved in Mass, you should first make him/her aware of the fact that she/he is in Church, and what it means etc. In “baby-language”, of course.

But I have the feeling that there is something going on which ahs more to do with the parents and the priest than the priest and the kid - there seems to be a deep-rooted disagreement about something. WHen was your child baptised? Did you have any other disagreements, old grievances, annoyances, unclear points? To be in harmony with your pastor is the first step towards spiritual growth as a family, and it is really detrimental for the child to be the focus of any resentment you may have for the priest.


Two and Five are very different. A 2yo can’t read and would certainly not benefit from a Mass book. But a 5yo–even one who still can’t read well–would be able to follow along in the pictures and start ‘owning’ the responses.

That being said, I wouldn’t object to a 5yo still bringing a doll or stuffed toy to mass. As long as she was quiet and not throwing or banging (which can also be done with a Mass book!)

To the OP, I loved the suggestion of a donation in the priest’s name. Another idea is a gift of baked goodies or fruit with a note. Simply saying you are trying your best to follow the rules but that you need direction ahead of time to understand.

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