My husbands family are essentially non-practicing Catholics. They go to Mass when it doesn’t interfere with anything else. His nieces and nephews all make their first communion but then only go to Mass maybe once or twice a year. Our children go at least every Sunday. His parents have a lake house and occasionally everyone spends the weekend there. We are the only family that goes to Mass. My husband always wants to take his nieces and nephews since they rarely go otherwise and also his youngest single sister, who also only goes occasionally. My question is that they always receive communion when they go to mass. Is it my responsibility to make them refrain since they don’t regularly go or is ok that they receive? I don’t want them to feel as if they are being punished for not going to Mass as, in the case of the nieces and nephews, it is not technically their fault.
Also my older children, who are 12, 11, and 8, are starting to notice that this side of the family does not go to Mass. They pester my husbands youngest sister about this a lot. Asking her why she doesn’t go, telling her to go to Mass and confession - kind of like kids who try to get their parents to stop smoking when they learn all about it in school!! She was getting noticeably irritated last night when they were giving her grief over her bad language and not going to confession. She told them that God hears her confession straight up. I just don’t know how to explain this to my kids so they won’t be drawn to their way of life. Obviously, it is easier to go to mass when it is convenient and confess directly to God. They are nice people overall and I don’t want to keep my kids from them. But I always feel like I am some religious freak when we are with them just because Sunday mass is nonnegotiable for our family!! Should I keep my kids from hounding their aunt? How do you address this with kids? My 12 year old son was asking me last night if his aunt was commiting a mortal sin by not going to mass? He was noticeably worried for her. I did not know what to tell him. I told him to pray for her and that it probably wasn’t a mortal sin since she doesn’t believe it is a sin but that only God can judge. But if that is the case, we could use that excuse for everything- mass attendance, birth control, sterilization - nothing is a mortal sin just because we don’t think it is a sin!!!