Non catholic family visitors over Holy Week


#1

Ugh! I’m following Malia’s question with one of my own.

My in-laws just planned a trip here (airplane, hotel, car rental) over Holy Week, originally they were coming in on Easter then they called and are coming in on Holy Thursday. ARGGG! So now I have to manage to keep 5 children focused on each day of Holy Week and let them visit their non-Catholic grandparents. This is very frustrating to me and even more so for my poor dh because he gets put in the middle. How do I balance “fun” with Gram and Pap with the solemnity and necessity of attending Church?? I get to be the bad guy and say Okay, time for Church or Sorry, it’s Good Friday, stop having fun! My kids are 8, 6, 4, 3 and 1. Obviously the younger children are less of a concern, but the 8 and 6 year old now need to be aware of what’s going on. Any advice??? HELP!

Jennifer


#2

we always seem to have houseguest during Holy Week, I let them know I am tied up with the liturgies and preparation of the candidates and catechumens, which is my job, and no time to spare for their entertainment. Since they are only here for the golf it is usually not a problem. They also know they have to rent a car if they want to get around. My family knows by now we are not running a resort. Hope they will soon get smart enough to move down here if they are so disgusted with the weather up there. Except for my own grandchildren, all those with children are referred to the many excellent hotels nearby.

Semana Santa is a special time down here when it is the norm for families to be visiting and a big tourist week for Mexican nationals, esp on S. Padre Island. By all means involve the children in the Holy Week liturgies, this is the premier time for catechesis through the liturgies of the Church.

note to grandpa: put down lots of newspapers if you will be coloring Easter eggs.


#3

[quote=Jennifer J]My kids are 8, 6, 4, 3 and 1. Obviously the younger children are less of a concern, but the 8 and 6 year old now need to be aware of what’s going on. Any advice??? HELP!
[/quote]

Ask your non-Catholic family to join in on Holy Week with you. If they resist, tell them you have obligations to the Church but will visit with them before and after the Masses. MOST IMPORTANT, allow your children plenty of time with the Grandparents.

(I’m the only Catholic in my family…I know it’s hard)


#4

(as an aside to puzzleannie, my Mom lives in Mission, TX and I’ve been to S. Padre Island once!)

The problem is not where they’ll stay, believe me, they’ll stay in a hotel. Even though our house is big enough mil has alergies and we have both a cat and a dog, and my house is NEVER clean enough for her anyway. The problem is they are going to be a thorn in the side of us participating in Holy Week the way I had planned and hoped for my children–ie making it HOLY and not just another few days til Easter. I’m praying it will all work out.

Thanks
Jennifer


#5

[quote=Jennifer J] The problem is they are going to be a thorn in the side of us participating in Holy Week the way I had planned and hoped for my children–ie making it HOLY and not just another few days til Easter. I’m praying it will all work out. Thanks Jennifer
[/quote]

What a great thing to offer up for Holy Week! I’d still attend whatever services you planned to attend. Maybe the grandparents could take care of the little ones while you and dh take the older ones to church. —KCT


#6

[quote=KCT]What a great thing to offer up for Holy Week! I’d still attend whatever services you planned to attend. Maybe the grandparents could take care of the little ones while you and dh take the older ones to church. —KCT
[/quote]

Thanks for that reminder. I’ll stop the whining now and I’ll offer it for their conversion/reversion (fil was raised Catholic). God bless,
Jennifer


#7

Just remember the difference between In-Laws and Out-Laws. and roll with the punches.


#8

You simply explain that you are attending mass for Holy Week. Period. That was the easiest post I’ve answered yet! LOL Just teasing, I’m sure it’s not easy balancing all of this. But, seriously…I would not compromise my faith/traditions in order to accomodate guests…they will just have to understand…OR TELL THEM TO CONVERT!! LOL

:rotfl:


#9

Jennifer, I do know how you feel. Luckily my family understands but it would be hard if they all showed up durning holy week, frankly it would be too much of a distraction.

I would say, just do whatever you had planned and just nicely let them know. If things are not going well, just keep reminding yourself…it’s not the end of the world and there will be plenty of holy weeks in the years ahead to make up for this one. This way you won’t feel so stressed out all week when things go wrong, this is the last thing you want durning holy week. :frowning:

I hope things work out for you. :slight_smile:


#10

Last I checked, attending mass takes up about 1 hour of the day. That seems to leave plenty of time to spend with your children’s grandparents. Honestly–how many hours/day were you really intending to have even the 8 & 6 y.o. (much less the younger ones) “focus” on holy week ?

It sounds to me as if you may have other “issues” with your in-laws. Please resist the urge to use religious observance as an excuse or opportunity to offend or alienate your family. At the very least it’s no way to inspire them towards the faith…and violates the spirit of everything I would imagine you are hoping to teach your children.


#11

Okay, Island Oak, sheesh, my point is that Good Friday (esp) is not a day to go to the mall, movie, out to eat, etc. I know I can’t keep my young children penitential all day, however, I can’t let them just think that these days are the same as every other day and that’s going to be hard when their grandparents want to go do fun things. Do I have issues with my inlaws? Who doesn’t? LOL But they (esp MIL) don’t respect our faith and she in fact ridicules it on a regular basis with me. It’s hurtful and makes me shy to be ourselves faith-wise when they are around. I was hoping for some advice on dealing with difficult people in a difficult situation. Thanks

Jennifer


#12

[quote=Jennifer J] Do I have issues with my inlaws? Who doesn’t? LOL But they (esp MIL) don’t respect our faith and she in fact ridicules it on a regular basis with me. It’s hurtful and makes me shy to be ourselves faith-wise when they are around. I was hoping for some advice on dealing with difficult people in a difficult situation.
Jennifer
[/quote]

Sorry if my post came off the wrong way–I didn’t pick up on the disrespect you were dealing with from your original post. I guess the best you can do is try for a balance. Starting the day with mass is certainly nothing they can find fault with–and if they say anything–just give them a big smile and say you’ll only be out for an hour and then they can do something with the kids.

And while you might not pick Good Friday to spend time at the mall or other entertainment location, a few hours this one time won’t be fatal to your kids’ formation. As an alternative you might encourage the kids to extend an invitation to their grandparents to join them at mass–or–to participate in any of the preparations/traditions you had in mind–it would be a terribly cold person who could ridicule or reject a child’s sincere belief and desire to share it.


#13

[quote=Island Oak]–it would be a terribly cold person who could ridicule or reject a child’s sincere belief and desire to share it.
[/quote]

There really are some terribly cold people out there.

Let me assure you that there are some ‘sweet’ old Grannys who will happily tell everyone involved, including grand children, that they’re going to hell, and they’re here to ‘save’ them. You never know what a grandmother will say when she believes her dear child and grand-children are doomed to hell. A mixed-marriage friend is faced with this all the time. It’s nothing for Granny to ridicule every Catholic in the house, including other invited guests (my wife and I).


#14

Not a cold person…but a lost soul. Pray very hard for these types…because I hope they find the truth before it’s too late. :frowning:


#15

[quote=cargopilot]There really are some terribly cold people out there.

Let me assure you that there are some ‘sweet’ old Grannys who will happily tell everyone involved, including grand children, that they’re going to hell, and they’re here to ‘save’ them. You never know what a grandmother will say when she believes her dear child and grand-children are doomed to hell. A mixed-marriage friend is faced with this all the time. It’s nothing for Granny to ridicule every Catholic in the house, including other invited guests (my wife and I).
[/quote]

Wow…have never encountered this. It seems like common courtesy and certainly some self-restraint/discretion with respect to innocent children would reign these folks in no matter what they thought of the parents’ belief system?!? Having not dealt with this I guess I have something else for which to be grateful and never even knew it…


#16

[quote=Jennifer J](as The problem is they are going to be a thorn in the side of us participating in Holy Week the way I had planned and hoped for my children–ie making it HOLY and not just another few days til Easter. I’m praying it will all work out.

Thanks
Jennifer
[/quote]

simply explain that this is the holiest week of the year in your religion and you and your family will be observing all the solemnities and liturgies, and welcome them to join you. For the occassions they do not care to participate in what you have planned, give them an attractions and restaurant guide and tell them to have fun. On no account should you let your children see that having company is an excuse to relax religious obligations. I don’t think Muslim families would compromise during Ramadan for non-Muslim guests, nor would Orthodox Jews compromise during Passover or the High Holy Days for non-Jewish guests. Don’t apologize, don’t explain, just tell them the program, and also tell them the one occassion you have set aside for them, probably Sunday dinner. Since they made their plans without consulting you, feel free to plan your week without consulting them.


#17

[quote=Island Oak]Wow…have never encountered this. It seems like common courtesy and certainly some self-restraint/discretion with respect to innocent children would reign these folks in no matter what they thought of the parents’ belief system?!? Having not dealt with this I guess I have something else for which to be grateful and never even knew it…
[/quote]

Around here, Catholics are pretty slim. It seems the southern version of ‘Brand B’ protestantism is very popular, and there’s nothing they like more than to ‘save’ a Catholic.

I’ll admit, as sola-scripturalists, albiet edited for TV scripture, they can quote a bible faster’n a jack-rabbit. And when they can mentally cut and paste scripture like a Cray super-computer, I get totally blown-away. It’s not at all uncommon to be asked “Are you Saved?” followed by a sermon, several times per month.

But, as a Catholic in the bible-belt, you get used to it, sort-of.


#18

Here’s the best advise yet…

[quote=puzzleannie]simply explain that this is the holiest week of the year in your religion and you and your family will be observing all the solemnities and liturgies, and welcome them to join you. For the occassions they do not care to participate in what you have planned, give them an attractions and restaurant guide and tell them to have fun. On no account should you let your children see that having company is an excuse to relax religious obligations. I don’t think Muslim families would compromise during Ramadan for non-Muslim guests, nor would Orthodox Jews compromise during Passover or the High Holy Days for non-Jewish guests. Don’t apologize, don’t explain, just tell them the program, and also tell them the one occassion you have set aside for them, probably Sunday dinner. Since they made their plans without consulting you, feel free to plan your week without consulting them.
[/quote]


#19

I had a thought. Have you seen the email recipe for the macaroons that have a reading of scripture for each step and the grand finale is that the cookies are left overnight in the oven? The next morning, there is another reading and a cookie is eaten - the Easter surprise is that the cookies are hollow and demonstrate that He is risen. I was sent this email some years ago by a protestant friend, so perhaps you could try to reach out to your guests with a little something that both you and they can agree on and have a fun activity with a purpose…

Other than that, perhaps you could give them a copy of “Pillar of Fire - Pillar of Truth”. They might learn something…

Oh, and have a Blessed Holy Week!


#20

So they decided to invite themselves, without consideration of your plans?

Lucky them! They are in for the best the Church has to offer in the way of liturgy. I’d keep on truckin’, and invite them to participate. But the kids would stay going to Mass, Good Friday, and Easter Vigil, with or without the grandparents.


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