Parents missing mass because of babysitting

Hi All and God Bless:
Been wondering, if my wife and I go out Sat night and my children stay over at there Grandparents house and they do not go to mass the next day am I indirectly responsible for there actions and is this a sin on my/their part? Our masses are Sat 5pm, Sun 8,10,11:30 am and 5pm. I would think they could attend any of the other masses.

They make the decision to not go to mass, nothing you are doing is preventing them from attending as far as I can see.

how old are the children? Their obligation begins when they are old enough to prepare for first communion.
Why cannot you take them to one of the later Masses?
anyone including grandparents who cares for your children should respect your rules and take them to Mass. Why do I think there is more to the story?

If it’s the children, there is no obligation until around seven years old.

I can see why you feel concerned on behalf of the grandparents, but ultimately, it is their decision. You could always say ‘I do hope having the children doesn’t mean you have to miss Mass - I’d feel terrible if so. I’m sure they would love to go with you, and be well-behaved, if that’s what’s stopping you’.

Dave H, it is not clear from your post if you are referring to the grandparents or the children when you ask if it is a sin on their part or partly your sin too for them to miss Mass.

If it is the children who are missing Mass, it is not a sin if they are below the age of reason, which is about age 7. If they are 7 or older, then you as a Catholic parent must insure they meet their Sunday obligation. If you choose not to do that, then that is your sin. They rely on you to get them to Mass.

If it is the adults you are referring to, then it is their own sin if they choose to not attend Mass on Sunday simply because they were babysitting grandchildren on Saturday evening into Sunday morning. If they are worn out from babysitting, perhaps they could nap and then attend the 5 p.m. Mass on Sunday evening if they are also parishioners at your Church. If they go to another Church that may not offer a Sunday evening Mass, you need to pick up your kids early enough to allow them to get to a late morning Mass. Or, maybe you could let the grandparents take the grandkids to Mass with them instead (if the children are old enough that that wouldn’t be too daunting).

No you are not directly or indirectly responsible for your parents actions. their keeping the kids need not interfere with them going to mass. Of course there is a lot of deail missing from your post, but as you say there are a variety of masses they could attend. In addition, they need not attend together. My parents did this when we were small. Dad would go to 7:30 AM mass, and mom would go to 9:00 AM.


Oops, boy do I feel silly about my post above. The title of the thread clearly indicates “Parents missing mass because of babysitting.” I’m sorry for my initial confusion and perhaps adding to it.

With that, I’ll simply restate that it is their own sin if they choose to not attend Mass on Sunday.

we don’t know if you mean you, the parents, or the grandparents (your parents) or the children, or all 3, missing Mass

Again, I’m sorry for my initial confusion and perhaps adding to it.:slight_smile:

Dave H, maybe the thing to do is to take the children to Mass with you on Saturday evenings that you go out and suggest the grandparents also attend with you on Saturday so that all meet the Sunday obligation before you and your wife go out for the evening? Just a thought. I realize it is not your responsibility to make any suggestions or arrangements for the grandparents to attend Mass, nor are you responsible if they choose not to go at all on weekends that they babysit your children, but maybe that idea would work for them?

From reading your post I am assuming that since your children need a babysitter
that they are not old enough to do things on their own. (Just guessing here).
BUT if they are sleeping at their grandparents which is what I am getting here
why are you all at some point the next day attending mass together?
Even if they get up late you said that there is a 5pm mass on Sunday, could you
possibly get to:) that mass? I don’t know how old your children are so I am
just making suggestions here. If they are young and they cannot get to mass
on their own then it would be your responsibility to take them there.
I hope that this helps,but not quite clear on the situation though.

God Bless,


As you figured, yes there is more to this than I mentioned. I am a convert to the faith.
My wife is Catholic but non practicing. She doesn’t care for me going to Church other than Sunday mass. She also does not think the children should go to mass if she doesn’t and any further discussion leads only to arguements and the children resenting the thought of Church even more. The only Catholic teaching they get is from the Catholic school they attend and whatever I can talk to them about.
My parents are Catholic as is my Grandmother who lives with them. Unfortunately they are “cafeteria” Catholics and pick and choose what they will do as far as what the church teaches. Having said that when my parents babysit the children they do not go to mass on Sunday, as it is hectic to get my Grandmother ready for mass.
They will rarely attend later masses,thus my dilema.
I want to go out with my wife,but do not want my folks babysitting if they are going to miss mass the next day.
I think its time for a babysitter.
Thanks for your replies
God Bless
Dave H

I am guessing your grandmother requires care so they cannot leave her at home. That in itself is a reason for one caregiver to miss mass. But if they decide not to go to Mass when they are babysitting it is still their choice so you should not assume any guilt on their part. When your children become of age where Mass is an obligation for them you can insist that one of your parents take them to Mass while the other stays with Grandma.

This is not really a story about an issue with grandparents is it?
You and your wife have to be in agreement on what it means to raise the children Catholic. This now is the no.1 priority in your marriage. If you can’t come together here there is only disaster down the road the older your kids get.

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