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Parents, Why Are Your Children Crying in the Confessional?


Parents, Why Are Your Children Crying in the Confessional?

Honest Question. “When was the last time you received the Eucharist?”

Parents, Father Gerber has 4 questions for you.

By Father Anthony Gerber:

Questions in the Confessional

For the first couple years as a priest, I would go through the usual Lenten ritual of sitting in the confessional for hours at a time, hearing various parishes kids’ confessions during school—whether Day School or PSR/CCD. And every year, I would hear the same litany of sins: “I was mean to my brother; I lied; I didn’t do what my mom told me to do; I said a bad word; and… I didn’t go to Mass.”

As a young priest, I wasn’t yet jaded to simply chalk this up to the typical child’s confession. So, a little surprised that a child didn’t go, I asked a simple question: “Why didn’t you go to Mass?”

Are Your Children Crying in the Confessional?

And the kids would answer in one of three ways: “Because I had a [sporting event/vacation]”; “Because we slept in”; or (and most frequently): “Because my parents don’t take me.”

“Because my parents don’t take me.”

I would hear that answer a lot. And what really struck me about this—what really shook me to the core—was not simply the frequency that this was said, but that most of the children were saying this with a deep sorrow in their heart and a deep longing to go to Mass. They knew they were supposed to be at Mass and they thought that they themselves were to blame for their not going. They didn’t yet realize that if their parents didn’t take them, then it wasn’t their (the kids’ fault), but the parents.

Quietly, there began to develop a righteous anger in me at the parents and a desire to “propose” certain questions to our parents, questions such as “Do you realize the impact you are having? Do you realize the sorrow that you are bringing to your child’s heart?”

But those questions I kept to myself. And the anger I brought to prayer and the tempering that experience would likely bring. Maybe I had an oversight; maybe I was being harsh and not compassionate. My anger subsided into a kind of pity for the whole situation.

Cultivating Indifferent Consciences

That is, until last year. Last year, I started to notice that, by the time the kids were in the seventh grade, they would confess this sin of missing Holy Mass with a kind of nonchalance. They would go through their litany of sins, but totally dispassionate. Some would even confess with a smile on their face.[ii] Why was this? During their earlier years, they confessed this with sorrow. But now, with lukewarmness? Why?

I started to think about this and I came to the following reason: at some point during the past few years, the child felt that she had to choose. She felt, in her limited and child-like understanding of things, that she had to choose between God and parent: to love God and upset the parents or to love parents and hope that God would be ok with not-choosing Him.

It’s a child’s hope. But it is a hope that easy devolves into presumption. And presumption accounts for the disappearance of the sorrow. If God doesn’t mind if we miss Mass, then why should we feel sorrow for it?

This presumption would further devolve into indifference when the child realizes that her parents—the parents whom she chose over God—are indifferent to Holy Mass.

So, by the time the child is in seventh grade, she sees both God and parents as indifferent to Holy Mass. Conclusion: Mass couldn’t be that important as to call missing it a “sin”—much less a sin to be sorry about.

By the example of their parents and by the love the children have for them, the kids’ consciences were slowly killed—and with it, any sense of sin and sorrow for it.

Questioning the Indifference

At which point, I was angry again. But it wasn’t a righteous anger at the parents. It was an anger of helplessness. I didn’t see how this situation could possibly be remedied without some kind of miracle. I was angry that there had been decades of indifference and that it seemed as though no one had done anything about it.

So I tried doing something about it: invitations to confessions, hearing confessions more, treating it as important, teaching on the Holy Mass, etc. I even—when giving the kids their penance—I even told them to offer prayers for their parents.

And there was some improvement. But I was still very much swimming against the stream.

I too was tempted to think that maybe this is just how things are and maybe this is all part of the whole becoming a “smaller Church” thing that Pope Benedict had talked about.

Until this year.

This year, I heard confessions all throughout the Archdiocese. And I had long ago stopped asking why kids were missing Sunday Mass. I knew the answer to that question. But I started asking a new question:

When was the last time you received the Eucharist?

That’s a different question. And that’s a whole lot different than simply asking about whether one is going to Mass. This question puts the crosshairs square on the target: on receiving Jesus.

When was the last time you received Jesus?

Indifferent Answers and Answering Indifference

I wasn’t ready for the answers I received. On average, fourth and fifth graders have not received Jesus since their first holy communion… in second grade. That’s two to three years without receiving Jesus.[iii]

I wasn’t angry any more. I was sad. I was deeply sad for the kids who haven’t had Jesus for two or more years.

When the seventh and eighth graders started coming to me for confessions, I started to ask them the same question: when was the last time you received the Eucharist. For the vast majority, it had been over a year. For some, it had been a full five years—again, since first communion.

Some seventh and eighth graders would smile as they told me that. At which point I would echo their answer: it has been five years since you have received Jesus.

And I added a new question:

Isn’t that sad?

Immediately, their conscience—just as it was way back when—was alive again. Every single one admitted that it was sad. Lukewarmness became sorrow again. And they missed Jesus. They knew it.

And maybe that might be seen as mean of me. But I am trying to keep their consciences alive. Trying to keep alive the notion that Mass is important. A notion that is being killed Sunday after Sunday by the example of their parents.

Trying to Find Answers to the Usual Questions

A couple years ago, I did an (anonymous) study at a Catholic day-school. I asked seventh graders a few questions. Those questions were:

1)      How often do you go to Mass?

2)      When was the last time you went to Holy Mass?

3)      When was the last time you went to Sunday Mass?

4)      How often do you go to Sunday Mass? [options: every Sunday, once a month, twice a year, twice a year or less, never]

Every child said that they went to Mass every week. On “Tuesday” (which was the day the kids went at school). 30% said they had gone to Mass in the last month. 70% said they go to Mass twice a year or less or never.

I did the same survey with the PSR/CCD program. And the results—save the part about going to Mass every week at school—were the same.

That probably would shock most day-school parents. It shocks every engaged couple that I’m preparing for marriage. Every time, the engaged couple says, “That’s odd. I thought that day school families would be going to Mass more than the PSR families. Seems like a waste of money otherwise.”

The natural question to ask here is: Why?

Why—not only why day-school and PSR families’ sacramental lives are nearly the same (despite one group spending thousands of dollars on the particular parish school), but also why some have the erroneous perception that day-school families are more faithful than PSR families.

A few months ago, I stopped asking why people aren’t going to Mass. After all, the answers to that question are usual and somewhat obvious: liturgical banality, secularization and frenetic pace of life, lack of examples of integrity of life and joy of faith, the killing of conscience, etc.

And I’ve learned that, sometimes, when we ask the same questions and get the same answers, maybe it is time to ask new questions.

I’ve also stopped asking questions about what I should do about it. Because, it’s not a matter of what I should do, it’s a matter of what people think they should do about it. And, right now, 70% of day-school and PSR parents believe this is not something to do anything about.

My 4 Questions for Parents

So, like Lent, different questions should be asked before we embark on projects that we think will solve the problem. But they are questions that I do not ask myself, but I think we should ask the parents. I’ve answered them for myself already. It is now time for parents to answer them. Here they are:

  • parents, do you know that you children cry in my confessional because you are not taking them to Mass?
  • parents, do you know that your seventh-grade child has a killed conscience, the victim of indifference?
  • parents, do you know that if you continue in the way you are going, you will not see your kids married in the Church, they will likely not have kids, and all of this time and money you are spending is really wasted?
  • And parents, isn’t that… sad?

Maybe the parents’ consciences were killed long ago too. Maybe an examination is in order—an examination with questions meant to clarify and purify.

Maybe then we can ask the next logical question, which is: What should we do about it?


 from Courageous Priest

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“It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice,”


Population Control in the Name of Sustainable Development
New documentary exposes radical agenda, says Steven Mosher

Contact: Anne Roback Morse, Population Research Institute, 540-660-2733,

FRONT ROYAL, Va., March 27, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ — “It’s Easy Being Green When You Have No Choice,” a controversial new documentary, exposes how our world today is being influenced to believe that humans are responsible for the assured destruction of the world by “climate change.” The proffered solution to such assured destruction is something called “sustainable development.”

But “sustainable development” is really nothing more than a tool, inspired by communist ideals, to indoctrinate us to accept a highly-controlled society in which human activity is closely monitored in the name of preserving the planet.

In the documentary, population control expert Steven Mosher explains the lengths to which the environmental movement will go to normalize population control as a means to save the planet. In reality, population control helps the environmentalists achieve their ultimate goal – total control of global resources-including the ultimate source: human beings.

Mosher says, “Ask the population controllers what-in the name of sustainable development or in the name of reducing the emission of greenhouse gasses-are they prepared to do? The answer? They’re prepared to do anything: they’re prepared to arrest women for the crime of being pregnant, give them Caesarean section abortions and sterilize them for life. This is happening in China as we speak.”

“One of the tools that they use very successfully, is sexualizing children-teaching them all about the mechanics of sex and nothing about the higher purpose of the sexual act -taking sex out of the context of marriage, out of the context of having children, and reducing it to an animal act.

“Why do they do this? Because sexualizing children helps to reduce the population because there are lots of young people who grow up thinking, ‘I’m really not interested in marrying and if I do, I’m not interested in having children’ because the emphasis is entirely on seeking pleasure out of the sexual act and not in having children. Children are a form of pollution, children are carbon-emitters.”

About the Author: Steven W. Mosher is an internationally recognized authority on China and population issues, as well as an acclaimed author and speaker. He has worked tirelessly since 1979 to fight coercive population control programs and has helped hundreds of thousands of women and families worldwide over the years. He has appeared numerous times before Congress as an expert in world population, China, and human rights abuses He has also made TV appearances on Good Morning America, 60 Minutes, The Today Show, 20/20, FOX and CNN news, as well as being a regular guest on talk radio shows across the nation.

To schedule interviews with Steven Mosher, contact Anne Morse at (540) 660-2733 or e-mail Anne Morse to schedule interviews with Steven Mosher, President of Population Research Institute.



Reggie Littlejohn Speaks at United Nations Three Times — Charges Complicity with Forced Abortion in China

Women's Rights Without Frontiers | Forced Abortion Is Not A Choice |
Reggie Littlejohn speaks to leaders from dozens of nations at the UN headquarters, March 19, 2015. Credit: Voice of America, Ron Shi

Dear Friends,
I was humbled to speak three times at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women earlier this month to standing room only crowds representing more than 30 nations. Our message: forced abortion and gendercide under China’s One Child Policy are the greatest crimes against women and girls in the world today. Further, the U.S. and the U.N. are complicit through funding the UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. Our message was published far and wide, including in the Chinese press, prompting major pieces in Voice of America and Radio Free Asia. The Women’s United Nations Reporting Network published our Statement to tens of thousands of women’s rights activists all over the world. Here is an excellent piece by WorldNetDaily, republished with permission.

U.N., U.S. complicit in worldwide war on women
UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations and the Obama administration are turning a blind eye as millions of girls in China and India are murdered, and women are forced to undergo abortions and sterilizations.

A group of women’s-rights activists made that explosive accusation Friday at a standing-room-only event, as the U.N. marks the 20th anniversary of the World Conference on Women.

“China is so powerful in the United Nations no one wants to offend them, so they are willing to turn a blind eye to the biggest women’s-rights issue in the world today – forced abortions in China,” Reggie Littlejohn, president of Women’s Rights Without Frontiers told WND. Read More


Your donation enables Women’s Rights Without Frontiers to continue to be a voice for the voiceless women and children of China. This huge effort comes at a cost. We need your support. Please give as generously as you can. Every donation makes a difference!

P.O. Box 54401 | San Jose, CA 95154
PO Box 54401 | San Jose, CA 95154 U

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 38: It’s not too late!

40 Days for Life

Dear Deacon John,


Have you gone to pray at your local 40 Days for Life vigil yet?

For some, the answer is, “I really wanted to … but just never made it out there.” If that’s you, then I have good news – it’s not too late!

You still have today, tomorrow and Sunday to go out and make a difference. Here’s the link to the 40 Days for Life locations.


Find one … and please go pray. You just may see a life saved. That’s what happened to me during my stop in St. Louis! 


St. Louis, Missouri



I had a great visit at the St. Louis 40 Days for Life campaign in front of the only abortion facility in Missouri.

The leader, Brian Westbrook, also leads the St. Louis Coalition for Life. Brian courageously left his job as an engineer to do full-time pro-life work and has helped save many lives in St. Louis.

The local Thrive pregnancy center has a mobile ultrasound bus outside this large Planned Parenthood center. As all of us were there praying, a mom left Planned Parenthood and went into the bus.


Praise God!


Louisville, Kentucky



While a handful of people prayed at the 40 Days for Life vigil in Louisville, a young woman and her male companion went into the abortion center. As they walked towards the building, a counselor was offering to help them. But still, they went inside.


Before too long, though, they returned to the sidewalk and met the counselor … who walked the young woman to the nearby pregnancy help center, where she received positive, life-affirming assistance.


“God is so very good,” said one of the vigil participants.


Springfield, Illinois


“At our Springfield Planned Parenthood, a young woman came out and gave me a hug and said she was going to keep her baby!” said Claudia, the local coordinator.


“She thanked us for being there and said that our prayerful presence there caused her to change her mind and not have an abortion,” she said. “This experience has made the effort all worthwhile for me.”


Claudia said that just knowing one life has been saved is a tremendous blessing. “I can only imagine how many more women have the same experience but never say anything.”


San Fernando Valley, California



“We had a pretty good prayer presence during the morning hours,” said Patti, who leads the San Fernando Valley campaign, “and our sidewalk counselor at the back driveway watched closely as a couple drove into the back parking lot, parked … and talked for about ten minutes.”


Patti said after they had wrapped up their discussion, they started their car and drove away.


She’s praying that this couple, like many others before them, have chosen life.


“Just our prayerful witnessing is enough to change so many hearts … and save so many lives!” Patti said. “If you haven’t devoted any time yet to this 40 Days for Life vigil, please consider doing so.”

Today’s devotional is from Fr. Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life.

Day 38 intention

Pray that we become vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement.


On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!”

— Luke 24:1-5

Reflection by Fr. Frank Pavone

This meditation, based on a sermon I once heard, is adapted for pro-life concerns.

It’s Friday. Jesus is on the cross. He has been killed by his enemies; he is off the scene.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Abortionists continue their work 3,300 times a day, tearing off the arms and legs of little babies and crushing their heads.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Pro-abortion groups receive blood money from billionaires who are as deceived as they are.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. Liars attempt to speak for all women and hide the pain of abortion, and ignore the evidence of how it harms women, and call abortion a blessing.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

It’s Friday. People of hardened hearts guard the clinics and usher desperate women in to have their abortions, while keeping them from the pro-life people who want to give them hope.

But that’s because it’s Friday. Sunday’s comin’!

Hope does not mean that we ignore or minimize the evils around us. It means, rather, that we see the whole picture, which is that evil is conquered because of what happened one Sunday morning.

We are called to proclaim, celebrate, and serve that victory, waiting in joyful hope for Christ’s return and the full flowering of the Culture of Life!

Indeed, Sunday’s comin’!


Lord, fill your people with new hope. Make us vessels of hope to all around us, especially to those who minister in the pro-life movement, that as we engage in the difficult work ahead, we may experience the peace and joy that come only from you and that nobody can take away from us. We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Printable devotional

To download today’s devotional as a formatted, printable PDF to share:


For life,


 Shawn Carney


Campaign Director

40 Days for Life

(c)Mary TV 2014


March 27, 2015


Dear Family of Mary,


“Dear children! Also today the Most High permits me to be with you and to lead you on the way of conversion. Many hearts have shut themselves to grace and have become deaf to my call. You, little children, pray and fight against temptation and all the evil plans which the devil offers you through modernism. Be strong in prayer and with the cross in your hands pray that evil may not use you and may not conquer in you. I am with you and pray for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.” (March 25, 2015)


This message from Our Lady is very serious. It is indeed a warning. She wants us to know that we have an enemy who desires to steal our faith, and our souls. She wants us to know that this enemy is well organized and has constructed a clever philosophy (modernism) that will take our faith away if we do not discover it at work in our lives. She wants us to understand that this enemy is the devil himself, and that we must fight him with prayer and vigilance.


But this is not the first time she has mentioned this threat to us. Here is a message she gave in 2010:


“Dear children! God gave you the grace to live and to defend all the good that is in you and around you, and to inspire others to be better and holier; but satan, too, does not sleep and through modernism diverts you and leads you to his way. Therefore, little children, in the love for my Immaculate Heart, love God above everything and live His commandments. In this way, your life will have meaning and peace will rule on earth. Thank you for having responded to my call.”  (May 25, 2010) 


It is clear that modernism “diverts you and leads you to [Satan’s] way”. Over the past two centuries this heresy has been worming its way into Christian societies. It has been watering down faith and taking confidence in Scripture and Doctrine away through its double-talk. It has been leading many to put too much faith in science and human intelligence, and just distracting us all from our Great God.


We have had great champions who have led the Church in the fight against Modernism, like Pope Pius X, Pope Pius XII, and Saint Pope John Paul II, as well as others. They have tirelessly confronted the errors of modernism. But the enemy knows he has found a good tool and so he refurbishes the lies and sends them back at us.


I suggest that we all take some time, maybe this weekend, to read about the Modernist heresy. There are short articles that give a quick overview of modernism. I will provide a couple of links.


I believe that the book, “Memory and Identity” by St. John Paul II, examines Modernism and its effect upon the faithful over the past 200 years. I am going to read it if I can, this weekend.


In the end, the best way to defend ourselves from the enemy’s plans, even Modernism, is to do as Our Lady tells us at the end of her message of May 25, 2010: “Therefore, little children, in the love for my Immaculate Heart, love God above everything and live His commandments. In this way, your life will have meaning and peace will rule on earth.”


Modernist lies sap our love for God, and make Him seem irrelevant. If we plunge ourselves into Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart, where we will learn to love God above everything else, and desire to live as He has taught us to live, we will be safe from the enemy’s lies and filled with peace. This is what Our Lady offers us in Medjugorje. It is wonderful!


In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2015







“Medjugorje is the spiritual center of the world.”
Saint John Paul II
Be connected!

LifeNews Pro-Life News Report 3/26/15 Pro-Life News Report
Thursday, March 26, 2015

For pro-life news updated throughout the day, visit

Top Stories
• The Life and Death of Baby Walter is Changing The Abortion Debate
• He Tried to Convince His Girlfriend to Abort. When She Didn’t, He Threw Her Daughter Off a Cliff
• Woman Who Decapitated Her Three-Month-Old Daughter Pleads Not Guilty
• Mom Gives Birth to Conjoined Twin Girls Who Share One Heart

More Pro-Life News
• Meet 10 People Who Changed Their Mind About Abortion
• Pro-Life Pope Francis Will Visit With Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama in September
• NAACP Continues Battle to Silence Black Pro-Lifer Who Bashed It’s Pro-Abortion Stance
• CBS Promotes Putting Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger on $20 Bill

• She Was Worried What Her Daughter Would Say Knowing She Was Conceived in Rape
• Assisted Suicide Sends Message Some People Are Better Off Dead. That’s a Lie
• Mainstream Media Pushes for Harvesting Organs From Patients Before They’re Actually Dead

• Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Signs Religious Freedom Bill Protecting Pro-Life Values
• Arizona Legislature Approves Bill to Opt Out of Abortion Coverage in Obamacare
• Louisiana Judge Quietly Changes Court Date Blocking Law That May Close Abortion Clinics

SIGN THE PETITION! Oppose Pro-Abortion Loretta Lynch for Attorney General

The Life and Death of Baby Walter is Changing The Abortion Debate
It took a long time for Michayla, age seven, to deal with the loss of her baby brother, Walter. Michayla still proudly speaks of him, telling strangers that she has two sisters here, and a baby brother in heaven.

Click to Read at

He Tried to Convince His Girlfriend to Abort. When She Didn’t, He Threw Her Daughter Off a Cliff
Prosecutors are trying for a third time to convince a jury that Cameron John Brown threw his 4-year-old daughter off a 120-foot cliff in Rancho Palos Verdes nearly 15 years ago. Brown’s attorney said Lauren Sarene Key’s death was an accident.

Click to Read at

Woman Who Decapitated Her Three-Month-Old Daughter Pleads Not Guilty
In Ohio, Deasia Watkins, who has been accused of decapitating her baby in her home, faced a grand jury today and pleaded not guilty to murder charges. Prosecutors said she will not face the death penalty due to her mental state.

Click to Read at

Mom Gives Birth to Conjoined Twin Girls Who Share One Heart
In Indonesia, conjoined twin girls were born with a very rare condition and share a chest, abdomen and a heart.According to the Daily Mail, the girls are in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Soetomo Hospital and are the most common conjoined twins known as thoracopagus twins.

Click to Read at


Meet 10 People Who Changed Their Mind About Abortion
Some of us start off as pro-life, but not all. Those who converted offer a certain kind of perspective. They saw the truth and the light, and they became pro-life! Here’s a list of just some who have been on the incredible journey towards accepting life.

Click to Read at

Pro-Life Pope Francis Will Visit With Pro-Abortion President Barack Obama in September
The contrast couldn’t be starker as Pope Francis will visit with President Barack Obama this September in a trip to the United States and a visit to the White House. While Pope Francis has been a champion spokesman for unborn children, his and the Catholic Church’s pro-life views are at opposite ends of the spectrum from Obama’s abortion views.

Click to Read at

NAACP Continues Battle to Silence Black Pro-Lifer Who Bashed It’s Pro-Abortion Stance
The NAACP is continuing its battle to silence a black pro-life writer who parodied it’s pro-abortion stance by referring to the NAACP as the “National Association for the Abortion of Colored People.”

Click to Read at

CBS Promotes Putting Planned Parenthood Founder Margaret Sanger on $20 Bill
The journalists at CBS This Morning on Wednesday promoted as uncontroversial the idea that Andrew Jackson should be removed from the $20 bill and substituted with the likes of Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger or radical environmentalist Rachel Carson.

Click to Read at

She Was Worried What Her Daughter Would Say Knowing She Was Conceived in Rape

Assisted Suicide Sends Message Some People Are Better Off Dead. That’s a Lie

Mainstream Media Pushes for Harvesting Organs From Patients Before They’re Actually Dead

California Senate Panel Passes Bill to Legalize Assisted Suicide, Doctors Would Lie About Deaths

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence Signs Religious Freedom Bill Protecting Pro-Life Values

Arizona Legislature Approves Bill to Opt Out of Abortion Coverage in Obamacare

Do Pro-Lifers Impose Our Beliefs on Others Or Does Society Impose Abortion on Babies?





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