Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Troubles with First Communion

It's been a long day. We found out today that my autistic son, who has come so very far spiritually, may really have his most special day totally messed up. First, they are having a "family-style" First Communion where the parents go up to receive the Eucharist with the child. Then the bomb got dropped on me today that he MUST learn both ways of receiving Communion, both in the hand and on the tongue and I am GRAVELY opposed to this. I feel it is totally violating my rights as a parent and violating Canon Law. You cannot FORCE someone to take Communion in the hand, regardless if they consider it "practice" or not. I do not trust him to receive in the hand because of his autism nor do I, as the parent, think it is the most reverent means of receiving the Eucharist. It is a personal opinion and my choice and that choice is being taken away from me as the parent. I plan on taking this higher if I need to but I am hoping to meet with the priest first. I'm not looking forward to it but I will do it with my husband with me.

I have been reading up on the statements from the USCCB website regarding disabled Catholics and how they be treated by the Church. The sacraments cannot be denied to someone who is disabled but the manner is something I am not sure about. I have voiced my opinion since the start of the school year of how I wished for him to receive Communion on the tongue only. I have many reasons for this but an important one is that we attend the Tridentine Mass and he cannot receive it in the hand there. Because autistic children have to do things the same always, if he begins receiving in the hand, he will not be able to go back. If I could, I would have him make his First Communion at the parish where we attend the Tridentine Mass, but that is probably not possible. I wish I had someone with some experience to help me along and let me know if I have any say in this or if my parental or spiritual rights(if I have any) are being violated. I have tried not to ask for anything special or out of the ordinary at this school. I have put up with a lot of nonsense(liturgical abuses, insanely horrid music and more) from the parish. They started off the school year(with new priests) and told the religion teachers to tell the children that they could "now receive Communion in the hand" . My oldest autistic son took this to mean(as well as most of the kids) that they were not to receive on the tongue anymore if they were.

So I need prayers. I know in my heart that we will probably not send the children back to this school next year. I have overlooked and put up with too much "liberal agenda" both political and spiritual and this momma bear has HAD IT. We had "Just Say No" week when my kindergarten aged daughter had to worry about drugs and came out at the end of the week thinking "drugs are something you hide in your room" and that was it. No other tangible knowledge. Another one of my children's teacher has been religiously using the Weekly Reader that if full of global warming goofiness and today said that some day everyone will be vegetarians. Then my daughter brought home a worksheet about how people "hold hands" during the Our Father at Mass. So, yeah, I have had it. I don't know what will happen to my business. I pray that my husband can find a job working from home or closer to home so I can home school next year. I am open to whatever God wants for us. But I am just over the whole mess. Sorry to vent today but I need to get it off my chest and yes, I do feel a little better.


FloridaWife said...

I hope that SOMEHOW God enables circumstances to be such that you will be able to homeschool next year.

Ma Beck said...

I am so sorry for your terrible situation - you are being treated unjustly.
I will keep you in my prayers.

Anonymous said...

I currently run the CCD program for my parish. I have over 600 children in our program. With that said, we do have a handful of autistic children in our program. I choose not to refer childre to the SPRED program, until I have exhausted all of my options. Currently I have a little boy who is receiving First Communion this year, I have spoken at length with the parent and understand his situation, fortunately for me, I have a volunteer that teaches him one on one. I asked the parent which way they felt he would receive and understand the importance of the sacrament better and that is how his teacher is teaching him. I think communication is key as well as understanding where the child is coming from. This particular family chose for the child to receive in the hands. The teacher did explain to the child that Communion can be received both ways, however, we only taught him to receive in the hands. Good luck, and I hope that you continue with Religious Education classes, regardless of where the child is coming from, catechesis within the parish community is key.