The Catholic Church teaches that the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the “is the source and summit of the whole Christian life.” It is such a privilege to participate that we should feel great joy attending Mass and do so not merely from obligation but from deep love for Christ and our Catholic community. At the table of the Lord we are nourished by praying with others in the community, by hearing God’s Word proclaimed, and by receiving the Holy Eucharist, the very Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ.
Because we are such busy people and have so many things to worry about in our daily lives, many Catholics are unaware that it is a very serious matter to miss Sunday (or Saturday night) Mass. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says, “On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass. The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day.” (CCC 2180)
The Sundays that high schoolers have faith formation class, they should attend the 10:30 Mass immediately following class. Many families prefer to attend Mass together on Saturday evening; that is a wonderful alternative. Worshiping with one’s family is always preferable.
If your family attends Saturday evening 4:00 Mass together, that is beautiful; just please let Maggie know this. If your family normally attends the 8:30 Mass together, that is wonderful too. However, students should remain in Mass until it has finished and then join their class at 9:30. If there are extenuating circumstances, please call or email Maggie to work out a solution.
The requirement to attend Mass after class is not meant to be difficult, punitive, or frustrating. It is an invitation to partake in the Divine Life of Jesus in union with his bride, the Church. The Father’s love for us, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s constant presence in our lives are all so beautiful that the very least we can do is offer an hour each week back to worship God and give thanks for all he has done in our lives.