Last August 16, we shared the letter of a Pinay mom, addressed to people who have given her and her noisy kids dirty looks in church. Her kids were not rowdy, she clarified, but they were curious about their surroundings and “Papa Jesus,” which often meant persistent -- and not quiet -- questions.
The mom wrote, “I hope you can find it in your heart to be a bit more forgiving and understanding and to happily share the house of the Lord with everyone, even with noisy little children.”
After we shared the piece on our Facebook page, many parents started speaking out in the comments section. Others agreed with the author of the piece, while some pointed out that parents should be considerate of others attending mass. Picking out a few of the top comments, here's what you had to say (these have been edited for length and clarity):
“My son was not noisy, but we were still asked to step out” This comment received the most “likes” and “loves” from fellow parents. It’s a first-hand account of how a mom, a dad, and their 3-year-old son were made to step out of church during mass.
Just to share, I am also a mother who brings my children to church to get to know Brother Jesus and Mama Mary. One time we went to another church to hear mass. My son is 3 years old, and he loves to explore places. Sometimes he runs, sometimes he walks.
It was his first time to be seated in front and to see the altar. So, he was curious. He was exploring. He was going back and forth to the altar and to us, his parents -- pointing to the things that he saw. He was not shouting, he was quietly exploring.
Suddenly, a manang in the church approached my husband and requested us to sit and stay outside so that my son will not disturb the others in the church. He was not noisy! He was just exploring!
Since when did God, or even Jesus, stop children from exploring more so tell them to step out of church just because they were not listening attentively, running or even shouting? For me, the church should be open to all especially to children. No one has the right to ask someone, especially a child, to step outside the home of God and Jesus just because of running or talking too much or shouting. Didn't Jesus love the children more? --mom Tin Cruz
“May proper age for them to appreciate the sacred mass” The comment below received the longest thread of replies from other parents -- some agreed, others strongly objected. Find the full exchange of thoughts and opinions here.
For me, it's about respect for others. If you can't control your children, don't bring them muna. May anak ako, but I won't let him disturb other people in church. May proper age for them to appreciate the sacred mass. For 0 to 3 years old, honestly, boring for them to hear mass. That's why they will do everything to amuse themselves. We really cannot control it, bata eh. Kaya I will just bring my child if he knows how to behave already. If he can appreciate and understand the mass, then he will go with me. Again, that's me. --mom Beth Enriquez
Here is the top reply for the comment above. When my kids were little we brought them to hear mass religiously because we see our church as a community -- a loving community where everyone is accepted, loved, and celebrated. Hanggang ngayon na malalaki na sila they feel they belong there so automatic ang pag-attend ng misa kasi bata pa they felt accepted na. That's just me and my children, and our church. I thought the Lord said bring all your children to Me and forbid them not? --mom Tebs Lopera
Church or library? We can't resist sharing these short and light-hearted comments because a little humor to break the tension is often appreciated by both sides.
After mass, nung nilapitan namin yung priest para mag-mano, nag-sorry ako sa kanya kasi ang ingay ng 2-year-old bunso ko during mass, as in may times na sumisigaw kasi siya (either na-bored or natuwa siguro sa echo sa loob ng church). Sabi nung priest, okay lang daw na bata ang maingay kaysa yung mga matatanda ang maingay. Hehe! --mom Vanessa Basilio-Liwanag
Hay naku! Ako 'pag may tumitingin sa anak ko, lalo na kapag umiiyak, tinititigan ko at pinapaabot ng mind-your-own-business look. Pumunta ka sa simbahan hindi para magbantay ng maiingay kundi para magdasal. Ano ka librarian? --mom Nonalyn Roldan-Sanchez
'Yung dapat sa library pala kami pumunta para bawal maingay... --mom Jannette Tendencia-Montes
"If we don't bring the kids, we can't go to mass either” I, for one, bring my children to church because no one attends to them during the weekend. So what do we do? Not hear the mass for the sake of other mass-goers not to be disturbed by my kids? I hope you have more compassion with those who bring their curious children to mass. We have our own reasons. Again, church is for everyone. Even sinners are welcome. Why close the doors for these innocent kids? --mom Aimi Legaspi Maniego
Saying her piece and offering peace #1 This mom included the hashtags #NoToParentShaming and #JustSharing in her comment.
Siguro let's not argue na lang with this matter kasi every child has a different character. Why not share na lang what we do sa mga anak natin to help other parents na nagsu-struggle din?
Kami, ang ginagawa nalang namin ni hubby, during those years na makulit pa anak namin, nasa labas kami ng church during mass. Kasi most of the Catholic churches naman may speaker sa labas, so dinig pa rin ang sermon ni Father. But when we started seeing our daughter singing along with “Our Father” and responding “Amen,” that's when she started behaving during mass. Ayon, nasa loob na kami ng church lagi. Sanayan lang. When they get used to it, they would definitely love hearing the mass. --mom Lezil Abbang Gabuyan
Saying her piece and offering peace #1 My son was a very curious child and talkative at that. But, I would try to lovingly but firmly remind him that we can't be too mobile and talkative in church as in the malls or other places. He would understand and obey for only few seconds. I would remind again. And the cycles goes on and on. There was a time that I opted to attend bigger churches so the disturbance won't be so noticed! I never stopped bringing him as it's the only place where he can practice how to act in church. I just hope parent's won't be 'deadma' to the noise of their kids while inside the church. Please at least remind your kids to keep quiet. --mom Ellen Patag-Agustin
You may read the rest of the comments here. What do you think, mom? Tell us in the comments section below.