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Catholic Secondary school, how do they check that you go to Mass?

(27 Posts)
kitya Mon 26-Sep-11 22:50:49

Its an option to go to the catholic school we went to. Schools in the area are not very good. This one is on the doorstep and is very good. Trouble is, my friend does not attend Mass very regularly with her son. At the open night she was told priority goes to those baptised catholic, have attended catholic primary school and go to Church on a regular basis. Her son only ticks the first two boxes. Does anyone know what kind of form the priest will sign? What if you were as quiet as a mouse and sat on the back row every week, would he even know you where there? Thanks!

wantadvice Mon 26-Sep-11 22:51:41

Lots of churches expect you to sign in each week.

daisydotandgertie Mon 26-Sep-11 22:54:28

Yes, he probably would and he normally writes a reference letter to the school.

At that age, most Catholic children will also have taken their first communion and been confirmed, so the parish priest will normally know all children from that.

ExitPursuedByaBear Mon 26-Sep-11 22:56:35

You are clearly not a Catholic, or a church goer. The Priest will know wink

kitya Mon 26-Sep-11 22:57:13

Thanks!! he has made his communion but, I guess its too late to start taking him to church now.

Thereitis Tue 27-Sep-11 08:18:47

Never too late! There are lots of reasons people don't go to church or change parishes - some priests aren't inspiring. Some make you think "what am I doing here?" But there are others that are tremendous - shining examples of how the Church can enhance one's life. The best thing to do, in my opinion... is go to the Priest, if you like him, and tell him the truth - he should be welcoming and helpful. If he isn't he's the wrong sort of Priest! He should suggest a way for your friend to become active in the parish. The good priests I know, if one goes to them honestly will welcome your friend and your friend's son.

missnevermind Tue 27-Sep-11 08:49:12

Our priest said to me that he understood how busy I was raising a family and he understood that I was not able to make it to church very often.
He feels that as long as somebody in the family is coming occasionally to Mass then the 'Household' has attended.

Also if a child attends a Catholic primary school then they will be attending church on a regular basis.

Fo0ffyShmooffer Tue 27-Sep-11 08:56:16

I think you might find that many of the applicants for that particular school only tick the first two boxes so she might be worrying unnecessarily. However you do tend to find that there is a process where the priest signs something for proof.

nickschick Tue 27-Sep-11 08:59:51

The holy water is illumunous and waterproof grin once sprinkled on face and chest as you make the sign of the cross as you enter and leave mass the colour intensifies weekly - if you are a regular attender they put your child in a dark room and if he glows brightly .......hes in.*grin.

*absolute lie - as far as I know they speak to the parish priest.

kitya Tue 27-Sep-11 13:17:38

I know their church has a brand new priest, one of those chaps thats allowed to be married. I dont think for a minute that those families that were at the school open night all attend church every week. The churches would be full otherwise.

serin Tue 27-Sep-11 19:28:40

The churches with good schools attached are full every week kityagrin

LemonMousse Tue 27-Sep-11 19:36:43

I think you'll find that God.Will.Know wink

My friend has had to pay for a replacement certificate of baptism from her priest - or as the priest said "We usually ask for a donation......of about £7 or £8" grin

meditrina Tue 27-Sep-11 19:54:32

The best reference (so I've heard) follow when the priest knows exactly who you are when he sees the name (ie sees enough of you that he doesn't have think hard).

If there isn't a sign-in register, a new priest would ask around to see if anyone knows you.

And many churches do have large congregations (another reason for keeping tabs by sign-in), so yes many parents will be regular attendees, but unless you have to be of a specific parish they may be widely scattered and you eon't necessarily see them yourself.

meditrina Tue 27-Sep-11 19:57:17

This thread led me to see if I could find out the typical size of an RC congregation. From a summary of the 2005 church census, the average is 206.

Does anyone know of a better or more up to date source?

nickschick Tue 27-Sep-11 20:14:05

When a child enters the reonciliation programme (makes his first confession,is confirmed and receives holy communion)the parish helps generally they 'sponsor' an individual child and offer prayers and support so this is a time celebrated by the whole church- so even if the priest is new the parrishioners will know who is who.

Nelleh Sun 09-Oct-11 22:27:42

Catholic churches encourage the congregation to submit their weekly 'donation' via a numbered envelope system. The cynic in me thinks this is how they know whether you are a regular attender!

A priest once told us he could tell which mass he was saying if he had been dropped in from space as the congregation tend to sit in the same seats/area every week - it's true. So, even if you friend and her child sat like mice at the back of the church, the priest would notice them - a quiet child at mass?

QuintessentialDead Sun 09-Oct-11 22:32:02

The Church connected to my sons primary school celebrates Mass three times on a sunday!! All full! grin

And the priest KNOWS.

There are boxes to tick such as
Family known to the Church
Child known to the Church
Child/family unknown to the Church
Family in Regular attendance

and finally

Approximate attendance per month
tick 1 - 2 - 3 or 4


EdithWeston Mon 10-Oct-11 10:01:13

They encourage regular donations in numbered envelopes as it is the way to make Gift Aid work.

nickschick Mon 10-Oct-11 10:34:46

Im catholic and have attended church regularly for many years - ive never used a envelope donation system I put my money in the plate and if im in a position to put a note in the funds I slip my £20 in the church fund box - I dont want people to know what I donate.

ChazsBrilliantAttitude Mon 10-Oct-11 14:32:57

Nelleh the numbered envelopes are so they can reconcile the donors details with the tax authorities as Gift Aid donations are only valid if the donor has paid sufficient tax in the UK during the relevant tax year. (Guess whose Dad used to assist with the scheme in his parish wink).

sue52 Mon 10-Oct-11 15:51:14

I'm pretty sure that they ask for documents that show your child has received all the relevant sacraments, baptism, confession, communion and confirmation.

maypole1 Mon 10-Oct-11 17:02:17

I would also make sure you don't just sight but talk to the priest

Sil went for a whole year sighned in and was told by the school the priest didn't know any such family

ChippyMinton Mon 10-Oct-11 17:49:17

Our priest is quite cute about the form signing and asks you which box he should tick about your attendance.

I doubt any but the most regular attendees are brave enough to ask for a tick in the 'Regular i.e. every week and holy days of obligation" box.

pinkytheshrinky Mon 10-Oct-11 17:53:19

I tell you what it really upsetting when your children are baptised c of e but go to catholic school, go to mass every week and have made their holy communion and we might not be able to get into a catholic high school because of the wrong baptismal certificate! Our priest is writing to the school because he knows were are practising but it is all such a minefield.

toadoftoadhall Mon 10-Oct-11 17:56:29

You can't get out of our church without shaking hands with the priest and chatting, he blocks the door and he makes a special effort to talk to people he doesn't know. He knows who goes regularly, who goes occasionally and who doesn't go until secondary admissions are looming.

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