“Nothing new there." Priest in Irish parish takes a dig at poor mass attendance of confirmation families 2 years ago

“Nothing new there." Priest in Irish parish takes a dig at poor mass attendance of confirmation families

The priest has taken measures to “support the necessity of participation in Sunday Mass”.

A parish priest in Wexford has called a public meeting to discuss the absence of a majority of confirmation parents and children from Sunday Eucharist since the start of the current school year.

Father Patrick Banville of St. Senan’s parish in Enniscorthy in Wexford served notice of the public meeting in a weekly newsletter, saying that he made it “abundantly clear” that, for Confirmation families, “participation in Sunday Eucharist is not optional, it’s absolutely essential”.

In a note in the newsletter titled ‘Parish Think Tank: Confirmation’, Fr. Banville said he had introduced measures to support the necessity of attendance at Sunday mass, but that he had “been largely ignored” and added that no more than 10 confirmation families (“and this is upwardly generous”) had been attending mass over the past number of months ("and years!").

“Nothing new there, you might argue. Too true, unfortunately,” Banville said.

“It seems the majority of parents have refused to enter the struggle to participate in Sunday Mass but they will still present their children for Confirmation in March,” he continued.

“This suggests that for the majority of Confirmation parents, Mass is not valued, is not a love-thing, a matter of attraction and encounter, and this absence (or at least the refusal to enter the struggle to get to Mass as a family) suggests that Confirmation is without a context.”

Thinking aloud that it “would be good to hear what the people of the parish think” about the issue, Fr. Banville has called for a meeting at the Community Centre this coming Thursday, 15 February at 7.30pm.

For more information, check out St. Senan’s Parish, Enniscorthy on Facebook.