Father, You’re Off-putting and Mean

Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin and Father John Hollowell, left

Ask  A Priest:  Missing Mass

By Fr. John Hollowell:

I’ve had a very similar conversation with several different people at multiple parish assignments.

The same person will ask two questions maybe a few days or weeks or months apart:

1) “Father, why do you talk about missing Mass and mortal sin?  It’s so off-putting and mean.”

and then, at some other point:

2) “Father, why have my kids stopped going to Mass?”


If no one tells the next generation that going to Mass is SERIOUSLY important, and that their salvation is on the line, then why would they go?

Canon Law, 1247:  On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass.”

The Catechism, 2180: “The faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants)…Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.”
“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”  Proverbs 22:6

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2 comments to Father, You’re Off-putting and Mean

  • lisag

    A priest taking the salvation of their parishioners seriously. The parish taking their religious life seriously. O I would love to see that world. Sometimes it is one or the other, but not often enough is it all at the same time.

  • Di

    Thank you Father for this article. We need the truth all truth and nothing but the truth no matter if it hurts someones “feelings.” We have to “love.” To truly love someone is to tell some the truth no matter what it costs us, even if it cost us the relationship, if it means the person is in danger of loosing their soul.

    We have to start living the faith. What did Jesus do? He didn’t say: “Lets dialog,” did HE? No, He said things like: “Come follow me” and “Go and sin no more.” We have to do what He said and live the way He says in numerous passages in the Bible.

    We also might want to let others know, that the Bible is a History book and Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. The people, places and things in it are real and did happen, all of them. It is not a pick and choose what you want to believe,as St. Augustine says: “If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.”
    We cannot live the way we want, if we really truly love God. To love God is to want what He wants. It means to die to self and live only for him, to detach from this materialist world and look toward more heavenly things.

    God bless all Courageous priests and may God have mercy on those who are luke warm. I am praying for you all, everyday!

    “We were so fortunate to be born in the bosom of the Roman Church, in Christian and Catholic kingdoms, a grace that has not been granted to the greater part of men, who are born among idolaters, Mohammedans, or heretics. . . How thankful we ought to be, then, to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! What would have become of us if we had been born in Asia, in Africa, in America, or in the midst of heretics and schismatic? He who does not believe is lost. He who does not believe shall be condemned. And thus, probably, we also would have been lost.”

    ~St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church

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