Nominal Catholic Parents Just Going To Kick Back And Let Son’s Religious Ed Teacher Do All The Work

May 4, 2015 by  
Filed under Parish Life

Declaring that they didn’t have the knowledge or will to properly catechize their son, local nominal Catholic parents Bert and Donna Tomlinson told the press today that they were officially leaving their son’s eternal salvation in the hands of his catechism teacher.

“Yes, as a Religious Ed teacher, one of my duties is to make sure that my students learn about the things most parents don’t have time for, like Jesus and salvation.” Anthony Spalding told EOTT as he deposited his $750 paycheck. “Society expects too much from parents these days. I dare say they expect the impossible. How is it possible for parents to do the essential things like making sure their children get enough quality TV and internet time, not to mention video game hour…and then to ask them to teach their children about the Church? No, no…that’s too much. That’s my job…it’s why I get paid the big bucks.”

Spalding added that if the Church continued to stress that parents spend more quality time with their families, that children would suffer and would be left out from learning indispensable life lessons as provided by role models like the Kardashians.

  • John Kloess

    (Clap, clap.)

  • TanichcaF

    Is this even satire?

    • wiffle

      Yes. (Nate made me do it. See above or below or vaguely near your screen.)

      • antigon

        Are you referring to the Nate who recently wrote 20 or so posts denouncing folk for chiding the earnest who didn’t see the satire, or the Nate here who’s denouncing the lovely tanichaf because she did?

        • T. Audrey Glamour

          Does it have to be either/or? Can’t it be both/and?

          • antigon

            But Audrey, a bird now? Not that the Church Militant was ever reconciled to all those flowers. It still wants, despite Opus Dei plots, that you restore the glorious photo of yore, the memory alone of which still helps sustain us through the lacrimarum val.

          • T. Audrey Glamour

            A bird, but not just any bird! Not a dove or a pigeon or a peacock…

            Cathartes aura of the horaltic pose (except this one is aloft). You will see its beautiful and–yes–tawdry and glamorous red head if you look closely!

      • Philippa Martyr

        Too late. I did it already, below.
        Plus I suggested TLM for the Tomlinsons. I just can’t leave well enough alone.

      • TanichcaF

        I know it’s satire, trust me. But, like all the best satirical pieces, this is so close to the truth it’s scary.

        • wiffle

          Longer explanation below, but one sentence: I was attempting satire too.

    • I don’t think it is.

      P.S. Yes I know technically it’s satire but it could very easily not be.

    • T. Audrey Glamour

      I think it’s pretty uneven.

      But who am I to judge?

  • Veronica

    Spalding gets PAID? Man, I teach CCD for FREE!! Where is this magical land where religious ed teachers make the “big bucks”?

    • Yeah that’s what jumped out at me, too! I certainly don’t get paid!

      • Mr Twink

        why should you be paid for spreading fairy stories?

        • OCMichael

          Uh, because this is a PARODY website?

          • Coach r

            Remember… dont feed the trolls!

    • Coach r

      I believe that’s monthly, probably half time. It would be a pretty accurate figure here in California.

  • cececole

    Zing! Right on target. I am a catechist and ask any catechist about this…. Take any 10 kids in a religious education class: 2 have parents that take them to Mass and teach them about their faith, the middle 6 have at least ‘some’ formation from parents and the poor confused last 2 have parents that can’t even be bothered to teach their child the Sign of the Cross or the Lord’s Prayer. (I am, however, still waiting for my check lol or even a thank you from 80% of the parents). Pray for these poor kids whose parents don’t teach their children about God.

    • wiffle

      Take heart. I was one of the last 2 kids. My parents sent my sister and I to CCD to…send us to CCD apparently. By my confirmation, we were going to Mass on Christmas and Easter, if that. It does help and occasionally it even takes, although I can’t vouch for my case.;)

    • TanichcaF

      Ohh yes, this. It’s so frustrating at times! But then you get the random call or email from a parent, saying that their kid is totally turned around since she started going to youth group/religious ed, and they’re talking about their faith so much that the parent wants to be a better Catholic because of it… it’s rare, but when it happens, it’s the greatest feeling in the world.

  • fredx2

    I would imagine that parents with only two kids or less are a little shy about preaching Catholicism too much.

    • wiffle

      Why? Is there some sort of child bearing minimum to be a Catholic I missed? Criminy, I’m never going to get all these details down.

      • antigon

        According to His Holiness, that depends on how they get delivered. But not to worry, Wif, he’s not the sharpest tack about details either.

  • Nate

    Quick question: Would it be more helpful to imperiously direct readers of this post to, “calm down,” because, “this whole thing is the Catholic Onion,” or a lengthy, and disconcertingly earnest manifesto about what better parents the Tomlinsons would be if only they knelt for Holy Communion, and that formal catechesis would be redundant if they only attended the TLM?
    This post has been up for hours now, and I’m seeing a distressing lack of either of these important categories of response.
    I’m certain we can overcome these shortcomings if we work together, and I’m happy to contribute to either type, so… thoughts?

    • wiffle

      I can certainly start with a preemptive “Calm down, this the Catholic Onion.” I think that will help. I did an excellent job on the San Francisco thread and think my talents will come in handy here.

      • Nate

        Excellent idea; it’s certainly beneficial to work within one’s experience and expertise.
        Can I suggest you do an exasperated general comment, and also a brief response to a number of other replies? You could start with TanichaF, there, who is, quite literally, asking for it.

        • wiffle

          She is, although I have to say that I do my best work when it’s a little less forced. I have to really feel the motivation to point out the ludicrously obvious to strangers on the Internet. I’m a method poster, really. However, I will give it a go.

        • TanichcaF

          Darlings, I was making a point that this is so close to the truth of how parents deal with religious education that it’s almost not satire at all. As a youth minister, I see the effects of parents who drop their kids off for religious ed and youth group and then don’t bother to really teach them the faith at home. Chill out, for I, too, was just making a joke.

          • wiffle

            Since Nate won’t let on, I knew you were making a joke. 🙂 He’s making a joke about people feeling the need to tell others about this being a joke, which is what you just did and I did to Nate about 3 articles ago. I picked on you because you seemed like you’d be a good sport about it and you have been. Please forgive me. As penance, I promise to not tell anyone that this is the Catholic Onion again until the next article.

          • TanichcaF

            Oh good. I do so hate being lumped in with the people who don’t know that this is sarcasm central. 😛

          • Nate

            Thank you, wiffle. Do you think you could also have a little talk with antigon? I’d do it myself, but I’m feeling so angsty from being misunderstood, that I need to go listen to Fall Out Boy in the dark for a few hours (because no one else gets me. (Except for you and Philippa Martyr, of course. (And hopefully TanichaF now too. (You can invite her to our next dark poetry reading, if you want.))))

          • Susan J Melkus

            Ooh, dark poetry reading? Like with flashlights? Cool!

    • NiGeRiAnGeEk .

      In the spirit of satire, some people respond with additionally satirical responses.

      I believe TanichcaF was saying that it is too close to real life to be satire and that she recognizes it to be satire.

  • Philippa Martyr

    If only the Tomlinsons knelt for Holy Communion. With this, and with regular TLM attendance, such catechesis would surely be obsolete.

    [We aim to please.]

    • Nate

      Um, wow, calm down with that stuff, it’s just satire!

      Satire |ˈsaˌtīr| noun
      (in Latin literature) a literary miscellany, especially a poem ridiculing prevalent vices or follies.

      This whole site is like The Onion, but for Catholics, so let’s just cool it with the super-ultra-trad stuff, can we? Maybe you should get a sense of humour and try going to a NO Mass.

      • T. Audrey Glamour

        New here, eh?

        • Nate

          You know, with replies this short, you make it awfully difficult for me to skim through and miss the point, but I’ll give it a shot:


          • T. Audrey Glamour




      • Philippa Martyr

        Thank you so much for the “this whole thing is the Catholic Onion” reminder. I was beginning to feel like something was missing.
        Ahhh. Thus nature balances itself.

  • T. Audrey Glamour

    Donna Tomlinson needs to start veiling.

    • Jim

      She already does, apparently. She just needs to ask Bert to cut her some eye holes.

  • Oh man, this really is a thing. In fairness, not everyone has a gift for stuffing big theological concepts into 2nd grade minds, but it would really make my job a LOT easier if parents would at least take the kids to Mass every Sunday.

    P.S. Yes I know this is a satire site but this could very easily be a real article.

    • Jude

      Five years teaching Catechism. In each class there were maybe two children whose parents were actually passing on the Faith. Many are just dumping the kids off while they shop or hit Starbucks. The classes taught on Sundays are where way too many parents deposit their children before heading off to Mass without the kids. And even if they schedule classes so that parents shouldn’t be able to do it, it still happens. The parents either leave Mass early or stay for the full Mass and arrive late to pick up their children.

      • Oh my – that’s another thing. Just the way these classes are scheduled can make life so much harder. I find that I’m very lazy and have Mass attendance issues if I don’t commit to something like teaching Faith Formation (that way people expect me to get off my butt and go to church so it’s that much easier for me to actually go to Mass – hey I know my weakness and work around it). So I signed up to teach the Sunday class.

        At my current church, class starts at 9 (same as Mass) and gets out at 10:10. We are cleaned up and out of the classrooms by 10:20. Then I am tasked with finding something for my kids to do for 25 minutes while we wait for Mass to start. If it’s nice outside the kids can just go play at the playground, but if it’s not nice it turns into a nightmare.

        At my old church, they staggered the different levels so that my Sunday routine went like this:

        9:45 – get to classroom and set up, take preschool-aged child to nursery and 2nd grade child to her classroom.
        10:10 – class starts
        10:15 – Mass begins
        11:15 – class (and Mass) is over. Mad dash begins to sort kids with parents, clean up classroom, retrieve school-age kid and move preschool-age kid from nursery to her class.
        11:30 – class begins for preschool kids, as well as another Mass. I attend Mass with only my school-age child.
        12:30 – preschool class (and Mass) is over.

        I liked that system because it let me put off dragging a rambunctious preschooler to Mass for another year and let me focus on teaching my older kid the order of the Mass. Also, the mad dash made sure there wasn’t down time.

        • Jude

          Unfortunately, it isn’t only the preschoolers (who do not have to attend Mass, but certainly benefit from it) who are being dropped off at class instead of attending Mass.

          • I realize that, and it is unfortunate. My point was that if churches put just a little thought into it, they could schedule things in such a way that it doesn’t make it rather difficult for the parents that actually want to do the right thing.

            If the parents don’t care to do the right thing, no amount of convenience will convince them, of course, but it stinks to be trying your best, only to find that no good deed goes unpunished.

  • Jim

    I’m pretty sure that $750 check was from Spalding’s day job installing
    residential wireless.

  • Susan Windley-Daoust

    What, this catechist got paid and wasn’t haranged into teaching at the last minute as a volunteer?

  • soulshepherdess, STS

    Even this evangelical catholic appreciates the satire, which is at its best when it comes so close to the truth that one must re-read just to make sure.

  • Paul Canavese

    But seriously… if we want to change the reality, our parishes need to coach parents to pass on their faith.

  • Sheilagh Shiepe

    And they shall know the truth and the truth will set them free.

  • ithakavi

    After all, if they can’t learn they must show up at Mass twice a year from Religious Ed, where will they learn it?

  • Mr Twink

    We were never taught RE and I think that is why I am free of it now. I certainly have no room for it in my life.