Monday, June 17, 2019

The Cheerio Section

Daniel Schwen - Own work, CC BY 3.0
Periodically I hear rumblings about parents who bring their children to Mass. The children are noisy, they won't sit still. And the Cheerios. All those crumbs. If you are going to bring children and their Cheerios, better bring your dust buster and clean them up.

Sometimes I think the subtext is that these parents haven't taught their children how to behave at Mass. Can't they get through an hour without eating? Can't they sit still?

I sat in the Cheerio section for Mass on Sunday, a little one to the right of me, a little one in front of me. Each with their Cheerios. As I knelt after communion, a little face popped up in front of me, her bag of Cheerios in hand. She ate one and flashed a contented smile. Meanwhile, we are singing "I am the Bread of Life, you who come to me shall not hunger..."

It occurred to me that parents who bring Cheerios for their kids are teaching them that the Mass is a place where their hunger can be fed. And is that such a bad thing?


  1. I love this - perfectly put!

  2. And they are at Mass! Thanks be to Jesus!

  3. There was a country store in rural Georgia, and the owner was something of a joker. For example (one among many) was a small tray of Cheerios at the register with a sign that said "Donut seeds, 3 for $.05".

    The Cheerios crowd isn't planting donut seeds, but they are planting parishioner seeds. Undoubtedly, not all the seeds will grow. Some seed will fall on the path with no soil, some on rocky ground with little soil, and some on soil which contained thorns. But when it falls on good soil it grows, yielding thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold. And it has to be sown or there is no chance for growth.

    1. This is a great image. Yes, if we don't let them in the door (and thus exile their parents as well), all the catechesis in the world isn't going to result in more parishioners.

  4. As a member of an aging parish in Florida, I say "Bring on the Cheerios and the crying babies!" I love this post and the responses to it.