Parents, how to be involved in TLM community when distance is issue?
#1
So i have a question for anyone but specifically parents with young children who have to drive a distance to attend TLM.  Do you just attend the mass on Sunday/Holy Days or are you active in the church community and are there frequently.  My biggest hurrdle with joining (not just attending mass) a FSSP parish is we are 30 minutes away from the church.  So 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back although obviously that would lengthen if it were during weekdays.  Now by the the time my family(7 of us) are all together the earliest is 4:30.  We have kids ranging from 8 to less than a year.  So we try to get kids to bed by 8 if not earlier at times.  Leaving us at most 3 1/2hrs a day if we have no other extra curricular activities going on that evening.

So I am really adamant about my children being around other Catholic children and doing good works and even just being around positive Catholic influenced people weekly.  This is where my problem comes in.  We have a NO (please don't start a debate about NO being invalid/valid because I want to stay on topic) parish with a more conservative Priest we attend that is minutes away.  Due to the close distance we are able to do things with the church and my children can be around other Catholic children .  Although ideally I would prefer TLM community for them but I just don't see how its possible to join a parish with small children, at least a 30 minute drive and be involved more than just on Sundays?  The only way I could see it happening is if my children were involved in no extra curricular activities, did their homework during the car rides, ate dinner in the car (not a great family setting) and had the kids sit in the car for a hour numerous times a week.  I don't want to join a parish, only attend Sundays and have no other involvement with the parish.  Since I am sure this will be brought up as a solution, moving closer to the parish is not happening.  We live in an extremely safe city/area.  To move closer would be to move to an unsafer area.  Something I am not wanting to do with young children.  The next closest TLM parish is even further away and is downtown, in the next state over and an area I would never let my wife, let alone my kids be out and about without me.  Its that unsafe.

So I would like to hear from parents who have come into this problem and what they choose to do or have done in the past when it comes to joining (not just attending Sunday/Holy day masses) a TLM parish.
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#2
Simple.
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You do the best you can with what you have at hand.  Maybe you can get the TLM some days, maybe not on others. Some days everyone gets to Mass together, some days it just can't be done.   Follow your instincts.  Don't be too hard on yourself.  You are doing fine.
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My daughter went to a Catholic school across town, heavy sports schedule, homework and dinner in the car.  We sometimes went to Mass at the local parish and sometimes we went to Mass downtown.  The family is the first concern, the first school, the first "Church".  It will get easier as they get older, maybe (5 kids in sports and drama, etc).  They learn the faith from Mom and Dad.
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#3
My first inclination is that 30 minutes is not a particularly long way to go. But, ultimately, the answer is that you have to make a decision as to whether or not you value an hour or attending the TLM more and go from there.
"Punishment is justice for the unjust." Saint Augustine of Hippo
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#4
(01-23-2019, 03:51 PM)RyanPatrick Wrote: My first inclination is that 30 minutes is not a particularly long way to go. But, ultimately, the answer is that you have to make a decision as to whether or not you value an hour or attending the TLM more and go from there.

An hour once a week for mass is not the issue.  The issue is wanting my kids to be involved in the church more than once a week and involved with other Catholic children and a good Catholic environment multiple times per week.  That's the issue.  Its not getting to mass once a week out there.  Its being able to be out there multiple times per week to be involved in the community, doing things besides just mass, while not spending 1/3 of our time together driving every other day.  Taking 1hr out of a little over 3hrs multiple times per week becomes a lot, most of all with 5 children ranging from 8 to less than a year.  

That's the problem I run into.  I want my children to be involved with a parish, not just go on Sunday's and that's it.  Although I am at a loss of how to do that unless we drop out of anything besides school and spend multiple hours a week in the car.  That's why I was hoping to hear from other parents what they do.  Do they forgo everything besides school or are they just involved in their local parish that is not TLM and join a TLM parish when the kids are grown.
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#5
If you can afford Catholic schools, do that.  So much happens thru school.
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If you can't do that, try to participate in weekend events - fish frys, college football game days, etc.,  
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See if you can make some friends yourself at Church, maybe friends who also have children, and then have them over for dinner, play dates, etc.
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Does the Church or local parish have a playground on site?  Maybe a sandbox for the little ones?  At the local parish we have both and it is not unusual to find a couple of small children playing in the sandbox when they become too disruptive during Mass (yes, a parent is present and yes, God understands if you miss a part of Mass to care for your child).
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You may need to divide the older children from the younger children for some activities, but some volunteer activities allow older children. My grandchildren have cleaned up local creeks each spring.  I have also seen some parishes that allow older children to accompany their parents at Room At The Inn (as long as the child is responsible and calm and stays close to the parent).
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Boy/Girl Scouts thru the parish (oops, not Boy Scouts anymore, just Scouts, but it is now co-ed so that might be helpful.  Our non-Catholic church Scout troops allow girls but the girls are in a completely separate patrol/den, little to no mixing so the boy-part is not diluted with girl-stuff).   If you are interested in Girls Scouts, do your research first so you know what they teach and preach.
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School/parish kids or adult sports.  Sitting in the bleachers watching the kids play is a great way to meet people and make friends.
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Don't feel that you have to limit everything to "just kids" activities.  Parents need friends and fun, too.  And it is good for the children to see Mom and Dad happy and having fun.  Adult parish sports is fun and family oriented -  not all parishes play "beer ball".  Kids are delighted to see Mama hit a ball and run really fast to 1st base.
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And you will have to put some limits on activities.  While 30 minutes each way doesn't sound like a lot, I bet it can seem like an eternity with 5 small children in the car.  I would not want to be driving back and forth 5 days a week, either.
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I don't remember whether you are homeschooling, but if you are, there are activities and educational/sports programs for homeschooling, and, at least in our town, you don't have to belong to one particular program.  Historic Homes have programs throughout the year, local art museums also have programs.  You may not meet any Catholic children/parents at these activities, but you will meet Christians who take their faith seriously and who value a good education and good behavior.  Depending on your city, you may find a local Catholic homeschool organization, too.
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#6
There are many people that drive for an hour to get to my parish. It's a lifestyle. They pack lunch, they stock up on audiobooks for the car, they limit other activities so they're not always running around to kids' sports games.  You have to choose what's most important to you and organize other parts of your life around it.

It helps if you can figure out which other people from the TLM parish live near you and get together informally between Sundays. Then you don't have to feel like you're missing out if you don't make it to every single parish activity. Invite them over for dinner, pray the rosary together, let your kids run around in the backyard together.
Remember, O Christian soul, that thou hast this day, and every day of thy life: God to glorify- Jesus to imitate- The Angels and Saints to invoke- A soul to save- A body to mortify- Sins to expiate- Virtues to acquire- Hell to avoid- Heaven to gain- Eternity to prepare for- Time to profit by- Neighbors to edify- The world to despise- Devils to combat- Passions to subdue- Death perhaps to suffer- Judgment to undergo.
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#7
As the scribe points out, it is a lifestyle decision and not, I think, a massively onerous one that is not regularly taken by those who prioritize this sort of thing.
"Punishment is justice for the unjust." Saint Augustine of Hippo
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#8
We have a 2yo and 9mo and drive just under an hour to attend FSSP. Like a lot of people have said already it’s a lifestyle and it’s really worth the extra time in the car imo. On Sundays we pack a lunch and can see friends after Mass while kids play and just make a day of it. It also allows my wife and I to trade off Who goes to Confession before the later Mass each week since the line before our Mass is usually extremely long (our church has Confession 1/2 hour before every Mass). They also have a daily Mass on Friday evening that we try to get to. My wife also brings the kids to Adoration every week (on our all day Adoration day there’s a designated hour for little kids) and the moms and kids spend a while letting the kids play at the playground afterwards. The parish moms also do play dates rotating between houses. There are several families that are further out than we are, I’d say about the average distance for a parishioner is 20-30min. It requires a bit more forethought at first but once you get into a routine it’s honestly pretty seamless and we hardly think of how far away it is now.
Non nobis Domine, non nobis, sed nomine Tuo da gloriam.
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#9
Maybe try spending more time at your local church if your desire is to both be involved in activities at a parish as well as have your children around other young Catholics. It sounds like you already do that; don't assume that a TLM parish is your only refuge.

Spending so much time driving with five children ranging from 8 to <1 means time is at a premium; and, I would guess that it's not very stress-free to load up everyone in the car. Then, if you live in an area susceptible to bad winter weather, you'd have to be practical and realize that now you have to bundle everyone up and account for extra driving time in bad conditions. It sounds like one can easily get burnt out with trying to keep up that kind of schedule when you already have a good resource close by.

If your goal is to have your children around other Catholic kids, they can do that at the local parish. These are young children interested in playing and running around more than anything. Some here may argue, but I would say: don't assume that you HAVE to be at a TLM parish to raise your family the right way and have ideal playmates for your children. Again, they want to do what normal kids their age do - release their boundless energy while playing and running around more than anything. It's not like they're having deep theological discussions. They are at the age of learning Christian basics: be kind, don't fight, share, include others, help those who need it, be quiet and respectful in Church, respect adults, etc.

Lastly, if all "conservative" Catholics continue to shelter at TLM parishes, the conservative movement will never grow. Some Traditionalists seem to view members of NO parishes as contagious heretics, whose mere presence will infect their family with an unbridled desire for clown masses and liturgical dance. Despite what many claim is a massive revival of TLM parishes, the fact is that they're still easily outnumbered nearly 70-1 in most dioceses. And that is not going to change any time soon. So my opinion is that the best way to spread the Traditional faith is for you and your family to be a light to others. As Roger Buck writes, be a "Gentle Traditionalist." Spread your devotion to Traditional Catholicism through example, don't treat it as a lifestyle that can be guarded only within the confines of a TLM parish.
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