Same for folks looking to get married. They don't attend Church for years, barely have a grasp of the faith, and don't really care one way or the other about it, but force their way into a parish in the hopes of obtaining a Nuptial Mass. Why?
Is it because there is a feeling of obligation? Is it a superstitious "just-in-case" comfort? Is it a nagging conscience that finally has a point based on tradition alone?
I really don't get it. But I digress...
Anyway, as folks began agreeing with her, adding their two cents to the "CCD parents kinda suck" fest, I pointed out that children could very well be the key to reversing the apathy of their parents.
For example, one of my students burst into class on Tuesday night, barely able to contain his pride at having completed his homework. What was their homework assignment? Well, for All Saints Day / All Souls Day, I required my children to not only say St. Gertrude the Great's Purgatory Prayer (found here), but teach it to their families.
One of my students took that and ran. He was so proud to relay that he was "a magisterium," and that he'd helped save some 6,000 souls... he simply couldn't wait to share it with everyone at class. It melted my heart and reminded me of the value of a child's enthusiasm.
After class, I spoke to his mother who told me exactly how he taught them, too. He explained the significance of the prayer, how St. Gertrude got it, and why it's important to pray for the dead. Then he repeated the prayer for them, had them repeat it back, then they all said it together as a family.
RIGHT?! C'mon and tell me your heart didn't just turn into a puddle in your shoes.
I think I was given that special blessing so I could share it with these understandably jaded parishioners at the meeting. While I surely understand their frustration, we can't simply complain about the parents. We need to reach out to the children and harness their natural love of God and their desire to do good. That good will rub off on their parents. We can encourage these children to find God in their daily lives. We can and we MUST plant those seeds for them, because who knows where those roots will end up reaching? Who knows what souls their flowering trees may end up shading? It's our job as teachers to do the best with the children we've got, regardless of the parental support (or non-support) we get. All we can do is sow the seeds of God's love and leave the rest to Him.