March 3, 2013

Sanctifying Sunday: DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS!

Before Matt begins, I wanted to link up for the first time with Fine Linen and Purple: What I Wore Sunday. 

Sweater: Walmart!
Pants: Kohls
Shoes: BCBG from Marshalls
Scarf: Present from my good friend Bridge, it was 50 degrees this morning and I love having an excuse to wear it.

Now for the better stuff from Matthew...

I'm always thinking of how we can better share the message of Jesus and evangelize people. Often, the answer comes from the negative scenarios, which I definitely experienced in this next encounter....

Last week at church I had a profound experience and have wanted to share this with you.  This experience has been repetitive over and over.... Roughly 52x7=364 TIMES.

The church we attend is called St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, in Naples Florida.  It's a great parish and the church itself can hold 1,200 people- uncomfortably.  I imagine last week there was an extra 300 plus people there, due to all of our lovely snow birds. 

Our pastor, Fr. John, is an amazingly prayerful man who has brought conversion and renewal in a parish, which many would have thought improbable and some impossible.

Nonetheless, the last 2 Sunday's we've experienced a grandiose problem of too many faithful parishioners overflowing our morning mass.  As result of this great problem the ushers decided to use the "cry room" as an overflow room to accommodate the need for seating.  As people were being herded into this room, like cattle sentenced to their doom and they had the look of terror on their faces.  Yes, a whole hour in the aptly named, yet grossly negative connotation- "THE CRY ROOM!"  They knew that they were in for it, and we did too!

As a side bar, I do know that this aforementioned room is an appropriate name. Some truths are self evident in life.  If you are NOT  crying when you go in there (the cry room), you surely will be crying in a short amount of time! If you have the endurance to last such matters, i assure you will weep in the end.  And, if you can enter and endure the cry room you will, with an ounce of empathy,"cry for those who remain."

For those who remain....This place can certainly be compared to the lower rung of Dante's Inferno. Yes, I am exaggerating, but I liked how that sounded. 
So, the nice ushers were gently escorting these poor unexpectedly souls into the cloud of the unknowing.  I thought to myself, "Well, these people must of have done something really wrong to be seated in here!"

Now, I know this may be out of bounds and may not actually make it to print because of my wife's redacting editorial skills making me more P.C.-  Politically Catholic- but, this cry room is designed as a replica of purgatory I'm sure.  The best of priests should give a mass or two as a penance in the cry room to the worst of returning sinners.  Yes, surely Augustine (my total fav of fav) and Merton (my fav son yielding talking monk) would have had their fare share in the cry room.  

So, succinctly put, there are X characteristics that are defining of our "cry room."

First, there is no sound.  Since I realized this reality I've encouraged my to learn how to lip read.  I wishfully hope that they'll translate for me as the Mass moves along.  I just don't have the luxury of reading lips during this wonderful experience because I'm occupied with other distractions. 

Usually I'm  taking a kid to the bathroom,
getting a sip of water,
telling one or all of them:
to sit or stand,
or to turn around,
or to get off the ground,
or NOT to eat that off the ground- yes, it was probably from the Fusco's last weekend Mass,
or telling Xavier (our 4 year old friend) not to walk on the counter,
or one of his relatives not to mess with the sound board for the WHOLE church!  They actually keep it in the cry room unlocked!!!

Seriously, they should have me as the Pontiff of the cry room.  Yes, many may be confused because  we tell them to "stay still" and then tell them to sit, stand, kneel, sit, stand, bow and then sit again!!!

My Name would be Pope RELAX WITH YOURSELF!

Secondly, it feels like purgatory.  There's no AC.  Or, very little at best.  I actually began calculating the square footage of the church and was impressed that we can adequately cool this massive church in Southwest Florida that holds 1,200 people, but can't AC a room that's 20X30.  I stepped out to the main church for Communion and it dropped 15 degrees!!!  I ascertain that this is a way to promote NFP!  
Lastly, no one will look at you!  You almost feel like you are in the zoo but on the other side of the monkey cage.  This time you're the monkeys doing "your" thing as everyone meanders by making faces and the like.  However, the majority of the congregation walks by the cry room that has a huge glass window and no one looks at you!  It's similar to the experience of when you come to an intersection and there's a guy holding a sign that says, "Will work for food" or something of that nature and everyone looks the other way!

This week I'm taking a sign that says, "Please watch my kids so I can feel like I've actually gone to Mass."  

Not a lie, this one old guy made eye contact with me last weekend and his wife grabbed his arm and pulled him away.  I was able to read her lips (HA!) she said, "Don't feed the animals!"

Here's the great part. There's TONS of young families with tons of young kids who love the Lord...

So, throw the FOOD, TAP the glass, ignore us!  We're still here- sanity or not!!!!  These are exciting times and all is for His Glory!!


  1. haha! gotta love the cry room...and old people with their blatant thoughts!

    kristin you look so pretty. love the colors and i'm so glad i'm not the only who's found fashion treasures at wally world!

  2. You look amazing and seem sooo happy! And I always share these posts with Bill. We love them, Matt.

  3. Oh, the cry room . . . never been a fan! I agree about it feeling like Purgatory.

    And, I love your scarf!!

    1. Thanks Katie, looking forward to checking out your blog :)!

  4. oh my Gosh!!! Can completely agree with every word of this!!! Our church doesn't have a crying room- so we as a church use the foyer area as the cry room. My kids are even so bad back there. . its embarrassing. Fiona is sreaming and stealing snacks from other kids- Eamon id doing cart wheels, and Gabe and Felic are either fighting or in lala land.I can leave mass with not even know what the readings are about- and when Pete is gone ( which is very often) and I take them all to mass on my own- i leave just about in tears- that's how hard it is!!!! Can totally relate over here!!!!!

    Kmaz- Love the outfit!!! I love shopping at walmart, Kohls and Marshalls!!!!- Theresa

    1. Oh man, I can only imagine you at church with all the kids! Eamon doing cart wheels, classic!


    Didnt know what it meant until we moved down here, and he started using it- lol. Funny! Now I know. I/m such a Florida girl now!!! hahah lol- Theresa

    1. Haha, such the Florida girl! Our traffic and Mass attendance doubles over here from Thanksgiving through Easter, craZy!!

  6. LOL this was too funny but so true. I'm sure we are being sanctified much in our cry rooms. I love that sweater! It's my fave shade of blue!!

  7. matt, yes the old man was actually crying....not because the love you had for the boys but the way the kids were climbing all over you all the time to sit on your lap..... he was sooo astonished the kids would love you soooo much as a father would love his kids like our Lord loves us`.`. lets all pray for the old man that the holy spirit continues to touch his heart and let him feel the love the Lord has for him.... love you guys`. every time we are together it gets better n better....xoxo


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