'Tis the season of school Welcome Masses. I've now celebrated three in a week - at our own primary school, at a primary school in our neighbiouring parish, and last night at Corpus Christi, our local High School. This is also in our parish area, although it serves many parishes in north Cardiff.
Some priests have problems with celebrating Mass with children and teenagers. I suppose the little ones are unpredictable and teenagers often have that laid back "couldn't care less" look about them. I have learned to just relax and be natural. Don't try to be one of them, but language is often the key. Kids will just look blank if you talk over their heads or in church-speak, in a way that most adults are too polite to do!
However, it's not easy, to adjust to 11 year olds ot whatever age it is, and quite demanding.
Yesterday the school had many youngsters involved in the Mass - I counted over a dozen just in the BIdding Prayer. It all went well, and great credit is due to the school chaplain Deacon Rob Coyne, who brought the whole thing together. Demanding or not, at the end of the day I just really enjoy celebrating Mass - and especially with kids.