So I'm getting ready for our Confirmation Retreat, sending letters to the past two years' Confirmation class to gather a team of excellent kids to lead this year's Retreat, and I ask my secretary to make copies of this very letter.
Her daughter is in the Confirmation class and the retreat is requiered. Her daughter-and a few other friends in the class-have been given the opportunity to be a part of a big event which occurs the same time the retreat does. So, my secretary comes to me-as she has in the past-and tells me that said daughter and friends have come up with a plan to miss part of the retreat and get the information from other kids who were on the retreat last year, in essence being ok with comprimising their Confirmation Retreat.
Then the secretary informs me that she has already talked to Fr Pastor about it and he seemed much more open to it, that if they have a plan, that would be good. That we need to always have options for people and take a pastoral approach. (ps thanks for coming to me first...)
Ok, I'm all for that. Really, I know that there are definate times when the rules, as they were, need to be amended so to best work with others and these amendments still reach the goal. Like the girl who couldn't make the second service requirement at the local nursing home, but went with her grandmother on a different day, different place and did some good work. Ok, I have the rule that we do service work together to build community, support each and such, but she did make one already and was willing to put in time in a different way.
But this is literally
a 24 hour retreat. They have known about it since September. They also knew that it would be required. I hate that word, esp since these girls are really really really great girls, in homes where the Faith is delighted in and faithfully pursued. They also have two more years to try out for this and frankly if they don't make it is it really the end of the world? Of their careers? I know moms want to make their kids happy, I know this is of great importance to the kids, but I'm tired of making concessions to school activities, parents and frankly, the pastor. I also want these great kids because they influence other kids whether they know it or not and hold up the standard of what we should be doing. Well, usually anyway.
What happens when another parent comes to me and says "well, Bobby has a meet that day " or "Susie has a private tennis lesson that day" and wants to not be there?
They insist that if they are gone during the social part it won't make a difference. In my book, any time away from the group is time away and affects the others. The retreat is everything: The talks, the small groups, the hanging out, the getting to know others the meals, the games-every single part serves a purpose.
What would you do? Have you been in this situation? What standards do you use when making exceptions to the rule?