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Things Only Kids Who Grew Up Catholic Will Remember

In this episode of The Catholic Talk Show, the guys reminisce and talk about things that only people who grew up as a Catholic will remember.

In this episode you will learn:

• Things you’ll remember about Mass as a kid
• 5 things you’ll remember about Catholic School
• Why Donut Sunday was the BEST
• Things you’ll remember about your 1st Communion
• Why giving the envelope as a kid was awesome
• Things Catholic kids remember about their Grandmother
• and much more


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17 comments on Things Only Kids Who Grew Up Catholic Will Remember

  1. Martin Pfister says:

    1st Communion was 1958. No wine back in the day. We did, however, have a three hour fast before Communion.
    Our entire school, 1 – 8, attended daily mass, so there was a 15 minute breakfast time in our classrooms before we started any instruction. The Fridaybefore our First Communion, I had filled a Tupperware container with Rice Krispies ( we could buy an 8 oz. milk for a nickel) and set it on the counter so Mom could put it with my lunch the next Monday.
    When I received the host on Sunday, it lodged on the top of my mouth way back where I couldn’t get at it with my tongue. And I was sure that if I used a finger to dislodge it I’d probably be struck by lightning, or at least head slapped by my guardian angel. So I struggled with that host, nearly choking, until I thought I’d die. It finally turned into a soggy mess and slid hesitantly into my throat and I was able to gulp it down. Well, I went home from mass, returned the Krispies to the box whence they’d come and adjusted myself to the notion that I may have just received my first and last communion.
    To encourage children to receive communion, our school would let us preorder doughnuts for First Friday’s breakfast. In the second half of 3rd grade, my lust for fried, glazed yeast rings caused me to give it a second shot. That host went down almost as easily as the five doughnuts I had ordered (to the disbelief of that good sister). Moral of the story: the Holy Spirit can even use doughnuts to win a soul.

  2. Kathy White says:

    What I remember is REspect !! Responsibility for actions . Saturday was confession day . Before First communion was learning the Latin so we could understand the mass . First communion day was very special . We were so privileged to recieve the host . It was so very special . After Mass we were given a beautiful bouquet of white flowers . Always bakery goods after mass .. white veil & dress made you feel like a bride .

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi guys,
    Fr. Rich, I too loved Christmas Eve Mass the best. It was my favorite Mass of the year too. You were out at night and it was very mystical. That is the time of year I felt closest to Jesus other than Easter when I always felt really sad and very guilty. Kids shouldn’t feel that guilty. But on Christmas Eve you got to welcome the Baby Jesus first before all the people who attended Christmas Day Masses. I would fall asleep immediately when I got home so I was ready for Santa. The Christmas Eves that it snowed made even more beautiful magical memories as everything was covered in white. Purification.

    As far as Holy Communion I still remember dressing up and all my dress shoes scraped against the heels of my feet because I had what amounted to spurs or whatever on the back of them. I still have these spurs today, of course, I just get to pick out more comfortable shoes.

    Thinking about First Communion reminded me that every Sunday I would suffer in my best shoes. We had to put on our best clothes for Mass every Sunday. My first communion outfit went to one of my nieces who followed me a few years later. As far as parking lot memories our church was in walkable distance when I was a kid. I got a rosary for a gift plus a small white Bible and lots of money in envelopes. Lots of family pictures were taken and survived my family photo albums. All the money for First Communion went into my first savings account. We got donuts after Mass at the donut shop across the street from the church almost every Sunday. I still have the children’s size white Bible today. I don’t remember ever practicing receiving first communion. I was told to leave the wafer on my tongue to dissolve naturally. I did and don’t remember having any problems. We were asked not to chew it though.

    As far as Christmas I still have the nativity scene from when I was small and most pieces are gone. It was a plastic set and some figures were even chalk. My teething marks still on the sheep. I got to put up the nativity scene every year. It was my happy duty setting up the stable and animals and Baby Jesus.

    There are still religious processions today that happen in ethnic parts of my city for the Blessed Mother and for different saints. Traditions that have been around before I was born. They take place in Little Italy.

    I am glad you spoke out against nasty twitter accounts that keep arising about the abuses and scandals of the church. You did an excellent job guys refuting it. Unfortunately, there are those who could care less about the abused children they just use an excuse to hate and insult a church and faith they don’t understand. Some people need some institution or person to hate and these people found it in the Catholic faith. They are also conveniently overlooking all the domestic households throughout the world where babies and children are molested and abused from birth. They don’t care about the child abuse they care about attacking our faith. Prayers need to be said for them as well. They are truly lost souls some of them. They have no anchor.

    I was no fan of some of the nuns I had through 12 years so there are plenty of adventures with the sisters that ended me being punished. I had teaching nuns so they planned their vocation to be with children and I swear to God some of them hated us! Mixed memories. My first grade nun was an older woman who loved kids. Truly an older woman not just from a kid’s viewpoint. She helped to make my First Communion special. Her name was Sr. Philomena Marie. I remember the names of quite a few nuns but she was special and gentle with small children as well as patient. I was reading at 5th grade level when I got to 1st grade so I read aloud to the class often. I was a bibliophile. That I remember too from back then as I think I had the sin of pride!

    I had no real or I should say lengthy grandmother experience just a loving grandfather experience until I turned 18. My paternal grandparents were dead before I was born. My maternal grandmother died when I was six. I do remember she was very sweet and loved kids. My Ma had the Danish cookies tin box filled with prayer cards and rosaries. That I remember and I put my small Communion bible into it after I received it. I still have the tin. It has survived moves. My children’s bible looks as old as I feel!

    Thanks for the memories! Stay safe and stay healthy as I ask God to bless us all during this pandemic.

  4. Patricia Naperola / Nelson says:

    I. Remember. My. FIRST COMMUNION. MAY. 6, 1956 All. Dressed up. In my. White. DRESS. And White VEIL, In those. Days. They had the COMMUNION RAIL .. .. Our. Parents dropped us off at our Parish School They. Went into church. Before. Us. And we Processed. From the School to the Church. With our. Hands put together. and then. We all. Processed into the Church. As all were. Singing….We sat in the pews. In front. . Without. Our parents . MASS was in LATIN. In those. Days…. When Communion time came. We processed. And took. Our place at the. Communion Rail … One. PRIEST. And 1 Altar Server. With a packed. Church. …. .after Mass. we Processed. To Mary’s. Grotto. And had. Our Picture. Taken with. Her. Those. Were the DAYS.

  5. Diane Flower says:

    I have many fond memories of growing up Catholic. First Communion was April 26, 1963, day before my birthday. It was a Latin Mass, we had to fast for 3 hours, so my parents made me eat a bowl of cereal before bed the night before so I wouldn’t be hungry. I went to Catholic school, mostly nuns teaching back then. My dad opened a savings account at Third Federal for me with the money. I also have a bible that my dad received when he was a student at John Carroll University.
    As a child, we went to Mass on Christmas Day. My family went to the noon Mass at St. Therese every Sunday. The church was at the end of our street and I felt like I was walking on a cloud on the way home from mass. As a teenager, we went to midnight mass and came home with friends in tow. My mother would take the ham out of the oven and we ate and just had a good time with our friends.
    I also remember the guitar masses in the 70s. Our pastor would not allow it in the main church, so it was in the basement. Our next door neighbors were Lutheran, but they went to that mass every Sunday!
    I belong to St. Stanislaus in Cleveland, Oh. We have a big Polish festival every year in October. Our Music Director has trumpeters and a timpani player accompany us at all the masses and the church is decorated for the weekend. The food is also incredible and so are the drinks.
    I have so many more memories and thoughts, but don’t want to take up more space. Thanks for this show!

    1. We love Saint Stan’s! Whenever DellaCrosse visits Scheel in Cleveland, they go to Mass there and then lunch at Sokolowski’s after!

  6. Alice says:

    If you do another episode like this get someone from the ’50s to tell about the “real” 🙂 Catholic church with it’s traditions. recommend someone from NYC (n the Bronx is best 🙂

    1. I agree! We had so many meaningful traditions that help makes us sad when everything changed. My heart was broken and I was a young mother with children going to the same school. Some of the greatest moments was when, as a child, the Blessed Mother would understand my heart. Oh, and by the way my First Communion money went to be beer for my parents party. Yeah, good memories.

    2. Andrea says:

      Any big city with a large Catholic population would do. I have heard many a tale from the fifties. The nuns liked to crack their whips. The priests liked to lord it all over the nuns. Discipline sometimes got out of hand during a time when you could hit a child and get away with it. Hellfire and brimstone sermons were the norm.

  7. Kelly Turner says:

    The kids went to early Christmas Eve Mass. Then we would be dropped off and Grandmas to make tamales for Christmas Dinner. Our parents would go to Midnight Mass then to the local bar. Grandma would scold them and tell them not to all go in the same car. That way if the got killed in an accident we ALL wouldn’t be orphans!
    My Grandma was very much Catholic from Mexico. Goodtimes

  8. Ruben Flores says:

    Feast day for us in Hispanic neighborhood was a huge water fight. water balloons, hoses, those stupid small water pistols. now me and my brothers try to catch each other off guard. i set up my sprinkler next to the drive way because I had a feeling they we going to try and catch me. Well they showed up and as they got water balloons out is turned on the sprinkler right into their trucks. also my mom makes a sign of the cross for everything. the first four tamales in the pot formed a cross and don’t argue about it

  9. Sue Watsib says:

    Regarding receiving holy cards, medals or other religious objects as mail promotion: it is VERY unlikely that these items have been blessed and, consequently, don’t need to be disposed of by burning or burying. It’s OK to throw them away. However, Father Rich’s idea of putting them somewhere in the Narthex for folks to take home is a good one.

  10. Sue Watson says:

    Regarding receiving holy cards, medals or other religious objects as mail promotion: it is VERY unlikely that these items have been blessed and, consequently, don’t need to be disposed of by burning or burying. It’s OK to throw them away. However, Father Rich’s idea of putting them somewhere in the Narthex for folks to take home is a good one.

  11. Michele says:

    Growing up Catholic in the 60’s was much different. I went to catholic school and mass on Sunday we had to go with our class. Our nun would take attendance in church and we would go in line to the pews. It was 1st grade to 8th grade. You didn’t sit with your parents. I look fondly on all my memories and the structure we had was what formed me as an adult. The smell of incense always makes me know who I am.

  12. A Rivera says:

    Growing up in the fifties in Puerto Rico was getting up with my grandmother at four o’clock and [yes 4:00am], walking down to the road, hitching a ride to town and attending six am mass. Getting back home about ten am eating a quick breakfast and walking about three kilometers with all my cousins to catechism class. I remember my grandmother all week reminding us of the Homily last Sunday.

    1. Andrea says:

      Reading this reminds me of how spoiled I was and how spoiled I am! Even as a child you made sacrifices to be a good Catholic.

  13. FHL says:

    Wowsa talk about nostalgia. I need to collect a few of the more vivid memories to highlight.
    + grade 2 was First Communion in early 1970s (no money recall)
    + grade 4 was First Confession (I froze midway through the Act of Contrition but was encouraged to begin again and recited it aloud for the priest who also baptized me, very exciting – we went monthly as is required for First Friday devotion plenary indulgence)
    + grade 8 was Confirmation (I remember the dress, not much else, 1978?)
    + Midnight Mass – age 12, first time allowed to stay up that late, new tweed wool coat with fake fur sewn around neck and wrists, didn’t want to take it off, sat next to radiators along base of walls, overheated, fainted for the 1st time, Mum singing in the choir loft behind us saw the whole thing but never missed a note, Dad scooped me up, carried me down the long outside, revived me and there was no question about leaving, felt weak and wobbly but walked back up to our pew, left side next to stained glass window (30pcs of silver and bag with ties, among other images), 2nd from front, near Stations of the Cross #3 ahead/#4 behind, and in the 1888 gothic small town church, sat propped up away from the heater with the coat rolled up as a pillow (fainted only twice in my life, despite anemia, 2nd was at an assembly in grade 11/12), then home for a feast of bunsteads, since we had only an omelette/frittata prior (Mum couldn’t sing on a full stomach and needed to be there by 11:15pm for warm up, she was 1 of only 2 or 3 contraltos so never missed). These were only made once a year, served warm in the oven wrapped in tinfoil for when we drove home, heavenly smell. Unsure if it was a recipe or if Mum made it up. Bakery rolls filled with; tuna, hard-boiled eggs, cream cheese, minced sweet gherkin pickles/olives/onion/etc.
    + First Communion – photo of me posed in front of Mum’s immense peony bush, worried about bees, but also recall books only permitted to read on Sundays incl. St. Joseph Missal and Picture Bible for Children plus The Seven Sacraments, etc. which kept me occupied during long homilies
    + First Friday devotion to the Sacred Heart – seated alphabetically boy girl boy girl from grade 1-8, whole school walked next door to Church, not 9 consecutive months but every First Friday for 8yrs, continued often in my adult life
    + Existential Crisis at age 7 – got a NT bible in class, brought it home, said to my dad “if we’re all going to die anyway, why am I here?” and without batting an eye or lifting his head from behind the newspaper he replied “to know God to love God and to serve Him, in this world and the next” to which I simply answered “oh, ok” and sat down to start my bible reading homework. =) crisis averted, for life!

    My dad served daily Mass as an altar boy, riding his bike there before school in the 30s/40s. Only son of Sicilan dad/Liverpool mom, raised devoutly in silent obligation. The priest, later a Monsignor, ran the parish for 40yrs. My dad received all his Sacraments there, including marriage in 1953, plus Baptisms of 3 daughters in 1954/57/59. Then he retired as Vatican ii began. Dad loved Pope John xxiii but was scared with the upheaval. He looked at me born smack in the middle of it, and just shrugged his shoulders. Kept saying responses in Latin. My mum was a convert (Anglican), receiving all Sacraments on her wedding day so any Faith instruction fell to Dad. We never were allowed to discuss religion/politics/sex at home but Butler/Baltimore? catechism instruction and kneeling bedside for nightly prayers were a given. Dad too. Bedtime story first, prayers after, never missed. I learned far more about deep pious unshakable devotion by watching his actions than by anything he ever said. Same with cooking. No recipes no measurement, just silent methodical discipline. It was unthinkable to contradict him. Mum learned alongside me which I thought was fun. They were married 55yrs and died 4yrs apart. I am still their child and it all matters. With 4 of my own in their 20s, RC grade school then public high school, all Sacraments intact, I know how fortunate I was/am.

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