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Another article on the RE flap

Attendance at a total of three Saturday night masses and six Sunday masses at St. Charles averages about 3,500 per week, out of an approximate parish enrollment of 10,000 people.

"Everyone is struggling to get people in," the monsignor said. "We’ve got to do something."

The Rev. Michael Cichon, pastor of St. Joseph-St. Thomas R.C. Parish in Pleasant Plains, chose a radical course of action when he notified parents of 300 students in the religious education program that they weren’t eligible for enrollment in the fall because they have been too often absent from the pews.

Father Cichon "did what a lot of us would like to do," Father Bergin said. "Most of us understand where he’s coming from."

Parishes track mass attendance for children in their religious education programs and elementary schools, but Father Cichon is perhaps the first to remove students from the program. He said he will not budge from his stance, despite an outcry from the parents involved.

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