I think I can honestly say that the toughest day as a priest for me so far has been this past weekend. I didn't know that it was going to be first communion weekend until about Wednesday, and not being at the parish, it snuck up on me.
So I've been at the parish on the weekends for basically two years. But when it came time for the parents to process in with their young people receiving their first communion, I only recognized about 10% of the parents walking in. 10 PERCENT!! I was shocked and saddened at the same time, and I really am tempted to despair sometimes. Those poor kids! Who is going to bring them back to Mass? When are they going to receive second Communion? In a year? At school Mass? It was just really unbelievable and hard to process it all. Obviously the kids are not held accountable for their parents not bringing them to Mass, but wow, they are still keeping their kids from a ton of grace.
It would be one thing if any of the parents showed some sign of recognizing the incongruity, but instead it was the norm and none of the parents who I'd never seen before seemed to even recognize the problem.
I'm sure it is the same at other parishes, but it really was impossible to miss this year for me, and it was really sad. It also reminded me of going to the parish school's fundraiser last year - and I literally didn't recognize hardly anyone! Hardly any of the parents sending their kid to our Catholic school are also going to Mass!!!
All we can do I guess is try and help people to see that the Mass is the Source and Summit of all we do - and pray - really really hard.