One of the commonly expressed desires of Catholic parents is to have a good network of sound Catholic friends around their children as they grow up. Friendships with good Catholics and support from other Catholic families are key in helping our children keep the Faith in a hostile, secular world.
Those families fortunate enough to live in areas dense with traditional families, with long established TLM parishes and communities, benefit from the support of likeminded families. For most of us, however, the situation is less rosy. While the St Catherine’s Trust family retreat and summer school go some way to helping families meet other families, create friendships and networks, not everyone is able to attend these, and the LMS Committee felt that we could do more to help.
A common theme we've noticed while visiting traditional parishes, throughout the world, is that those parishes where families have a chance to make friends and create networks, are those that thrive. Helping families helps parishes. However, if your only TLM option is 4pm on the last Sunday of the month, and parking is atrocious, and everybody scuttles off into the darkness after the Marian anthem, then how do families get to know each other?
For areas where the TLM is just starting out and communities are only beginning to be built, we are aware of how difficult it is to meet people. Where people travel fairly long distances to Masses, or where they may attend Masses in different areas in different weeks, it can take a long time to meet and make new friends.
This is where the LMS Family Contact Register comes in. Simply put, it’s an opt-in scheme where families who would like to meet other LMS member families can choose to share a (very limited) amount of data about themselves via the LMS website: first three letters of postcode, children’s year of birth and gender, and phone number and/or email address. By submitting information to the Register, you agree to it being shared with other families on it.
It’s a very simple system and how it’s used is up to you, the member-user. Each time a new member enters their details, every family on the register is emailed an updated list. If lots of people find it useful it could be made into a more automated part of the LMS website. What’s most important though, is that it is used, that our LMS families get to know each other and our children and parishes all benefit.
Future possibilities include using the register to organise a meet-up for local (or not so local) families at a parish or a home. Those new to an area can have instant contact with other tradition-minded families. If you’re spending a week or two on holiday in a different area you could look up locals.