Art Linkletter used to have a show called People Are Funny and perhaps you remember he also hosted a show, Houseparty. One of the features of Houseparty was interviews with young children, who predictably said "the Darnest Things," often to hilarity of the live studio audience.
Linkletter, then Allen Funt and Bill Cosby learned that children will often tell you exactly what's on their minds, sometimes without too much tact. So I always learn a great deal about what's going on in their heads when I visit the classrooms.
Last week I visited the 4th grades and the questions ranged from personal questions about me, to the day's saint, and of course, the new church. The burning question seemed to be when will it be ready. The children always seem excited to learn there will be a basement and an elevator. They are also generally relieved to hear they will eventually get most of the parish field back when the piles of dirt are backfilled and any final truck loads are taken away. They want to know how big it will be and how many people will fit. Also, will the seats have cushions. ("No" on that one.)
One interesting question from a child in each class, "Why did we need a new church, anyway?" One young lad even grimaced unconvinced by each of my explanations. My parents used to chide us for having "big ears," when we were particularly eager to listen to gossip or controversial discussions from the "grown up" table at parties. And as Linkletter learned long ago, the kids often repeat whatever they hear at home. One can learn a great deal about our parish by watching and listening to the children at play.
Remember when we were constructing the addition to the school and the new gymatorium? The same question was asked until the day we moved in. As the new steel frame of the church rises and meets the portion of the venerable old structure we've preserved, I am confident that the excitement will continue to build.
I hope you are excited to walk the site this weekend and ask God's blessing on His new home in Rumson. Please join us in prayer on Sunday.