I teach the First Communion class at my parish in a large room in the basement of the church. For safety reasons, I ask the parents to come downstairs after class and pick up their child. I tell the kids that if they don’t see their parent, they have to stay with me and we’ll go upstairs together and wait. Simple rules. Easy to follow.
One recent Saturday morning after seeing who was left after dismissal, I rounded up the handful of kids and proceeded up the stairs. As the last of the parents arrived, I deposited their children into their care, all the while exchanging small talk. It suddenly occurred to me that I lost track of one of the girls and I was certain that she hadn’t been picked up yet.
My mind started racing trying to re-trace our steps. She wasn’t back in the classroom. She didn’t…
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