One mum has spoken of her rage after her nine-year-old daughter was banned from attending her First Communion because she didn’t want to wear a dress.
Chris Mansell’s suit-loving daughter Cady was forced to miss the event at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indiana after she purchased an outfit, only to be told weeks later a dress code had been put in place with girls to wear dresses.
“I was raging mad, but because I saw no other option, I agreed to find a way to add a skirt over the pants,” Chris told Be. “But Cady was so hurt and disappointed when I explained the situation that I quickly saw the hypocrisy in it all. And that fueled my anger.”
Suspecting the school had put a dress code in place after hearing about Cady’s plans, Chris confronted officials when she was called in to discuss her daughter’s outfit.
“We were told by the priest that we ‘should've known the dress code because you've seen a first communion before. Girls wear dresses because it's tradition,’” said Chris.
“I've been Catholic my entire life and I've definitely seen girls wear pants to first communion. It may not be common but it's not forbidden.”
For Cady, who asked for her first bow-tie when she was just four, and prefers not to wear dresses, attending in a dress wasn't an option.
However, with the priest informing Chris her daughter wouldn’t be allowed to sit with her classmates or have her photo taken with them if she did wear a suit, the family decided to boycott the event.
Instead, Chris and her husband Richard spent the weekend away with Cady, visiting the zoo and staying with friends.
“I was dead set on making sure the day wasn't depressing,” says Chris. “We spent the day snuggled close together while we read, watched movies, played games, anything to keep our minds off the church and to keep Cady's spirits high. It worked well.”
Chris explains there were no regrets from Cady on missing the day, with the incident just the thing the mum needed to pull her two daughters out of the school.
“We all left the school and the church and have since enrolled elsewhere,” explained Chris. [Cady] just started Monday but so far she loves it.”