The Catholic Diocese of Austin is investigating after a priest called about 15 children to come forward during evening Mass so he could prick them with an unsterilized pin to demonstrate the pain Jesus suffered during crucifixion.

"What I was trying to teach them is that suffering is a part of life," said the Rev. Arthur Michalka, 78, on Friday.

No one reacted strongly during the incident at evening Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Corn Hill on Wednesday, said Helen Osman, communications director for the Austin diocese. Osman said that the priest pricked both adults and children.

"What were you thinking?" said Debbie Sybert, a Jarrell resident whose 11-year-old daughter, Amanda, was pricked during Mass. "Apparently our father has lost his mind."