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Catholics in the South

Group created by Parce Domine

Does your local phone book list seventy different churches under thirty separate denominations, twenty more missions and sub-denominations, plus a dozen other religious societies and congregations, but only one Catholic parish? Are you often asked, "If you died right now, do you KNOW you'd go to heaven?"

Do people talk about you in restaurants when you cross yourself for the blessing? Do they roll their eyes or snort when they see a crucifix around your neck?

Do people leave pamphlets on your porch because you have a statue of Mary in your yard, or put tracts on your windshield because you have a rosary hanging from your rear-view mirror?

Do your friends, neighbors, and in-laws pretty much agree that you need converting because you're Catholic, not what they consider "saved" and "born-again?"

Do people of more than three denominations, religions, or organizations come to your house to try to explain what it takes to be a REAL Christian? Have you ever been stared at during an "altar call?" At a wedding?

Or do you live in a part of the South where Catholics aren't the minority, like St. Francisville, Louisiana or Ave Maria, Florida?

Please come in and share your stories and experiences: good, bad, frustrating, humorous, or whatever. If you aren't in or from the South, come on in anyway and have a cup of coffee or glass of sweet iced tea. Join in the conversation and get to know what it's like to be a Catholic in the Bible Belt.

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Group Activity in Group Forum
Group Wall Messages 611 to 620 of 1497
  1. Parce Domine
    Oct 25, '11 8:49 am
    Parce Domine
    Yesterday I went to the funeral, and although the family is Catholic (as is the deceased), they had a Protestant preacher as a guest along with our priest who was presiding, (though it wasn't a full Funeral Mass). After the readings and homily, this long-winded preacher went on and on about how to "get saved" for so long that everyone got restless, the baby right behind me started crying twice (the second time was after finishing off a bottle while the preacher persisted), some people started talking, and a few got up and left (back to work, maybe). Still, he went on with another "one more thing I want to tell you" again and again for another half hour. He couldn't help but notice he'd gone on too long, and I considered it grossly inconsiderate to the family. He past consoling them after fifteen minutes, then just kept preaching and preaching; I can only assume to get through to us misguided Catholics (like the poor widow and kids) so we would "get saved." It was long and rambling, and every time he thought of something else to preach with, he'd add another "one more thing I want to tell you."
    But, getting back to my point, I couldn't help but notice how outnumbered we Catholics were. The chapel was overflowing, but only a few of us responded with "and also with you," and "Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ," etc. It was a sparse, widely scattered, and quiet response when we few responded. I was slightly offended that the Protestants didn't bow their heads during the "Catholic prayers," but did when the preacher prayed. Of course everyone joined in The Lord's Prayer. I was glad we at least had that common ground.
    It's frustrating knowing that all those people around me thought I was the misguided one, that I was the one with the man-made religion, and that I was going to hell but they were every single one absolutely going to heaven because they all "got saved" when they were kids. I pity them and fear for them: for their lack of the Holy Eucharist, their failure to acknowledge our sweet mother Mary, their refusal to accept the whole Bible as the real Holy Bible, and their belief that they can sin without reconciliation because they bought their salvation with a ten-second prayer when they were nine years old and are "once saved always saved."
    Irks me, it does, and worries me some. And so ends my rant. I apologize profusely if I've offended anyone. Please understand that is NOT my intention. To be honest, I just really needed to vent, and the only other person here all day was ... go ahead and guess... yep, Southern Baptist. But I feel much better now for having released that frustration. Thank you for allowing me to rid myself of those uncharitable thoughts. I feel much better for getting it out.
  2. walnutleviosa
    Oct 24, '11 6:43 pm
    I live in South Carolina where practically everyone is baptist. I cannot tell you how many times I have been approached to be 'saved'
  3. jwder09
    Oct 22, '11 5:57 am
    Parce, your friend, and her husband's soul are in my prayers.
  4. jwder09
    Oct 22, '11 5:54 am
    Semper Zelare, growing up in New Britian Ct., it's fair to say that there was a Catholic Church within ten minutes of your home, wherever you lived. In fact, I would go so far as to say that if you didn't speak English, you could find a church that celebrated Mass in your native tounge within twenty minutes of your home. I knew of two churches that held Mass in Polish (probably more. The town, even on it's official web site, isn't called New Britski for no reason), and one in Spanish. The church I attended held Mass in Lithuanian as well. (On a side note, stations of the cross were conducted in both English and Lithuanian. As a impatient young alterboy, this was like pennance for the innocent. haha). Good old Father John tried to retire once; but, demand for the Lithuanian Mass was such that he continued to conduct one until his death, a few years back. I know that a number of the French Canadian kids I went to school with attended the same church; and, several of them spoke French at home, so, I wouldn't be surprised if St. Joe's accross town conducted a Mass in French. Right before I moved down south, one of the churches in Hartford began advertising a traditional Latin Mass, as well. My experience down here is "one size fits all"; but, I find that preferable. My parish is far more ethnically diverse, so, my kids receive a benefit I didn't.
  5. Parce Domine
    Oct 21, '11 6:51 am
    Parce Domine
    Good point, Semper Zelare. Even though we have personal preferences within the Church, our parishes are usually relatively small. Each parish family feels more like just that: family. We know just about everyone. My church could seat a couple of hundred, but it's rarely full. In areas that are predominately Catholic, churches are several times larger and Mass is celebrated several times a day in an attempt to accommodate everyone. I can barely imagine that being the norm, because I've always been a Southern Catholic.
    On a sad note, I'd like to ask a favor today. A woman I sponsored for Confirmation a few years ago lost her husband unexpectedly yesterday. Please keep the Morgan family in your prayers. Thank you in advance.
  6. Semper Zelare
    Oct 20, '11 9:20 pm
    Semper Zelare
    Our Deacon was talking about being Catholic in the South some at RCIA tonight. And, he said that he lived in Cincinnati for a year after having been made Deacon, and that it was wierd to attend Church with almost everyone in his neighborhood. He said that "I felt like I was a Baptist. How they must feel here, where there's a Baptist Church on a every corner.

    My thoughts were twofold: living in the South as a Catholic definitely takes more courage on a day to day basis. I think we can relate slightly more to the Apostles than our Northern/ Midwest brothers.

    Secondly, I tried imagining going to Church with droves of people from my community. And, I feel to some extent I would probably understand a lot of the posts on here about the tension between orthodox Catholics and "Catholic- lite". Here in the South, I feel like we're just thankful for all the Catholics that did come... and don't focus on infighting as much. [at least from what I perceive as infighting solely from ppls accounts on here, and not personal experience].
  7. Parce Domine
    Oct 20, '11 6:43 pm
    Parce Domine
    AngelaJoyce, I tried again what I told you but it didn't work. So much for my memory. I poked all over my profile, tried editing it, all sorts of things, and I can't figure it out. I don't know how I changed it... maybe you can only change it once? I don't know.
  8. Parce Domine
    Oct 20, '11 6:25 pm
    Parce Domine
    jwder, you bring up a point. They might have instructed us this way so that we wouldn't use a rosary for vanity or pride. To have one at hand for use would be one thing, but to wear it just to be seen would be an entirely different matter. Thanks.

    Runnerbad, welcome to the forum. I'm not familiar with Knoxville area, either. I have a sis in Arlington (Memphis area) and a nephew in East TN, still in Chattanooga, I think.

    AngelaJoyce, I think I clicked on the icon with my name (when it was a ?) and it gave me the option of changing it, then redirected me to a page with several images to choose from. I'll check, but I have to find my icon first.
  9. AngelaJoyce
    Oct 20, '11 10:49 am
    Can someone tell me how to post a picture to my name?
  10. jwder09
    Oct 19, '11 8:49 am
    Runnerbad, I'm not familiar with the Knoxville area. My father lived just outside of Bristol for awhile. That's about all I really know of TN.

    It just dawned on me that monks are often depicted as wearing a full decade rosary around their wastes. As I understand it, so long as the rosary is not worn in a disrepectful way, like with a low cut blouse or other revealing apparel, it can actually be worn. Sadly, I have to believe that it is more often just seen as a fashion accesory.


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