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  #1  
Old Sep 11, '06, 4:08 pm
Maryam Maryam is offline
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Default My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Hi everyone... (please excuse the long post) I have been trying for the past 6 months to find some way to finally get Confirmed. In the past 2 years I have tried attended RCIA classes in 2 different churches, but, the problem is I suffer from depression and panic attacks. At times I am so out of it when I get hit with a severe depressive episode that I sometimes don't go out for weeks at a time.

I had to drop out these 2 times for this reason and it is just too embarrassing to have explain why. I don't like to have others know about my life in this way. I had contacted a group online for revert Catholics and they gave me the number to a Priest who is in charge of the RCIA programs for parishes in my area and I spoke to him. He said he would talk to the Priest at the Parish I attend (when I am able to), but, never did.

I then went to mass a few weeks back and for some reason something pushed me to speak to the Priest after mass. I asked him if he could come to bless my home. He came to my home, blessed it and then I got the courage to explain to him my situation. He promised me that I would become Confirmed this year and speak to the woman in charge of RCIA at my church to see if I could do a self-study RCIA and be Confirmed this fall.

It has been several weeks now and everytime I go to Sunday mass he gives me this look like he knows he was suppose to do something and seems to avoid me. This has made me feel so bad that I don't even want to receive the Eucharist and I ask God to give me peace and not think bad. I even think to attend mass at another church.

I don't know what to do now, it seems I will never be Confirmed. I have even gone as far as writing over 2 months ago to my Diocese about this and it only just this week that I received a letter stating that due to a change of address the correct office concerning my issue the "Office of Divine Worship" finally got my letter. In it I was told that for cases like this I would have to contact my local pastor or RCIA coordinator.

I have done this and so don't know what else to do. I don't want to be angry, but, I feel so frustrated and feel like throwing my hands up and giving up. I have already explained my depression to my Priest and the coordinator for RCIA in my area but nothing changes. I don't want to have to go through again explaining my situation it is very embarrassing for me.

I know some will think I am being silly... but, it is not easy to talk about personal things such as this.

Any comments would be apppreciated or suggestions. I just feel like giving up. This is a horrible thing for me as I don't truly feel like I am 100% a part of the church because I have not been Confirmed. I feel like an outsider even though I am a cradle Catholic.
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  #2  
Old Sep 11, '06, 4:22 pm
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Dearest Maryam,

In the name of Jesus I offer you peace and love,

You need not apologize for the post, nor feel left out. Take heart that the Priests are human and make mistakes and try their best but are not perfect.
Reading your post makes my heart go out to you, and you can be sure that your prayers are very powerful and I will join you in those prayers for this matter to be resolved. I do not know the protocol here but I do suggest that you follow up without hesitation with your Pastor of your Parish. He is the one who needs to know how things are working in the parish, and has every interest in making sure all steps are taken to help you. I am not so sure my response will be very helpful to you right now, but do not give up!
Many other posters here may be able to tell you the proper procedures here but in the meantime, you must not let this stop you. Continue to do the best you can to attend Mass and do not worry about what anyone may be thinking.

I will give this some more thought, and hopefully get some answers upon some research on this for you.

In Christ,
Prayers
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  #3  
Old Sep 11, '06, 4:58 pm
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Is it easier to talk with your priest's voice mail or on the phone than in person? If so, maybe that's the ticket.

Do you have what you would consider a pushy friend or relative? I have a painfully shy cousin who's like a sister to me. When her husband was killed in Korea about 12 years ago, I helped her get the additional life insurance to which she was entitled. Those of us who are not shy have been given a gift to help others.

Don't give up hope. St. Therese the Little Flower was very shy. You might want to ask her to have our Lord give you the strength you need to get the right people to help you receive this important sacrament. Also ask help of Father Vincent Cappodano. He's a very brave priest who died in Viet Name. He's recently been named a Servant of God by the Vatican, so he needs so test cases.
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  #4  
Old Sep 11, '06, 6:13 pm
Maryam Maryam is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Firstly Damascus I want to thank you for your thoughtful post.

The problem with speaking to my Pastor is that after I had spoken to him about this and he promised to help me he started acting in a way that makes me feel as if he is avoiding me.

I don't understand why as I haven't been pestering him at all. He came to my home on a Friday and I then saw him again that following Sunday at mass and he said to me he was going to make sure to speak to the person in charge of the RCIA at church. I never brought the subject up of RCIA.

The next Sunday I went again to mass and that is when he started to change with me. I went to receive Communion from him and he gave me a look like "Oh no not her again" which was as plain as the nose on my face. When I was about to leave the church and he saw me coming he looked at me strange and went the other direction.

It is a very strange feeling of awkwardness and I hate it. The same thing has happened the past 2 Sundays. He sees me gives me a strange look and seems to want to avoid me. I don't know if the reason why he looks at me is because he knows he promised to help me and forgets or just doesn't want to.

It is one of those things were you can feel when a person just wants to get away from you.

Can I be imagining things when it happens one time? ...sure, but 2 or 3 times is a different matter.

I thank you for wanting to do some more research concerning this. I appreciate it. I continue praying for God to help me feel peace and not give up.

Thanks again. God bless

----------------

OutinChgoburbs As I explained to Damascus the situation with my Priest is very awkward, so I don't feel comfortable to talk to him again when he makes it a point to seem to be avoiding me.

Thanks for suggesting to me to pray to the Little Flower and Father Vincent Cappodano. I will do so.

God bless all
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  #5  
Old Sep 11, '06, 6:39 pm
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Dearest Maryam,

I am waiting for a call from a trusted Priest. Unfortunately, he is out of town. That is okay, he will call me back. I will check back with you tomorrow, you are in my prayers.

Remember that your desire to be in the Church and your heart truly seeking it is what God cares most about, it is no fault of your own that you are delayed in this desire to be in the true Chruch.

As Christians we will have obstacles to overcome, and sometimes many more when we are striving our hardest to be the best we can. This is a good thing!
The evil one never wastes his time on those he has in the palm of his hand. He tries to interfere with those that he himself fears.

St. Michael, pray for us!
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  #6  
Old Sep 11, '06, 6:56 pm
puzzleannie puzzleannie is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

please be patient with your priest and try not to misinterpret his attitude, it may be that he genuinely has forgotten. People frequently stop me after Mass or CCD and ask me something and I promise to do it, and try to write it down right away, but sometimes I get interrupted. the I see the person, know I was supposed to do something for them and feel guilty but confused, so I have to ask them to explain the situation again. hardening of the brain cells with age, I guess.

If someone asks me about Confirmation when I am working with first communion parents, for instance, I get sidetracked, and can't make a coherent answer right away. I always ask people to e-mail me or call and leave a voice mail message so I have a record.

I have just come up with a new way for folks who can't make the classes to prepare for Confirmation--EWTN has just started the Crash Course in Catholicism with Fr. Trigilio, which I am taping. It is on 3 times a week, so they have 3 chances to view each episode. We will meet every month for a seminar (in person or on-line, or by phone) to discuss the teachings and answer questions. Then a couple of sponsor/candidate sessions for immediate preparationf or the sacrament, and they can be confirmed (if all the other nuts and bolts are taken care of) either with the high school class, those entering the Church at Easter, or with the adults of the diocese at Pentecost.

If there is a college near you the Catholic Campus ministry may also have classes, in a less threatening environment than the average parish.
__________________
Whatever the Lord pleases He does, on heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. Ps. 135
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  #7  
Old Sep 11, '06, 6:59 pm
OutinChgoburbs OutinChgoburbs is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Quote:
Originally Posted by puzzleannie View Post

I have just come up with a new way for folks who can't make the classes to prepare for Confirmation--EWTN has just started the Crash Course in Catholicism with Fr. Trigilio, which I am taping. It is on 3 times a week, so they have 3 chances to view each episode. We will meet every month for a seminar (in person or on-line, or by phone) to discuss the teachings and answer questions. Then a couple of sponsor/candidate sessions for immediate preparationf or the sacrament, and they can be confirmed (if all the other nuts and bolts are taken care of) either with the high school class, those entering the Church at Easter, or with the adults of the diocese at Pentecost.
That is such a good idea!!!!!!
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  #8  
Old Sep 11, '06, 7:45 pm
ohioszo ohioszo is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

A Priest would want you to seek medical help for your illness. We have a Parish Nurse at our Parish. When I was panicking about something, I went to her. Now-a-days the Laity are responsible for many tasks that you would expect a Religious would do. If I were you, I would consider going to a Holy Spirit Seminar, and get prayed over. Go to confession there, also. You have everything that you need by being Baptized in the Trinity. Confirmation gives you more gifts of the Spirit, but, ask God for help for your depression first. I do not know how you are, but, some people who suffer from mental illness, exhibit it in ways that are mildly irritating. For instance, they take offense very easily. Or, they seem to be very egocentric. There may be some good reason for you reacting and thinking as you do, but, a normal person gets over it, and excuses and forgives the other person/people. I could give examples of people that obsess over some hurt, or they obsess over some evil in the world. Living in the Spirit helps one focus on what is important in the moment. That moment you are in right now, is where you must live. Not in the future, not in the past. Let God help you, cure you, even. I know that you may think that nothing has happened, but those people HAVE prayed for you! And, GOD loves you!
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  #9  
Old Sep 11, '06, 8:14 pm
Maryam Maryam is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Damascus Thank you for your help in contacting a trusted Priest of yours. Yes, Christians do indeed get alot obstacles put in front of them, that is why I have written about it here. I have not given up yet, but, just feel so frustrated right now.

Thanks again and God bless

--------------------------------------------------------------

puzzleannie I completely get what you are saying as I too have forgotten things I have promised but not purposefully and true one does feel bad in not coming through. What just floors me is how instead to just say ok I forgot and let me go tell her I forgot and that I will try to remember, he just avoids me in a very obvious way. Even my mom who attends mass with me has noticed how he hurries off as soon as I come around.

I truly appreciate your recommendation on a Catholic Campus ministry, but, its not about location. It is about my depression often times keeping me homebound. It is no use for me to sign up for RCIA again if I know a depressive episode will happen again and I have to drop out.

BUT, it is a good idea and I will see if in contacting the local Catholic colleges if I can ask if it is possible to do a self-study. We shall see what happens.

Thanks also and God bless

-------------------------------------------------------------
ohioszo I would be very careful in making the following comments...

Quote:
There may be some good reason for you reacting and thinking as you do, but, a normal person gets over it, and excuses and forgives the other person/people.
You do not know how my depression or panic attacks affect me. Until you have been in my shoes... which since adolescence I have had this problem you are in no position to makes such comments. I have been through the ringer of therapy, meds and so on...

I am simply asking for comments or suggestions on what I can do concerning becoming Confirmed. Not to be told if I am normal or not... and yes, I know you will say you are just showing how some of those with mental illness are overly sensitive, but, so are some so-called "normal" people overly sensitive as well. If this wasn't so we wouldn't have people killing other people just for cutting in front of them on the highway.

I don't need to forgive the Priest or anyone else concerning this. Who am I to think I am so high and mighty to think that this is like some heinous crime or offense against me... I am merely frustrated that all my attempts at finally becoming Confirmed have been thwarted.

The one thing I will take from your post that I agree with is prayers... I do already go to Confession and receive Communion.

Thanks and God bless
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  #10  
Old Sep 12, '06, 12:12 am
wjp984 wjp984 is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

I remember you posting about your depression a while back so I hope there has been some improvement at times since then. I think you said you like to paint. How is that going for you. Oh, and if you are a differnt person then that just proves how easy it is to confuse things and people and the priest probably did forget. Oh, by the way, while I function and everything, I still suffer from anxiety and prone to depression if I am not careful. The reason I bring that up is part of my anxiety is always assuming the worst in what a person thinks of me or that whoever is always thinking something bad about me. Just by seeing someone act a ceratin way I'll sometimes immediately associate it with something neagaitve about me even though at least 90% of the time and probably more it has nothing to do with me. My point is it is very easy to make judgements as a way of making excuses not to do something or give you something to worry about. So give the priest a chance. Perhaps he is just afraid and worred himself since he doesn't know the best way to help you and worried he might upset you further.
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  #11  
Old Sep 12, '06, 7:27 am
ohioszo ohioszo is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

-------------------------------------------------------------
ohioszo I would be very careful in making the following comments... "normal people"

I wonder if there is a Befriender Ministry where you are. They motto "never to give advice, just listen."

BTW, I don't consider "If this wasn't so we wouldn't have people killing other people just for cutting in front of them on the highway" normal behavior. That would be egocentric or childish. There are so few religious people, that I never blame them, and, I know that they pray for us and are in charge of what is necessary to have an active Parish, usually necessitating a huge involvement of the Laity, now. Priests and Nuns have a lot of opinions, but they can't be faulted for a lack of prayer, I hope: Pay attention to what God said to you, after you saw the Priest.


Also, I know that RCIA folk have Lay sponsors! I know that part of being an adult means showing up for appointments. I know that sometimes, it is hard for a person, without a disability, to attend something at the Parish, out of inertia. Then, when we push ourselves to go that extra mile, it is well worth it. WJP984 has commented very well. We are not the center of the world, ... God is the center of a family of people. He wants us to make an effort. I believe that you can be healed of your affliction. But, going off medications, as wonderful as it sounds, may not be it.

I hope that you went to a Catholic Psychiatrist. I pray for the Doctors that attend us when we are ill, so that they make the right decisions regarding our care. The medical field is notorious for errors, I think ... you nead a befriender, someone to listen to you.

I wonder if there is a Befriender Ministry where you are. They motto "never to give advice, just listen."

PS I think it takes a lot of something to post online to others about these things. I don't think that you are bashful.
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  #12  
Old Sep 12, '06, 8:57 am
Maryam Maryam is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

wjp984 Yes, I had written before about my depression... no confusion no your part. I still continue to paint here and there.

I want to make it clear that even my mom has noticed how the Priest tries to avoid me. I wrote this in my last post. So it is not in my imagination and I am not an overly sensitive person where I imagine everyone around me hates me. I know people try to walk on egg shells with those who suffer with depression, but, I have no need to be treated with kid gloves honestly. I am not a whiny depressed person in that the whole world hates me.

There are many people on these boards who are "normal" that make up much much LAMER excuses on why they don't go to church, or confession and so on. How many times have I read cradle Catholics that have been away from the church for years being terrified to enter into a Catholic church.

And yet when I have personally contacted a Priest, the local RCIA coordinator, a Catholic revert organization, have written to my Diocese concerning my situation and made 2 attempts at attending RCIA classes... then this I guess means nothing???

Don't take this as me being angry WJP or anyone else... please I am just tired of having a label put on me that I am this or that way because I have depression when even cradle Catholics I know who don't have depression don't even make an effort or care about their faith.

And if the Priest is worried in the way that he is afraid to upset me further when I have not demonstrated any kind of action to let him believe that I am an overly sensitive person (most people in my family don't even know I have depression as I hide it well), then this is the kind of thinking that I can do without.

I know what you are saying.... So don't think I don't understand.

God bless

------------------------------------

ohioszo I thank you for suggesting I look into a Befriender Ministry. I have never heard of this ministry before. I will look into it.

Secondly, I don't have a chemical imbalance (have been tested for it) and so meds do nothing but give me horrible side effects. One time I landed in a hospital for a whole week from having hallucinations, heart palpitations and finally going unconscious some time back.

If I didn't pay attention to what God says to me I wouldn't even care or be affected so much by having all my attempts to be Confirmed not coming through.

God bless

======================================== ===

Please.... I ask that all refrain from talking about getting therapy, meds or assuming to know how my personality is when it comes to my depression. If anyones post contains any of these topics I will ignore it completely. Thank you.
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  #13  
Old Sep 12, '06, 9:59 am
Saint_Michael Saint_Michael is offline
 
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Priests are busy people, just remind him when you get a chance. I had to do something similar when trying to get my marriage convalidated. I had to bug my Pastor, but with 4,000 Parishoners, I couldn't blame him for forgetting. I felt like I would enver get the convalidation done, but I just stuck with it and harped on the poor guy to get him off his rump.

I can understand what you're saying though, I once went to a spiritual director who never called me back for another meeting and I've given up on it. Priests are busy, but they also need to get things done for their flock. What can seem like mere forgetfulness can be devastating to someone in spiritual need such as yourself.
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  #14  
Old Sep 12, '06, 10:17 am
Maryam Maryam is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Saint_Michael Believe me I know that Priests are human too and can forget. That I can deal with and I would've brought the subject up. But when he makes it so obvious that when after mass has finished when he is greeting parishioners at the entrance of the church and in seeing me rushes off in the other direction, it is a very uncomfortable feeling.

I could run after him as he is rushing off... lol... I am trying to have some humor about it, but, anyways.

I have no explanation as to why he acts this way with me. I am not mad, but, it is frustrating. Perhaps he has his own issues as well... Priests can suffer from their own lack of social skills just like the rest of us. I don't know what else to say.

Thanks and God bless
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  #15  
Old Sep 12, '06, 11:09 am
Damascus Damascus is offline
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Default Re: My frustration in trying to get Confirmed

Dearest Maryam,

I see the focus of all this got hyjacked into something else....
I don't see any connection here to your health issues and the matter being treated this way by those in charge at your parish.

What would some of these posters be saying if your health issues were not known and your reasons for not getting to RCIA were related to say, no access to transportation to the Church? Then what?

The responsibility to make arrangements suitable to your needs are in the hands of the Pastor who you have already contacted on more than one occasion. Your spiritual welfare is at stake here.

Saint Josemaria Escriva said something I recall vaugely that goes along the lines of of 100 people God cares for 100 of them!

Too tired to look it up now. But, my Priest did call me back and offers his prayers for you as well, but can not be of much help here. He gave me reasons why this is a complicated matter and not one that is cut and dry, partly since details he is not priviy to, different Arch., operate differently how it would be handled in my parish is not a good comparison for yours, etc.,

I wish I had a silver bullet. If there was something I could do to help you, I would gladly give you that help. The post about the remote classes sounds great! So far, it at least is a concrete help you may be able to tap into right away.

You are very brave to tell this story, of your personal struggle, but of course of your trials in your pilgramage to the Lord. I certainly have gained more from hearing your story than you have from my attempt to help you. I thank you for helping me see how I take for granted much in life and do not always reflect deeply enough on how I should be more thankful.

You are in my thoughts and prayers, and thank you again for sharing your experience so that I could apply it and needed to in my own life.

In Christ,
Damascus
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