#4 – Friendship - Reasons I may have to leave the Catholic Church

[size=3]When I was a member of various Pentecostal churches my whole social life revolved around it. I had scores of friends, loads of girls wanted me as a husband (one rather lovely lady succeeded). There were always trips, prayer meetings, barbecues, house groups, Christmas parties. People were friendly: ‘you shall know them by their love.’ I was well known and loved and appreciated by all![/size]

[size=3]So now, I’ve been going to a Catholic church for 4+ years and guess how many friends I have in the world? Zero. Nil. Zilch. ‘Billy No-mates’ as they say in England.

Fortunately I’ve got a wife a lot of kids so I’m not lonely but I still think the situation is pathetic. No one ever has anything to do with you after Mass. There is no social interaction. Unless I decide to join the Church ‘Beer drinking bar’ Community Centre and get drunk with all the old Irishmen who (I think) don’t even go to the church. People don’t even look each other in the eye when giving the ‘handshake of peace.’

I’m really, really upset by this!I have decided to my break my questions up into a number of posts because I’m looking for real answers and don’t want to be accused of making a ‘buckshot’ attack.[/size]

This is another thing that varies parish to parish.

Again you need to remember that the primary reason for Mass is to worship God, not to worship the community. The purpose of Mass is not to meet friends, socialize, etc. Most parishs have those type of activites but they are outside of Mass.

Have you tried to join any of the parish organizations? Have you volunteered for any positions in your church? Usually it only takes joining one group and you will quickly become friends with a large portion of the parish.

I just wanted to add that the most important “friendship” you can make in the Catholic Church is the Eucharistic Lord. He is first and foremost the person you want to get to know. :wink:

Serious Catholics are more concerned with how they can serve, as Jesus said: “I came to serve, not to be served.” So, most parishes have groups that serve the poor or special needs or youth, etc. We don’t have barbaques just to socialize. We have soup kitchens and other such outreach programs. Get involved in those and you will quickly make friends–real friends who will be good for you and you for them. :tiphat:

Well I really am sorry to hear that but I can assure you that this is an issue with your parish. My church is very active and I seem to make a new friend there every week.

I do appreciate what you’re saying though. I’ve been to many unfriendly churches (for me mostly evangelical) and it is disturbing when the Church is a place for brotherhood and community. You might want to try finding another parish. Is this an option for you?

So you want a church who has a great social group? My understanding of you posting is that fellowship is more important than worship. Is that correct?

Have you tried getting involved in the church (other than spending 45 minutes once a week there)? Is there a mens group, couples bible study…if not, have you considered starting one? What about helping with CCD?

I felt the same way when I first converted, then I got involved with a Catholic Faimly Ministry called Couples for Christ.

POINT IS … GET INVOLVED.

Just my thoughts…God Bless

Why would you abandon the truth over things like socialising? The Church is either established by Christ or it is not. If it is, your loyalty is required. If you want to be social then either find another parish or start a social group. But don’t go off and ditch Gods truth to feel anything good about anything.

Hmmm,

Let me see, I don’t like the fact that my church has guitar music in it when we have mass. I think I will abandon the Church Christ created through Peter and go to a nice fundamentalist church with an organ playing all the time. Sound like a plan?

-D

You cant think in terms of fun if it ends up turning you away from the truth. The truth must be followed at all times, especially when the crowd tells you otherwise.

“I was well known and apreciated by all”:confused:

When I go to Chruch I dont walk in hoping to turn heads.
I dont care if I am well known.
Its not all about me. Its got nothing to do with me in fact!!!

This thread is an indication you need to keep your ego in check and let Jesus Christ be the well known one appreciated by all and you can relax now and take a back seat for a change.

My mother always said to me growing up when I remarked that I didn’t have any friends, “if you want a friend, be a friend.”

In some ways, I’m a little taken aback by your statement. In my community, I hear too often that Catholics are their own clique, don’t get involved with the greater community. Frankly, I don’t know your community but it is not my experience in any city I’ve ever lived. Rather it is the alternative.

I’m wondering. Do you worship as a family or does your family attend your former congregation? This might be part of the problem as young friendships develop when people are in the same stage of life. You aren’t single so the other singles won’t reach out to you as they’ll assume you have a different life. And maybe the other couples think you are single. And part of your social success in your old faith community was related to you being a “catch”. Well, you aren’t one now. You are like me- pledged to another.

But back to my mother’s advice, if you want friends in the Church, be a friend to others in teh Church. Get involved. Like I said in another post to you, Catholics aren’t by nature rah rah and huggy kissy that can be shallow. They are like a slow burn like living a Catholic life. It takes more effort but the reward is alot more solid.

dalcent, you raise a good point. I don’t blame you for being upset. One of the biggest ironies of Vatican II is that it was supposed to increase participation of the laity. In reality, the opposite took place. There’s little to no fellowship in many of our churches, and our liberal clergy don’t even care. It has given me the desire to spread Catholic fellowship. I want to make it my life mission. The Church needs men.

:confused: :confused: :confused:

Maybe you need to rebalance your bearings here.

Participation of the laity HAS NOTHING TO DO whith fellowship and doughnuts!!!

Get a handle on it please. Stay away from the Happy talk Happy Hour.

That is done in may parishes AFTER the MASS or in other settings.

NOT DURING the Mass!

I’ve been there - when I first became Catholic, I was really lonely, because I am the only Catholic in my family, and nobody ever greeted me in Church.

I prayed about this, and the Lord put a really interesting idea in my head. He said, “You are just as Catholic as these people. Why don’t you say hello to them, and take the first step?”

So, I started saying “hello” and “Welcome to our parish!” to everyone that I hadn’t seen before (which was a lot of people, because I didn’t know anybody). They all thought it was funny, but they got the point, and they were really nice to me.

I also got invitations to help with a variety of ministries, and now I have lots of friends - I’m like the “cool kid” in Junior High - the one that always gets surrounded by the “popular kids.” :smiley: But unlike the “cool kid” I don’t reject anybody - everyone in the parish is part of “my clique,” and I still go out of my way to say hello to people I’ve never seen before.

I read somewhere that the secret to success is to have three conversations a week with people you’ve never met before, while keeping in touch with your friends, as well. I don’t know if that’s really true, but it’s definitely a good way to make new friends and keep old ones.

But as long as you’re standing on the sidelines waiting for someone to come up to you, it’ll never happen - you really do have to take the first step.

Others have already said it, Mass is not a social visit.

Have you looked into the Knights of Columbus? The Knights are strong Catholics, emphasize family, serve the Church from the parish level all the way to the Vatican. And they form warm, strong friendships.

Proud to be a Knight almost 50 years.

in my parish we had a Thanksgiving dinner last night, sold 175 tickets fed over 250 people, had poetry and patriotic recitations, music, games, prizes, a great time was had by all. We have some kind of parish social event every month, active service clubs, ministries and outreaches, a newcomer’s welcome event 4 times a year, retreats, bible studies, classes, trips and events of all kinds for adults, children and youth. Every family receives a phone call at least 4 times a year with an invitation to participate in a social or service event and to find out if they need prayers or pastoral care, and a home visit at least once every 3 years.

Maybe you need to find a new parish and stop judging the entire global Catholic Church by your own parish. If your pentecostal friends dropped you when you became Catholic they were not very good friends to begin with, were they?

If there is nothing going on at your parish what is preventing you and your family from starting something? All these activities in our parish began as lay initiatives from one or two people, who invited other people to join in.

If you are coming to church to find a social event, you are going for the wrong reasons. Social activities are good, but every church, catholic or not, has services OUTSIDE of mass for that. if you come to MASS expecting it to be a social event, you are saying I am not ehre for god, I am here for me and my social asperations. At best, god is merely a partener, at worse, a burden.

there are a multitude of services provided to give you the social aspect though, and it ussualy only takes reading the church bulliten to find out.

MASS is for worshiping God… not for you

in christ

A Christian woman who used to be an ex-Mormon told me that the Mormons were to the most loving group she was ever with. But she left them because they did not have the truth.

You have to ask yourself what is the most important thing to you - fellowship or truth. If fellowship is the most important, then why not be a Mormon? Or a Jehovah Witness? Or a Branch Davidian? Or some other cult that offers great fellowship?

But if what most matters to you is truth, then stay in the Catholic Church. I recall singing as a Protestant “Though none go with me, still I will follow”. Sometimes following Christ means going it alone. Look at the prophets of the Old Testament. They were loners.Look at the John the Baptist. He was a loner. St Thomas More was a loner, too. He was the only one who stood up to King Henry VIII. And even Jesus was alone. He was abandoned by His disciples. When He realized He was alone, did He then abandon His mission? No. He still followed the way of the cross. Jesus calls us all to follow the way of the cross. He said that because of Him, parents will be against children, husband against wife, friends against friends. He said that if your fellowship with others is more important that Him, than you are not worthy of Him.

Jesus is the Truth. If you follow Jesus, you will be a lover of Truth. The only valid reason to leave the Catholic Church is because you have found it not be the the true Church established by Christ. But as long as you realize it is the Church founded by Christ, then you have no valid reason to leave.

To leave the Church would then be disobeying Christ Himself.

BTW, this is not to mean here is no fellowhip in a Catholic Church, but you have to be more active in finding it. A typical Church has a mass on Saturday and four masses on Sunday. The typical family will go to different Mass at different times each week, which makes it difficult for fellowship. So if you only go to church once a week, you will never find fellowship. Start going to daily mass, the weekday mass is much smaller and you will be more likely to establish some friendships. Also, each church has a daily time for praying the Rosary. There is also also Opus Dei that you can be involved in. The more devout you are, the more you will find others who are devout as well.

Is this guy participating in any of his threads, (Edited)?

I’m totally shocked! :eek: Your Pentecostal friends left you because you became Catholic? What a poor Christian witness! With friends like that, who needs enemies?

Why not give him the benefit of the doubt?

Why not? Because he is not responding to any of them as he has been too busy putting more up there.

A sincere questioner would seek answers and ask questions along the way to get clear. THis is no better than a terrorist attack getting bombed at once with no warning and a clear lack of interest in getting answers before dropping the bomb!

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