A Ministry Denied

A Catholic parishioner asked the leaders of his church if they would support a new ministry in the church. He proposed starting a Dialogue Ministry which would meet once a week and learn how to share the Catholic faith and how to answer questions from non-Catholics.
The weekly Dialogue Ministry training would begin and end with a number of minutes of prayer. The response was that the church had enough ministries and the ministries should concentrate on the spiritual, emotional and physical needs of those in the parish.

The parishioner now wants to move to another parish. Should he move?

No. The Parishioner should be content knowing that the Catholic Church has a ministry like that already. RCIA, of which I’m currently enrolled :wink:

Is there an “informal” RCIA seekers class? Our church had one weekly, for the casually interested person. It’s a non-intimidating way to get info. Monthly meetings I think would be ideal.

The parishioner should be humble enough to obey the priest and not want to stomp away sulking because he didn’t get his way.

Have him start a CUF (Catholics United for the Faith) chapter. He could go to the diocesan center and get the okay, it’s a legitimate apostolate set up for just that sort of purpose. Playing local politics with the parish is tricky business. They don’t like a lot of individualistic type of things. It can’t be monitored for accuracy. I don’t care for the previous poster’s tone. That person is probably “one of them”. JK. :wink:

It’s impossible to comment on what this person should do now without knowing the full facts.

From your post it sounds like this parishioner has a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, it may have been prudent of the priest not to authorise such a ministry at this time.

Maybe said parishioner should start out a bit smaller. For example, the parishioner could ask the priest if he/she could speak to the church after Mass when annulments are read, and possibly offer a few minutes on the subject. Maybe do this twice a month and teach the whole parish how to talk to other faiths. Then, if it catches on he may give you the opportunity to let it develop.


I’m guessing annulments was supposed to be announcements. :slight_smile:

What the priest may be saying is, ‘the parish has many Catholics who are poorly catechized and are in actuality - protestants’.

I was thinking, “Wow, they announce annulments at the end of Mass.” “Isn’t that a private concern.”

lol. To be honest i did get a little chuckle from the question mark.

at our parish we already have, besides adult catechist formation, RCIA and adult evangelization, which includes bible studies, Disciples in Mission, Awakening Faith (follow-up to DIM for returning Catholics and those working with them) and a 26-week intensive catechism course, several groups as OP describes. CUF meets here, plus Legion of Mary, and an apologetics club and those are the ones I remember off top of my head that deal specifically with evangelization-apologetics.

Surveys taken in conjunction with stewardship Sunday asked parishioners what additional ministries they would like to see or be part of. All the above were listed in the comments, despite being already listed on the survey, and actively promoted in various ways. In other words, those asking for the particular ministry are not enough involved in parish life even to know these things exist.

So when a parishioner asks about starting a new ministry he is first steered to those who run the current projects to see if he can find a fit in one of them. Starting something new that is already being duplicated just dilutes the body of potential participants, and risks burning out those in leadership. I am sure these are some of the concerns behind the pastor’s response to OP.

quite frankly, without more info than that contained in OP, this is the response of a spoiled child. The individual should ask the pastor humbly which existing ministries need help and join one of them. When he is in a position then to know what needs are not being met, he can approach the pastor out of a position of knowledge. I can guarantee that any project the pastor does not like or endorse is not going to happen.

Dang spell check…dang keyboard operator not looking at spell check when clicking change…

Sorry! I meant announcements! Kinda changes things a bit. Thanks for catching that! :thumbsup:

Saint Augustine wrote about “libido dominandi,” which is Latin for the “desire to dominate.” Saint Augustine said it was a natural desire that we all have, much like sexual desire or the desire for food for our stomach.

Sometimes our desire to serve and help is, unbeknownst to us, partly or mostly a matter of our desire to be Dominant in a give social context. The same can be said of other people in that social context too, of course.

So, it always helps to do Catholic practices such as Examination of Conscience, and Scripture reading, and reading of Lives of the Saints, and prayer, and receiving Sacraments, and so on, to help us see what our various motives are.

Most people most of the time never have 100% purely holy motives, as far as I know, and so I don’t think anyone should expect the impossible from themselves or other people.

Jesus and the Apostles gave strong commandments to be loving with fellow Christians and to not be angry with fellow Christians. Jesus and the Apostles also set the Church up as a Hierarchy, in which some appointed person have more power than those under them.

Even so, there are cases of canonized Saints who, with respect, remained persistent in working to start new ministries despite opposition from priests, bishops, or the virtually all of the laity. I’m thinking of Saint Francis, Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint John of the Cross.

Then there is the case too of friar Bartolome de las Casas, O.P., who almost alone defended the human dignity and human rights of the native peoples living in the Americas when the Spaniards were carrying out their Conquistador operations in the Americas, with this involving mass rape, mass enslavement, mass murder, mass torture, mass forced conversions to Christianity, mass theft of property, and so on. Christopher Columbus, according to his own writings, believed the indigenous peoples of the Americas had no rights that the Europeans were obligated to respect, and he expressed an ungodly relish in exploiting their gullibility and defenselessness. Of course, the Aztecs were quite ruthless and cruel too, yet that doesn’t justify most of what the Spanish and English did to native peoples in the Americas.

So, in sum, I vote that you stay in your parish, and find ways to be amicable and be of service.

Also, in our times, the Internet is kind of like a Universal Parish in which we can also serve and start ministries as well wish.

Best wishes, A.M.G.D.

No, it’s a bit childish not to get his way so he picks up his marbles and goes home.

The Church might have enough on it’s plate and cannot monitor or provide resources so that questions are properly and correctly answered. And then there’s RCIA. In that case it seems redundant and the time and money spent could be put to better use. Maybe at this time a food pantry is more helpful than another dialogue. You cannot dialogue much on an empty stomach. or when you are wondering how you can feed the kids with what you have at home.

Which would probably be necessary with a Catholic / Non-Catholic apologetics group.

Politics and religion.

As others have posted, there is need in RCIA for sponsors to assist non-Catholics as they enter the Church.

I laughed out loud reading the annulments (announcements no doubt) Reminds me of something I would do - just a brain phart

Hard for me to say that a ministry was denied -
sounds more like an idea was not welcomed.

No big deal and nobody should leave his parish about this.

Perhaps there is already a shortage of volunteers in the current ministries.

The parishioner now wants to move to another parish. Should he move?

No. He should look at the available ministries, assess his own abilities and time available, and sign up for something suitable. (Perhaps he could be a Sponsor for RCIA, or even a Catechist, if he has a talent for teaching adult groups, and is interested in answering the questions of Protestants.)

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