I saw on a thread some complaints about the lack of fellowship in RC churches when compared to the typical Protestant community. I am wondering if the Anglican Use parishes typically display a more RC or Protestant fellowship/community (i.e. bible study/sunday school, fellowship time, etc)
While I am now Roman Catholic, I spent 10 years at an Anglican type church.
The mass was 90 minutes… Very reverent with a lot of high mass gestures. A mix of praise and prayer music (like most masses at Franciscan University of Steubenville) with very traditional hymns.
After mass there was a 20 minute coffee break. Then the youth and children went to age appropriate Sunday School and those over 18 attend an adult class.
The adult class was taught by clergy where a lot of in depth theology was learned, very much on a seminary level.
This is not the typical Anglican Sunday, but one I am thankful to have attended…
So far, my fellowship experience in the Catholic Church has been awesome! But I was also Anglican for about 10 years, and they definitely like to focus on fellowship. Coffee hour before or after worship, Sunday School, community outreach events, prayer breakfasts (and occasional pancake breakfasts ), midweek Bible studies…these are all part of the Anglican “feel,” and I suspect that they will continue in some form or another.
I’ll add the quick disclaimer: It’s impossible to generalize about Anglicans, and there aren’t any Anglican Use Catholic parishes in my area. But I’ve attended several different parishes in different locations, and they all share these characteristics. I bet they’ll continue.
Could you describe the fellowship experiences you’ve had in the RC? Specifically was it via sunday school or coffee time or???
I have plenty of fellowship. Usually it is breakfast in the parish hall after the 7:30am Mass. We spend more than one hour chatting and making fun of the pastor (to his face only) and the on my way to teach catechism. Just learn to be careful when picking on a pastor, more often than not they can dish out more than they get.
Sure! Now RCIA has been a major source of fellowship, because we spend so much time together as a group. But our parish does have Sunday School-type classes that meet before our 10:30 Mass. They’re trying to get a coffee time started, too. There are also midweek events for moms, young adults, businessmen, etc. Basically, the overarching idea is to “pass on the faith.” So, they try to find ways for people of similar interest or age group to get to know each other - and grow in faith - by meeting for prayer and for meals. It really helps nurture your faith when you have people learning and growing with you!
Pretty much every Catholic church I’ve been to has coffee (and often food as well) after Mass, and people tend to hang around for ages. I remember at a former parish, we used to bump into people from the 8am Mass when we were arriving for 10:30am Mass.
Likewise, many parishes i know of have plenty of social/fellowship activities. I suppose it depends on what parish you go to, but the same could be said of protestant churches. I’ve been to several protestant church’s (before my conversion) that were only to keen to make sure everyone headed straight out the door once the service was finished.
It’s not a particular denomination that determines the level of fellowships but the individual congregation.
It is amazing how much variation there can be from one parish to another. Although I haven’t seen the level of fellowship you described in the portions of the U.S. that I have lived in.
I don’t know about that. I’ve started many a thread lamenting the lack of fellowship or friendliness among Catholics and I’ve been pretty much told by some people on this forum that Catholicism isn’t about socializing and that just because Protestants focus on that doesn’t mean we should, etc etc.
Of course you will find friendly parishes with coffee hours, but I’m not so sure it is a widespread thing.
We belong to a very large parish in the deep South and there are tons of opportunities for “fellowship”.
There are coffee and cookies after the Saturday evening Masses: coffee, juice and donuts after each of the Sunday Masses: a Wednesday night dinner offered every week in the beautiful parish center (we had our daughter’s wedding reception there, they do the food so well): the opportunity for lunch there every day at minimal cost: Friday Lenten fish frys: parish picnic: Bible Studies: youth groups, women’s groups, men’s groups, seniors’ groups… you name it.
We’ve made some of our very best friends through the parish (been there 28 years) and have belonged to a supper club consisting of parish couples for close to 20 years.
I don’t know if this is unusual for Catholic parishes or not, but we belonged to a parish in Virginia many years ago (early '80s) and there was quite a lot going on there, as well.
I think it is most helpful to be able to get to know and form friendships with fellow Catholics; we find it is a very comforting to have a built-in support system of people who share our faith. These days, heaven knows we need it.
We recently visited Australia for the first time and attended Mass in the little town of Inverloch, VIC. The people were lovely and it seemed to be a very friendly, active parish with a lot going on.
Well I should say that I did eventually find a parish with a coffee hour.
Those people are correct, it isn’t all about socialising, BUT, I think fellowship and developing relationships with other Catholics is an important part of our faith, as long as it doesn’t become the central focus of it, like it seems to in many protestant churches.
Perhaps a certain aloofness has become become part of catholic culture, but their certainly isn’t anything particularly catholic about it, nor is their anything particularly un-Catholic about fellowship and socialising with other Catholics outside of a liturgical setting.
Just my thought, anyway.
I was a member of an Anglican Use parish for 3 years. The majority of the parishioners are RC’s who are wanting fellowship with Catholics who really live the sacramental life, not just Sunday church-goers who rush home to watch the Super Bowl. Most parishioners are very well-formed in Catholic theology and are teaching it to their kids, too.
This unity of faith results in a special fellowship that is based on a shared set of doctrines. You can discuss certain ideas knowing that the other person is coming from it with the same presuppositions about God, humanity, eternity, grace, etc… without having to mentally filter everything through a Catholic lens. It’s Catholic to start with.
I moved towns and had to go to a mainstream parish that has less of a doctrinal emphasis and less traditional worship. There are more than a few Catholics who are keeping the faith, but you see more of the cultural Catholics in mainstream parishes because it is not a niche parish like TLM communities and AU parishes.
We’ve been talking about this as a parish. As a former protestant, one thing I love about the Catholic church is coming in to quiet, able to pray in silence and then Mass. I don’t want chat time…on the other hand, we need to get to know one another and be friendly! We have coffee and cookies in the narthex/foyer for after Masses, people hang around a little. I’ve heard that argument against socialising—that’s not what we do, too bad if someone thinks we’re rude-that’s they’re problem (really? I think God might have something to say about that one!). As a parish, we are trying to be better at smiling and saying hello, it just takes a moment and can be done before you enter the nave or after you exit.
A friend of mine gave a really good explanation of why we should be friendly—it’s God’s house, we’re the ones greeting people at the door and supposed to welcome them. How do you act when someone comes to your house?
I agree, and as a parish, I know mine is trying to encourage people to do more together outside of Mass. We’re trying to have various activities, not just for those of us who are already Catholic, but people who are not … yet
You may want to try looking at your Diocese web site, and your Parish bulletin. Often times there will be activities at other Parishes that you can attend. Just a thought. :newidea: Hope it helps. :twocents: