Attending Church, Entering a Church, Kindness


#1

I can’t find an answer anywhere. I am not Catholic but Christian not churched. I attended an perpetual adoration for over a year. I am a married man, a senior, very moral, and I would sit nearby my neighbor and her friends who are women there. My friend begged me to go there. Because the monstrance is usually covered and out of reverence I would wait to enter with others or the group. After that period, I became to be admonished and told to go alone or not wait for others. Then people I had sat with for over a year would refuse to sit near me. I was effectively the only man there other than two men playing a guitar in the back.
I was told I was there for the wrong reason. This was untrue. I was told attachments to people, places, friends, and such were unholy. God ALONE suffices in all things. I point out that this is a adoration hour advertised for fellowship, singing, praying, and reading scripture. A fellowship group. This carried forward when I went to Easter Thursday Mass to try it out having never been inside a catholic mass before. It was very lonely there and I took the occasion to quit going to the chapel. Now my neighbor refuses to speak to me. This makes me sick! Why can’t I enter a Catholic church and feel free to sit where I am comfortable?


#2

We’re definitely lacking information from your post, so we can’t really be of help. According to you you are being shunned by people who somehow got on your wrong side? If it were me, I’d ignore them. Of course you can sit where you want at Mass or adoration.
If things are really as petty as you seem to imply, consider going to another parish. You don’t have to be Catholic to attend adoration or Mass, and you don’t need to tell anyone your reasons.


#3

What a terrible pity you had to experience that. You are always welcome in a Catholic church. What area of the world did this take place? The only reason I could think of anyone being asked to leave adoration is if they were causing a disturbance.

I would email the dioceses this church is in and ask for clarification. I would contact the church office and explain what was happening. I will pray for you, and the people who treated you in such an unkind manner.

The only thing we ask is that you refrain from receiving communion, unless you become Catholic.


#4

It was in Binghamton, New York area. My neighbor of 20 years invited me there. We would walk our dogs about once per week and she taught me the Rosary and I became interested in this faith. The Chapel leader said walking together even with spousal permission was in effect dating. Thus it became that even at the chapel I could not sit with my friend or her group. Even entering the chapel itself was continual condemnation if I waited, or entered with her group. I talked to the MSGR and then I became accused of Calumny from a series of emails sent out to the group. Even though my name wasn’t directly mentioned, people are very angry with me.
Counsels of St. Josemaria Escriva from “the Way”
You have come to the apostolate to submit, to annihilate yourself,
Obedience, the sure way. Unreserved obedience to whoever is in charge.
Obey or leave. #936 and #941.
This is legalism and spiritual abuse, but I was simply a non Catholic with no voice.
Sorry…


#5

As @anon90438963 already pointed out, you haven’t really offered an explanation of what went wrong. The only hint you give here of what it was that people were reacting against is this: instead of going straight into the chapel by yourself, you were hanging around outside, apparently in the nave or aisles, waiting to tag on to another group. They saw that as a breach of etiquette, is that right? Well, I suppose it was, though hardly a serious breach. Had you arranged with them in advance to go to adoration as a group? And if not, what was your reason for acting as you did?


#6

I waited to enter with others because the monstrance was covered, dark long isle, construction all summer etc. I simply would arrive 5 minutes early, wait for people to show up and enter with them. I had done this over many months with no problem. Remember, I have no Catholic church experience at all. Simply this chapel. The issue was I could no have conversation, with my neighbor even sitting nearby in a pew. It destroyed a relationship between neighbors, and my faith.
I was emailed the following:
It is God’s Will, active or passive hat has ended your walks, fellowship with your neighbor. Even if you were to blame the devil for it, he can do nothing w/o God’s will.
Basically a locution from God.
My point is we were neighbors many years and there was no activity or intention other than walking in a public street with permission. This is not wrong or sinful by any measurement.
Yet, banned from even communication as neighbors do.
What if you were treated this way. Yes, I can go elsewhere where I know nobody. I will find a little bible church somewhere and try that. Where I can come in and feel cared about.
As to how I acted. I accommodated with this requirement and did my best to comply to all rules. Also this was a group that met together each week there. Yes, people did wait to say Hi or chat a moment before entering. I began to think I was invited there to use the church to dissolve a fellowship between neighbors. I do not believe my neighbor had any warning this would happen at all.
When I first went, day one, the leader surely was told the circumstance of me going there.
Thanks…


#7

Make an appointment to speak to your priest about this.


#8

Yes, that’s good advice @TheLittleLady has given you. There’s something very weird about that email they sent you. Definitely uncharitable, and even, I would say, unCatholic. It calls for the kind of explanation that only a priest is qualified to give.

I hope you will give the Catholic Church a second chance. Don’t give up on us altogether!


#9

I am sorry that you had this bad experience with this particular group/person. Ask to meet the pastor or RCIA director of this parish. You can make some new friends at the parish, or at another parish.


#10

Just as a thought --you mentioned adoration. A lot of times adoration is supposed to be silent. You also mentioned this, ‘could not have conversation with my neighbor even sitting nearby in a pew’. . .

Is it possible that you were attempting to talk (‘fellowship’) during a period of silent adoration, where a group of people were joining in silent prayer?

Or that they were engaging in some other sort of prayer, like a rosary, where people speak, and so you thought it was all right to speak to somebody because, “well, people are talking now so it must be okay?” You’ve said you’ve had no experience in a Catholic Church.

I’m also getting the vibes that English isn’t your first language, which must make it even harder for you.


#11

Sad examples. I would counsel you to, rather than look left or right, look at Christ. Remember when Peter was walking on the water and took his eyes off the Lord? He promptly sank. Let Christ ascend in prominence and the nay-sayers recede into the spiritual distance. You might even ask the priest about adoration attendance. You could also tell those judgmental souls that they are driving you away from the faith. Gently, but it is true. Prick their consciences, as we all tend to get rather cliquish at times.


#12

I never speak to anyone inside chapel. I am a devout Christian and I enjoy and understand a quiet hour with Jesus. This group plays Christian music on guitars, singing, praying aloud. What I mentioned is that I would try to say hello before chapel.

The issue: neighbor invited me to church chapel. When he found out we walk our dogs about once per week, she as told she could not mentor me. A single woman mentoring a married man is not permitted. When I attended, we were told we could not communicate as neighbors ever!. A wave or simple Hi.

This eventually became we could not sit nearby even as a group. I guess her continuing friendship constituted sin which endangered communion.

The leader stated this was Gods decision from the Holy Spirit.

I talked to the priest and then this man began issuing calumny bulk emails to the group. I was not mentioned by name, but people identified me with this. Thus my neighbor and people from chapel shun me. Done with me.

I did final atp testing of avionics equipment. I am very moral man. We were never alone, in a house, in a car or anywhere else. We walked years in a very public street with no complaints ever.

Please read what you catachism states. I am not sinning…

The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends, who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality. Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one’s neighbour. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion. (CCC 2347)

Really appreciate your ińput. I was a mistake to post because of complexity. However I will fight this injustice forever…

God bless.


#13

Just a thought, sounds to me like a possible male/female issue. Perhaps a female misunderstood your wanting to sit with them and other women. Talk with the Priest of that parish.


#14

It is a chapel layman leadership problem. He is not a priest and his job is to show kindness and not legalism. There was no misunderstand as I sat with the neighbor / group for months. I would sit in group of four people. Only people I knew there. We are neighbors of twenty years. She invited me there.

Objections were from layman leader. Catechism ccc 2347 permits male female friendship.

Issue is new visiting inquisitive people, and friends inviting friends is under legalistic attack. If I had not attended, our neighborhood would have had peace still.

Read Pope Francis:

https://www.ncronline.org/news/vatican/francis-cries-out-welcoming-church-house-god-refuge-not-prison

This IS my point.


#15

these types of hyper-intensive single spaced “blog-like posts” are difficult to dissect

so; the issue is seating at Mass?

you can sit where you want to at Holy Thursday Mass or any other

the post was tough on my faltering eyes

perhaps OP could break it down a little further


#16

CAF can nopt possibly mediate a dispute or monitor the Holy Thursday seating at your local parish

you said you are a “senior”

break your issues down

bullet point by bullet point

and yes i m a lowly officer of the post police

english is not the first language of every poster here


#17

Bearing the wrong of calumny is a spiritual work of mercy, for which you will be rewarded. I would go, man-to-man directly to that lay “leader” and state, very dispassionately and factually your problem with his less than charitable words.

Consider: in cases of marriages found to be irregular (divorced and remarried for example), the pair is allowed to LIVE TOGETHER, as brother and sister, until the situation is sorted out.

Truthfully, all of this tells you more about the lust that is occurring elsewhere, in other hearts. Since they may be lustful, they wrongly assume that you are as well.


#18

OP, your situation sounds delicate and very complicated and only you know all the details.

You need to have a sit-down with the priest and the lay leader and have a good honest discussion about it all.

We can’t possibly armchair referee the dispute and the calumny from here on the internet.

I’m so sorry you’ve suddenly been hit with such unkindness after you were happy being friends with your neighbor and visiting the Chapel.

Please try and talk it out with the priest in charge before you give up and walk away from any interest in the Catholic Church.

Good luck, may you find some peace about it all.


#19

It is hard to believe what you are saying here that it was wrong for you to come for adoration until your neighbour would not speak to you.

Well, it is not wrong. Even if you are not Catholic, you can always come for adoration. It is a time of prayer, worship and meditation. Nothing wrong with that.


#20

You need to be aware that we are supposed to encourage one-another in our faith. If you are discouraged it is not your fault.

Do not engage in conversation in the church; it is for talking to God alone, but if you have coffee after Mass in the hall, that’s the right time for social fellowship

Caritate non ficta


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