Building Christian Community: Any Ideas?


#1

Starting this thread to see if anyone has any ideas about how to build Christian communities? Not in the sense of starting your own town, but in building a group of Catholic friends for support and faith sharing and just having a good solid base in troubling times.

Our family belonged to the same parish for over 20 years and we were very much involved there. It felt like a home away from home. Things started getting more than a little whacky there (won't go into details out of charity).

We joined PFI (Pastoral Formation Institute) initially because we thought we'd meet other Catholics who were serious about their faith. We did but we also primarily met a lot of cafeteria Catholics, too.

We finally left our parish after the arrival of a new pastor who I truly believe is mentally ill. The changes that were ushered in made the old shennanigans look like a bastion of orthodoxy.

We joined the parish we should have belonged to based on geography, but haven't really found our niche. We went to the social coffees after Mass, but aside from the organist and a few of the ministers, no one seems to attend. The Lenten Soup supper had next to no one there and although we volunteered to serve, it was a very clannish group that just didn't welcome anyone.

I know it's a cliche, but I think that if Mother Teresa showed up to volunteer, they'd ignore her.

I tried volunteering in outreach but no one ever called me back. I joined the Rosary Altar Society, but learned that I wouldn't be permitted to help clean the church since that was "taken". I visited the prayer group, but their brand of charismatic prayer and speaking in tongues just wasn't for me. We met with the pastor who knew I had been the music director at our previous church and he urged me to help out with the music, but after several attempts, no one called me back and I gave up.

My son (a seminarian who stepped out of formation to deal with a health issue) has tried for a year to be a extraordinary minister, a lector, a sacristan or a member of the young adult group and keeps getting the run around. He has given up, too.

My husband, who is a convert, is the only one who has found a spot in the RCIA program, although he comes home weekly ready to tear his hair out after listening to the dear sisters promote notions like one day we will have female priests and deacons.

I really don't want to be a "parish hopper" but I do miss the community we experienced at the old parish. Some PFI friends belong to parishes that seem to have very active, welcoming congregations, but they are a distance away. Sadly, we can't even go back to recapture the Christian community in our old parish since many old friends have moved away or fled to other parishes themselves.

We are normally friendly, helpful and outgoing people, but we're starting to feel like a band of pariahs. Am I expecting too much? Any ideas?


#2

This day in age we are under no obligation to use our geographic parish especially with the abuses going on.

Seek and you will find. Keep in mind it may take well over a year. It took me nearly 2 years to find a good parish and it is 25 miles away.


#3

I'm looking around for ways to bring back some of the old sense of community that was natural when we lived in distinct neighborhoods. I opened a group called "Austin Catholics" in the CAF groups so that at least we can post about local parish events and maybe start meeting at potlucks, etc. and I think if there is a group like that for every town it would be a start, at least among the internet-connected, to bring more connection into daily life.


#4

As an older Catholic, I think what I’m missing is those communities you mentioned. There was once a culture of Catholicism, even if in many places that also involved a shared ethnicity. I guess that does exist to some extent in our new parish where nearly everyone is Irish. We’re not.

Potlucks are a great way to build community and I miss that at our old parish. We had many different ethnicities and would have “international” potlucks. While people do tend to stick to the same friends and groups, I invented a dopey game called “Get to Know Your Parish Family Bingo”. Everyone got a board and had to move around the room and find people who were wearing a scapular or a certain Saint holy medal, or who had a particular confirmation name. At least it got your talking to other people and they had a lot of fun with it.

I miss Sunday dinners with extended family, too. Sundays were special way back when and after breakfast and Sunday dinner of pot roast or roast chicken, we would go for walks or visits to the botanical gardens or play games. My mom passed away eight years ago and my sisters and aunts have either moved away, died or are lapsed Catholics who go shopping on Sunday, so we would invite people with little or no family over for dinner and relaxation. Again, most have died or moved away.


#5

[quote="Catholic_Home, post:1, topic:186720"]
Starting this thread to see if anyone has any ideas about how to build Christian communities? Not in the sense of starting your own town, but in building a group of Catholic friends for support and faith sharing and just having a good solid base in troubling times.

Our family belonged to the same parish for over 20 years and we were very much involved there. It felt like a home away from home. Things started getting more than a little whacky there (won't go into details out of charity).

[/quote]

I grew up in one parish. Until last year a priest had been there for 20 years. Over time I grew to appreciate the fact that he had dedicated his life to God, but I still looked forward to the time when my hometown parish would have a new priest. The new priest is now there and I am not sure it is for the better:shrug:

Before the priest retired I had switched to a nearby parish with an 80 year old stout German priest that is very devout.

We joined PFI (Pastoral Formation Institute) initially because we thought we'd meet other Catholics who were serious about their faith. We did but we also primarily met a lot of cafeteria Catholics, too.

Concerning cafeteria Catholics - remember the church is home to the sinners and the saints. Imagine you are in a group of people in a dark cave. Not everyone needs to carry a lantern for the group to get out. Perhaps your family is called to carry the light for some people.

One idea that came to mind (and remember I do not know you from Adam and Eve) is to ask what is your motivation? Meaning, are you doing things for yourself or are they being done for the betterment of God's will? I think this makes a difference?

We finally left our parish after the arrival of a new pastor who I truly believe is mentally ill. The changes that were ushered in made the old shennanigans look like a bastion of orthodoxy.

Pray for this priest.

We joined the parish we should have belonged to based on geography, but haven't really found our niche. We went to the social coffees after Mass, but aside from the organist and a few of the ministers, no one seems to attend. The Lenten Soup supper had next to no one there and although we volunteered to serve, it was a very clannish group that just didn't welcome anyone.

Coffee? Is there any old people in the parish that need rides to mass on Sundays? If you take an old person then that coffee time will be a great social event for them and then there will be at least one more person along with your family. Plus it would set a super example for the others.

I know it's a cliche, but I think that if Mother Teresa showed up to volunteer, they'd ignore her.

That is a good one which I had not heard of before:)

I tried volunteering in outreach but no one ever called me back. I joined the Rosary Altar Society, but learned that I wouldn't be permitted to help clean the church since that was "taken". I visited the prayer group, but their brand of charismatic prayer and speaking in tongues just wasn't for me. We met with the pastor who knew I had been the music director at our previous church and he urged me to help out with the music, but after several attempts, no one called me back and I gave up.

I understand this one. At my home parish I filled out those volunteer surveys for 4 or 5 years and not one phone call about me helping out in the areas I had checked. I really wanted to be a reader. When I switched parishes I was reading and volunteer teaching within a couple of months.

My son (a seminarian who stepped out of formation to deal with a health issue) has tried for a year to be a extraordinary minister, a lector, a sacristan or a member of the young adult group and keeps getting the run around. He has given up, too.

A thought here (not specifically about your son, but in general) - has the question been asked, "Why are we not being allowed to help?" Straightforward and spoken with charity so as to prompt some thought of those in charge. People can get set in their habits and routines and then "all of a sudden" the parish is full of only old people because they did not take time to welcome new people into the activities.

My husband, who is a convert, is the only one who has found a spot in the RCIA program, although he comes home weekly ready to tear his hair out after listening to the dear sisters promote notions like one day we will have female priests and deacons.

Again, here I would politely ask a question as to why the sisters believe this. Make them think about what they are saying and how it is perceived. Ask with patience and charity.

I really don't want to be a "parish hopper" but I do miss the community we experienced at the old parish.

Parish hopper? You ought to see me when I go on bicycle tours. That is all that I am - a parish hopper. Wasilla, Alaska one week and then go to Sacred Heart in Prince Williams, British Columbia, Canada a few weeks later. My favorite was St. Joseph's in Fortuna, CA. I walked into the church and it felt holy.

We are normally friendly, helpful and outgoing people, but we're starting to feel like a band of pariahs. Am I expecting too much? Any ideas?

Keep at it and pray that God direct you. I have some other ideas, but am out of time right now. I am going to help with a Theology of the Body day retreat at another St. Jospeh's in Salem, OR. I might be able to sit down at the computer on Sunday, but if not it will most likely be a week (I have two jobs - what recession?)

This is an interesting topic.

God bless


#6

[quote="Catholic_Home, post:1, topic:186720"]
Our family belonged to the same parish for over 20 years and we were very much involved there. It felt like a home away from home.

[/quote]

20 good years ain't bad!

[quote="Catholic_Home, post:1, topic:186720"]
We joined the parish we should have belonged to based on geography, but haven't really found our niche. We went to the social coffees after Mass, but aside from the organist and a few of the ministers, no one seems to attend. The Lenten Soup supper had next to no one there and although we volunteered to serve, it was a very clannish group that just didn't welcome anyone.

[/quote]

Yep!

[quote="Catholic_Home, post:1, topic:186720"]
I know it's a cliche, but I think that if Mother Teresa showed up to volunteer, they'd ignore her.

I tried volunteering in outreach but no one ever called me back. I joined the Rosary Altar Society, but learned that I wouldn't be permitted to help clean the church since that was "taken". I visited the prayer group, but their brand of charismatic prayer and speaking in tongues just wasn't for me. We met with the pastor who knew I had been the music director at our previous church and he urged me to help out with the music, but after several attempts, no one called me back and I gave up...... Am I expecting too much? Any ideas?

[/quote]

You may have to just settle to rely on your good memories. The reason it seems like the Catholic Church (can only speak of the USA) is falling apart, it is because it is! There seems to be a 'push' from several sources to denigrate and destroy the faith of all of God's children. Ultimately, you can blame Satan (like the SNL church lady did). Satan does seem to be gaining a bigger foothold in society, or at least his philosophy is, in a myriad of subtle and deceptive ways.

It seems like there have been some (well timed by?) shenanigans in our own Catholic church having a core of gross dishonesty, cowardice, fear, and greed, all human frailties which has wreaked havoc with parishioners and clergy alike. However, I think the problem of ivory tower Catholics preceded this.

I concur with your assessment "but after several attempts, no one called me back and I gave up". I found that has always been true also.

Lots of enthusiasm but when you knock, no one is home!

You are not expecting too much. I have found Catholics a somewhat selfish lot which is most likely just a masquerade for insecurity. Maybe Catholic people just don't know how to be friendly and like to be the big cheese in their mini-volunteer towers. Not all, but far too many.

Several years ago, I joined a choir where we had to introduce ourselves. The responses went: "I am a manager at KMart's", "My husband is the grand knight at the KofC", "I am a former Regeant of the Daughters of Isabella", etc. down the line. Go figure!

That said, what to do? I look forward to solutions also but don't hold your breath! I'm not holding mine.

dona


#7

Attend the next Parish Council meeting and ask to be put on the agenda. Tell them about the less-than-warm-welcome you have received, volunteer to help head a committee to change that!


#8

[quote="kage_ar, post:7, topic:186720"]
Attend the next Parish Council meeting and ask to be put on the agenda. Tell them about the less-than-warm-welcome you have received, volunteer to help head a committee to change that!

[/quote]

Sounds good. Quit griping. Be responsible!

Our parish council used to pass out a questionnaire in the Sunday Bulletin to get ideas for parish participation and activities; that was before the parish council was narrowed down.They never asked for volunteers to head up a committee to implement the ideas they suggested leading people to think 'they' had the resources and just 'needed' ideas. It was in actuality just a 'survey' with no real intentions to implement anything. A sort of poll. This was done every year. Nothing ever came of those polls. Perhaps a reader of this who has had such experience with this kind of poll taking could relate why this was done. It had 'no teeth'.

That was back in the (good old) days when the 'Holy Spirit' (we were told) chose a candidate for the council, from those who submitted their name which was placed into a hat/bucket and the priest pulled a name at the Mass. Or when the candidates submitted resumes in the church paper and were voted for by ballot at the Sunday Mass/Liturgy/Eucharist. Actually it was still called Sunday Mass. Now 'candidates' submit their name to be chosen by the pastor? (not sure who choses). I do believe that the parish pastor does have the most influence and say so about what is done or not in the parish. Hopefully, you are on good terms with him and that he 'likes' people and is approachable with your suggestions. Not "thank you-we'll call you" and then never call.

"Volunteer(ing) to help head a committee to change that!" would be an interesting solution. It sure involves mature thinking. As an amateur observer of those in power and control, I personally think it would go over like a lead balloon but if YOU do approach your council as a volunteer head of such a committee, would you kindly update us with the results? Where there is life, there is hope!

CH- All your ideas sound like they would be do-able and fun. <"Potlucks ....and "international" potlucks" and your, "dopey game called "Get to Know Your Parish Family Bingo". Everyone got a board and had to move around the room and find people who were wearing a scapular or a certain Saint holy medal, or who had a particular confirmation name. At least it got your talking to other people and they had a lot of fun with it."> I realize though that not everyone can generate enthusiasm and has organizational skills.

You also sound so very lonely. I hope you have found a senior group you are involved in at the parish? You seem to have a lot to offer with good ideas and a lot of 'love' to spare and share.

May God Bless and smile upon you,
dona


#9

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
Sounds good. Quit griping. Be responsible!

[/quote]

Well, ummm, I thought I was being responsible by seeking solutions here!

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
Our parish council used to pass out a questionnaire in the Sunday Bulletin to get ideas for parish participation and activities; that was before the parish council was narrowed down.They never asked for volunteers to head up a committee to implement the ideas they suggested leading people to think 'they' had the resources and just 'needed' ideas. It was in actuality just a 'survey' with no real intentions to implement anything.

[/quote]

In the spring the new parish had a "volunteer fair". We went. I visited various tables there and when I stopped at the outreach table, I mentioned that I responded to requests for help that were in the bulletin, but no one ever called me back. That was months ago. Still no call.

That's when I joined the Rosary Altar Society, too. There was a nice induction Mass and a dinner in the parish hall afterwards. I introduced myself to some women and sat down to chat with them. I had a very nice time. I noticed that there was one woman from my old parish there. She mistakenly brought her husband and sister along with her. Some of the women were muttering about "the man in the room" and I charitably said that perhaps she just didn't know better. These three were sitting alone. I suggested that we all scoot over to make room and invite them over. I was greeted with stony silent stares. I let it go, but did walk over to the other little group to chat with them.

The last meeting was in November and they won't meet again until March.

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
That was back in the (good old) days when the 'Holy Spirit' (we were told) chose a candidate for the council, from those who submitted their name which was placed into a hat/bucket and the priest pulled a name at the Mass. Or when the candidates submitted resumes in the church paper and were voted for by ballot at the Sunday Mass/Liturgy/Eucharist. Actually it was still called Sunday Mass. Now 'candidates' submit their name to be chosen by the pastor? (not sure who choses). ..

[/quote]

Our "old" parish never had a parish council throughout the 26 year reign of the old pastor. There was a finance committee headed up by a local financial advisor who was an openly pro-abortion politician and who never came to church except when asked to give a talk. When the new pastor arrived, he said there would be no election because he didn't want it to be a popularity contest. We ended up with more political operatives and some who were leading openly "scandalous" lives.

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
I do believe that the parish pastor does have the most influence and say so about what is done or not in the parish. Hopefully, you are on good terms with him and that he 'likes' people and is approachable with your suggestions. Not "thank you-we'll call you" and then never call...

[/quote]

Our new pastor is a lovely man, but he has three jobs: pastor, head of the Diocesan ecumenical counsil, and professor of theology at the seminary. He just doesn't have time. Most everything falls to a sister who seems to run everything and also serves as a lector and sometimes a cantor (and unfortunately she sings off key).

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
"Volunteer(ing) to help head a committee to change that!" would be an interesting solution. It sure involves mature thinking. As an amateur observer of those in power and control, I personally think it would go over like a lead balloon but if YOU do approach your council as a volunteer head of such a committee, would you kindly update us with the results? Where there is life, there is hope!

[/quote]

Unfortunately, there is only one public council meeting each year and no one seems to know when it is. There was also a fairly recent announcement in the bulletin about looking for volunteers for a committee that would greet new parishioners. Hahahahaha! I volunteered for that, too. Do I need to tell you what happened? No. I don't think so.

At this point it is actually starting to be amusing.

[quote="donanobis, post:8, topic:186720"]
You also sound so very lonely. I hope you have found a senior group you are involved in at the parish?

[/quote]

I'm actually not (a) lonely or (b) a senior!

I do have a lot of friends and an active social life, just no Catholic community. Well, not completely true. I am still friends with a large group of women from a Filipino prayer group from the old parish. I've been friends with them inside and outside the Church for over ten years. We shared in music minitry and became fishing buddies. About a year ago, I learned that I was the only one who wasn't a lesbian. I always kind of wondered why no one was married. Duh. Still friends, but it was a bit of a surprise. My husband thought it was hilarious.

Well, I think that during Lent I will start going to some different parishes and see where God leads me.

Keep the ideas coming! I'm listening.


#10

Did you know there is Canon Law that says how a parish must be run? What must be open to parishioners?

Brush up on this, find out if the abuses you think are going on ARE going on, if so, write a letter to the Pastor and if he does not correct the abuses write to the Bishop then to Rome.


#11

Again, I feel you should seek out another parish. I have been SO mistreated in Catholic churches that most people would say that I'm insane for staying Catholic.

In the past year or so:

I've been forced to move from where I was sitting to another pew because it was a family's "regular" spot.
I have been taken aside told not to receive communion because I was late (although WAY before the Gospel)
I have been told that I shouldn't wear a hoodie to mass, just a plain hoodie mind you...when there were plenty of people dressed in far worse. (I was FREEZING that day and put a hoodie over my good sweater)
I have been told to shutup OUTSIDE the church, after Mass, when I was singing the exiting hymn softly to myself.
I have been told that my allergy is proof that God dosn't love me.
I have been told that just because I have an allergy they will make NO accommodations....even if it means I can't go to Mass or Adoration.
I have listened to homilies where priests don't believe in transubstantiation, openly deny that Jesus cast out demons, say that there is no more mortal sin, declare that cohabitation is fine, say that the "churches" who are ordaning women are pioneers and we'll soon see women priests in our parishes...and a whole other bunch of nonsense.
I've had priests who don't want me to be at their parish because I'm too liberal (often the latin-mass folks) or that I'm too conservative (the NO folks). And both seem to dislike the charismatic folks...who..if you're not really into it and haven't received a gift yet don't like you either.
I've seen priests that don't follow basic rubrics, who use chalices of all sorts, bread of all sorts, who don't dress properly themselves, Santa coming to Mass, children running around on the alter during the homily of Mass (with Fr.'s blessing). Women in roles they shouldn't be in eg. reading the Gospel, doing the homily...and so much more.

And that's in less than 2 years.

So, yes, buck it up. You have faced scorn but not much else. Go seek out a more acceptable parish.


#12

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:186720"]
Brush up on this, find out if the abuses you think are going on ARE going on, if so, write a letter to the Pastor and if he does not correct the abuses write to the Bishop then to Rome.

[/quote]

Did this at the last parish. In my first post I mentioned that I wouldn't go into what was going on there out of charity, but suffice it to say that there were a LOT of abuses. I guess it depends on your bishop.

What I also left out was that it was so awful that I would regularly leave Mass in tears or angry -- and I cantored at three Masses each weekend - and that is no way to assist at Mass. For years I told myself that no one said the faithful were exempt from the suffering of the Cross, even at Mass. I tried to focus on the examples of the Saints - like St. Therese who made an offering of her endurance of the clicking of an old nun . But I'm not a saint and eventually God led me to another parish where I found peace and prayer during the week for over a year. We became very friendly with the pastor and enjoyed parish life there.

Then ... wham! We learned something very disturbing about him. So disturbing that someone else who knew was about to go to the press with it. For love of the church, I begged him not to do so, and brought the matter to priest personnel where it was handled.

We went back to the old parish for the last year of the old pastor's reign.

As an aside, the old pastor became pastor emeritus and intended to live in the rectory, as was his right. The new guy was such a piece of work that within a few months, the old one begged a former seminary classmate to allow him to live at his parish and he left.


#13

[quote="kage_ar, post:10, topic:186720"]
Brush up on this, find out if the abuses you think are going on ARE going on, if so, write a letter to the Pastor and if he does not correct the abuses write to the Bishop then to Rome.

[/quote]

Did this at the last parish. In my first post I mentioned that I wouldn't go into what was going on there out of charity, but suffice it to say that there were a LOT of abuses. I guess it depends on your bishop.

What I also left out was that it was so awful that I would regularly leave Mass in tears or angry -- and I cantored at three Masses each weekend - and that is no way to assist at Mass. For years I told myself that no one said the faithful were exempt from the suffering of the Cross, even at Mass. I tried to focus on the examples of the Saints - like St. Therese who made an offering of her endurance of the clicking of an old nun . But I'm not a saint and eventually God led me to another parish where I found peace and prayer during the week for over a year. We became very friendly with the pastor and enjoyed parish life there.

Then ... wham! We learned something very disturbing about him. So disturbing that someone else who knew was about to go to the press with it. For love of the church, I begged him not to do so, and brought the matter to priest personnel where it was handled.

We went back to the old parish for the last year of the old pastor's reign.

As an aside, the old pastor became pastor emeritus and intended to live in the rectory, as was his right. The new guy was such a piece of work that within a few months, the old one begged a former seminary classmate to allow him to live at his parish and he left.

At our current parish it's not so much that there are abuses as a lack of community. In fact, the only abuse I've seen is the use of ceramic vessels during advent. The pastor also does not say his part between the end of the Our Father and the start of "for Thine is the kingdom..." but I don't think that's an abuse. Just odd.

The liturgy is beautiful and although it is a Novus Ordo parish, there is a good sprinkling of Latin, particularly when he celebrates High Mass and the choir is present. Unlike the other parish, the priests here are not slovenly and do wear beautiful vestments befitting the Holy Sacrifice.

My only "complaints" are about the music, but as a musician, I guess I'm more than a little sensitive. The two female cantors are in their late 70s. One has a strong voice but is a high soprano who just doesn't get that her range isn't within reach of the congregation. The other used to be a high soprano and just doesn't have the pipes any longer. The third is the nun I mentioned, who has a strong hearty voice but one that doesn't really care about the pitch. Oh. Then there is the organist who is a truly lovely woman (the mother of my former partner) who is DEAF. And not like Beethoven. It's rather sad, actually, since she is such a sweetie.

Other than that, today, a few days before Ash Wednesday, they FINALLY removed the Christmas wreaths and dying poinsettias. Not exactly an abuse, but weird.


#14

Purplesunshine, I can relate to almost everything on your list. And I can add quite a few items. Without listing the most awful ones, a couple of my favorites as music director:

[LIST]
*]I was threatened with firing if I did not sing a hymn to the tune of the Disney World favorite: It’s a Small World, as requested by a parishioner who made large donations
*]I sang at a funeral Mass for a Jewish man who committed suicide. On one side of the church was his Catholic ex-wife and children and on the other side was his current Catholic wife. The “homily” was given by a female Jewish cantor. Before this event started, I was told NOT to sing any hymns that mentioned the Blessed Virgin (no Ave Maria) AND nothing that mentioned Jesus by Name because they didn’t want to offend anyone. I guess I made a big mistake when I asked, “What the heck are you going to do when you get to the Consecration?” because I was told I was skating on thin ice.
*]The Thanksgiving Mass that featured peace pipes, burning sage bundles to “cleanse” the church, bowing to the four corners with bowls of dirt and water, and decorating the altar with dream catchers.
*]Being told I had to blow a shofar at the start of each Mass during Advent (I refused saying I was germophobic)
[/LIST]Other than that … it was just swell.


#15

You were. I should have put a sly smilie next to my remark. I was responding to the remark before it. “Attend the next Parish Council meeting and ask to be put on the agenda. Tell them about the less-than-warm-welcome you have received, volunteer to help head a committee to change that!”

Can you approach the sister who runs the parish?

Sorry, when I read your message, I read more into it than you meant. “older Catholic…old parish…way back when…most all have died or moved away.”

I’m actually not (a) lonely or (b) a senior!

What’s wrong with being a senior! I resemble that remark! :slight_smile: jk… I’m glad your life isn’t lonely! and am not a senior. Seniority is something to look forward to though! :wink:

My thinking has always run along that line. I love to see what other parishes are doing. It makes me a more flexible and knowledgeable Catholic.

BTW- I’d be interested to know what your thoughts are on what is going on in our Roman Catholic Church today?

dona


#16

[quote="donanobis, post:15, topic:186720"]
Can you approach the sister who runs the parish?

[/quote]

Did that. I set up a meeting with her and told her that we were accustomed to being very much involved and what could we do. She thought about it and called me back a few days later and suggested that I help in outreach.

[quote="donanobis, post:15, topic:186720"]
Sorry, when I read your message, I read more into it than you meant. "older Catholic...old parish...way back when...most all have died or moved away."

[/quote]

Almost, but not yet! :wink: I've got a few years to go on that one! Not a lot, but a few.

[quote="donanobis, post:15, topic:186720"]
My thinking has always run along that line. I love to see what other parishes are doing. It makes me a more flexible and knowledgeable Catholic.

[/quote]

:thumbsup: I'm inflexible on matters of dogma, but my heart has been opened in some unexpected ways by experiencing other parishes and the ways in which they pray.

[quote="donanobis, post:15, topic:186720"]
BTW- I'd be interested to know what your thoughts are on what is going on in our Roman Catholic Church today?

[/quote]

Ooof! That could be a whole new thread! But here goes:

First, I believe the Holy Spirit is in charge. He hasn't and won't abandon us.

Second: I think the Church has become too professionalized and that, in itself, has brought about at least some of the elitist / exclusionary attitude, and it has certainly contributed to a lot of financial problems. I think we'll start to see that turn around very soon. Our diocese is offering buy outs to 1800 personnel and 100 of 133 parishes are running a deficit.

Third: Too many decisions are being made by the yard stick of risk management rather than the Gospel

Fourth: We've become too secularized. Short list: Worship of mammon over worship of God in that there is the fear of losing not-for-profit status if preaching on specific social/political issues gets too close for comfort. Too much of the good works are being performed as nothing more than social work rather than for love of God through love of neighbor. Not to diminish their worth, but what then makes us different from the local community based organization if not God? Sermons that entertain rather than educate.

Fifth: The feminization of the Church. Virtually all of the EMs and lectors are female. What little boy is going to be inspired to want to serve the church when he looks at the altar and thinks, "When I grow up I want to be just like .... Grandma!" And, hand in hand with that are the radicalized nuns who keep intimating that the female priesthood is as far away as the death of the current Holy Father. (Referring back to an earlier post, yes, my husband did present that particular sister with JP II's letter on why this can't happen, and the following week she countered with a handful of Catholic updates "proving" otherwise.)

How's that for a start?


#17

Look at your Dioceses’ website. Does any one parish stand out?

I actually attend Mass in a different Dioceses.

Do you know about mass times? you can put in your zip code and have a TON of parishes come up… you may have to travel.

I have found only 2 parishes that haven’t crossed a major catholic line or exclude me within 1 hour of me…both are around 40 miles away. Neither are in my Dioceses. But its worth it.

All the things I encountered occurred in many different parishes. It would of been easy to assume they were all corrupt. But I kept looking.

You are under no obligation to subject your soul to such nonsense.


#18

What is your definition of outreach? Did you help out?
dona


#19

Good start…I agree with everything so far.

Please continue…

dona


#20

[quote="purplesunshine, post:17, topic:186720"]
You are under no obligation to subject your soul to such nonsense.

[/quote]

purplesunshine
You are fed up and Kage_ar made a suggestion. How would you answer the response from kage_ar? Have you ever approached your parish council or a parish council, if you don't have a resident parish, and what were the results? I said I thought it a wasted effort in most cases. What would your response be?

[quote="kage_ar, post:7, topic:186720"]
Attend the next Parish Council meeting and ask to be put on the agenda. Tell them about the less-than-warm-welcome you have received, volunteer to help head a committee to change that!

[/quote]

dona


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