Called parish today, got flustered


I am in the process of moving. I’m also rather lapsed and not sure I will be unlapsing. I’ve been advised here to speak to a priest.

Anyhow, I was at the new house tonight, doing yet more plumbing, and drove by the church in question on my way home. It happened to be shortly after the end of Holy hour, it was pouring rain, my minivan was all fogged up so I decided to pull over and call. A male answered and I kind of froze up. I stammered out that I was new in the neighborhood, interested in learning about the parish. He asked what I wanted to know and I totally locked up, finally asking about Mass times because I didn’t know what else to say.

I kind of feel like an idiot now. Also, part of me feels like I’ll be wasting the priest’s time, as I have some pretty big stumbling blocks to unlapsing, but feel like I should formally rule out my own spiritual heritage as a means of support for instilling a sense of righteousness in my daughter, who is almost two years old now, before exploring other avenues for such support.

Anyhow, I have never really interacted with a parish priest as an adult. In college I went to Franciscan mass a bit and had some counseling with a basilica priest, but that is about it and it was a long time ago.

If I do somehow work up the nerve to call again and make an appointment, would there be any level of confidentiality for such a discussion?

Also, I know Catholic Priests don’t eat babies, but do they gnaw on adults? :wink:


Also, the hope this isn't the stupidest question the forum has ever seen. I just feel rather intimidated.


If I were you I’d start by simply attending Mass. Go through the motions and see how it feels. Greet the priest on the way out. Do this for a few weeks…or months…or whatever works for you. Once it becomes obvious that Father is not likely to gnaw on you, you’ll probably be much more comfortable calling to make an appointment.


I called my neighbors to welcome them home and got flustered this evening. This happens


I hope you will try contacting the priest again when yo feel able.
After being lapsed it will be necessary to have a quiet confession with the priest before going to Communion even if you do go to Mass.
Be assured that it will be utterly private and confidential.
Whatever you wish to tell the priest, know that he has much experience of returning lapsed Catholics, and the rest of us humble sinners.

God bless you for taking the fist step by contacting the parish. That was brave and good, and a response to God’s grace. It is natural to feel nervous about taking a new step in one’s life.
I’m sure God will continue to support you, and desires to bless both your daughter and you within the heart of the Church


I wouldn’t worry about it; we have all been caught off-guard at one time or another and been unsure of what to say. It’s no big deal. Remember, too, that a priest is a man–a human being. He will likely understand your concerns.

Before you call the next time for an appointment with the priest, maybe think about what you want to say so that you aren’t caught off-guard so much. Also, when you make the appointment, if the person who answers is the secretary or someone like that, keep in mind that if you are uncomfortable, you do not have to say what the appointment is about unless you choose to. You may simply say, “it’s a personal matter.”

You might also think ahead a little about what you want to discuss with the priest specifically. Then, when you meet with the priest, ask him if the conversation will be confidential. I’m certain he will tell you it is, but I also assume it would be better for you to hear it directly from him than from some stranger on the internet. :wink:

A priest’s time is valuable, yes, but part of his ministry is to shepherd his flock–of which, you are a member. And it is never a waste of time to seek the truth.

However, if you expect it to take a long time because you have a lot of questions about Catholicism, or complicated ones, consider going to your parish’s Bible Study (if available) or taking the RCIA classes, rather than–or in addition to–meeting with the priest. Most parishes will allow Catholics to “sit in” and take the classes along with the Candidates and Catechumens. You will probably have most of your questions/stumbling blocks addressed there, and if not, in my experience, most good instructors welcome relevent questions.

Also, have you read about those issues in the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

And, lastly, you can always ask questions here, too!

Will :gopray2: for you!


For myself, I had looked at various websites and had info on the parish I wanted to join (we had visited it many years ago before we lapsed).

I went to the ‘about us’ page, and emailed the youngest priest to ask about making my first confession in over a decade. He was very friendly in his reply, and I went to Mass that very week. It was amazing, and we started attending Mass regularly that weekend, and joined the next week after meeting the priest after Mass (we were ‘official’ members of another parish).

It’s much scarier in theory than in actuality. I promise. I threw all my biggest sins at the priest first in confession (as recommended here and elsewhere), and it was welcome home time! There is a lot lot lot to learn (that I had never learned to begin with), and things to re-learn.

God bless you and your journey home.


I’m a revert, having been gone for, oh, 15+ years from the Church. I started by going to an evangelical Christian church, but was feeling pulled toward the Catholic Church. I told my mom I wanted to ask the priest some questions (I still at that time hadn’t decided to return to the church). I called the parish office, and was given an appointment. I spoke with Father for over an hour, and by the end of our conversation, I decided to return to the Church and he heard my first confession since I was probably 14 years old! It was great!

After that, I got confirmed, so met with Father some more, and then started running some of the groups, so I would see him then, too. I also had another meeting with the new priest (and I mean he was brand new out of the seminary!). He was very nice, too.

When I went down to the Catholic pro-life ministry (which is separate from our parish), I met the priest that ran it. He, for some reason, had an instant connection with me, and has since basically become my spiritual director. We hang out sometimes, and he deals with my incessant questions. :slight_smile:

My point with all this is, don’t be afraid to reach out to the priest. While each person is different, most of them answered this calling because they have a passion for caring for people’s spiritual well being. Talking to people who have questions is part of that. So go for it! Think of a few specific things you want to ask and then let the conversation flow from there. :thumbsup:


I am new to the faith, in RCIA but was still nervous to talk to the priest. He happened to start talking to me one day after mass, and I ended up scheduling a time to talk to him about my divorce /family situation. He was very approachable and encouraging and I wish I had talked to him sooner. They are people just like us, and if they are a halfway decent priest they should be able to be just as welcoming for you.

Remember these guys have heard it all in the confessional, just be yourself, what do you have to lose!


I had a similar experience, I spent too much time in RCIA scared to death to talk to the priest about starting my annulment. When I finally did, it was not anything as scary as I had thought! I might already be in the church if I had just gotten up the nerve to make an appointment sooner.

To the OP, you might feel better if you went during office hours to talk to the secretary about scheduling you. I personally hate talking on the phone it gives me anxiety!


I know folks have said that after Mass is usually not a good time to say hello as a new person. I also know that all places are different. If I felt comfortable attending an adoration would that be a better time than mass, afterwards?


Yes…take baby steps. If you feel adoration first to sort of make you feel comfortable…by all means…do so. God will be there.

If you take one step closer to God, He will take two steps closer to you.

Another suggestion, if you are uncomfortable talking to the parish priest, ask to talk to a deacon or the RCIA director and ask him to help you make an appointment.


I went to mass for two months and participated in everything except communion before contacting the priest. Not a fan of the phone so I used the church bulletin that had the priests email address on it an explained how long I had been away. Few other items and asked for an appointment with he or the associate for a confession. That was the wisest thing I did. I left the meeting after feeling like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my back.


Went to vigil mass today while I took a break from plumbing. My back thigh cramped bad during the first kneeling, and after my third attempt to kneel again, I decided my movement was become ng distracting and just sat very forward in the pew. I was able to kneel for about half of the post Eucharist kneeling.

I did not recite the creeds, but bowed my head and at some point during the Mass asked in prayer that my presence did not detract from the other people there.


God bless you for your courage and your response to God’s grace.
Wonderful! :harp:

(One accepts that a person not kneeling may have some kind of knee injury or condition.
People worry less than you might think.
When I badly tore a calf muscle I also had to sit!
The only mention and scolding I received was from my priest for not resting it sufficiently. He sent a fellow parishioner to drive me back and forth from daily Mass!)

God bless you abundantly!
Warm regards,


Cool! :slight_smile:

Personally, I don’t notice if others are kneeling, bowing their heads, sitting or whatever. I’m sure you didn’t distract anyone that should have been praying anyway.

If missals are not available at the Parish, there are many good small ones for personal use, and some contain daily readings as well. I know MANY people follow along in their books during readings and prayers.

Have a great week!



Don’t worry too much about the “Catholic aerobics” if your body is in pain. Those who are physically capable should stand, kneel, etc at the appropriate times. There is no such expectation of those who are hurting.

There usually is a missal in the pew where you can follow the prayers (you probably have to relearn everything as the responses have been re-translated). I agree you don’t have to recite them if you aren’t sure what you believe. Just don’t receive the sacraments until you have been fully reconciled. :wink:


No worries, Istayed in the pew during the Eucharist.


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