Catholics KNOW fellowship!


#1

I just got back from my parish’s annual summer festival and I had a great time. :slight_smile: Most of the time I spent with my daughters as they went on the rides and played games. But I also went through the silent auction looking for some good deals and spent some time talking to others I know at the parish. My wife was helping out at the church rummage sale and was able to get away every now and again and also was conversing with friends and meeting new ones. The kids had a good time too. I noticed many people gathering together to be with friends and family and having a wonderful time. It makes me wonder what people mean that people sometimes leave the Catholic Church due to lack of fellowship. Lack of fellowship? :confused:

Maybe the Catholic Church needs to promote HOW we already have it, not that we don’t possess it.

Anyone else care to share how they have experienced fellowship as a part of their Catholic experience?


#2

Now I will set you a problem. How do we translate this knowing to the time before and after Sunday Mass when many many people choose to arrive at the very last minute or later and roar away in their cars within minutes of the end of Mass. Not everyone experiences that once a year fun time of a parish festival because they just don’t show up and join in. How do we motivate the masses to at least smile and greet each other?What do you do to handle cliques that can’t seem to welcome strangers into their midst. I am happy that you had a great experience, I have had the same. It is a wonderful feeling. …Whoops, sorry forgot feelings are not dependable when it comes to Church and Religion. :thumbsup:


#3

Apparently they don’t belong to the Parish I go too.
We have the usual coffee, juice and donuts after some of the Sunday Masses. We have a festival yearly also, that lasts for days, we have so many ministries that there has to be one for somebody.

Each usually has their own meetings, with food, their own celebrations at Christmas parties, the Parish Christmas get together party, with food, the different things like a Sedar Meal during Lent.

When we get a new Priest we have a party, when another leaves, we have a party, we have a large community and just last week we celebrated the feast of the Father of God and afterwards there was a little get together, with food.

We have the yearly Ministry Fair, the large Parish garage sale, the Christmas festival where everyone gets together and sells Christmas items for their different ministries, we have get togethers for the Priests anniversaries, birthdays, and all kinds of other special occasions and celebrations, including our Parish’s anniversary.

When there are meetings for the different ministries, or talks, videos, what have you, we usually have at least muffins and fruit, coffee and juice when they are held in the morning.

Then there is the usual K of C breakfasts, the youth breakfasts, the bingo, the parties at Halloween for the Children and at Christmas, the socials that are montly at the Knights hall, the ice cream social, the special occasions, etc…parties, dances, etc… for just about any reason. Award ceremonies, you name it. We even have coffee and donuts afterwards when we get together to pray the Rosary at the Knights hall. When you go and volunteer your time for something there is usually food involved. They usually have yearly fund raisers for different reasons, Christmas and New Years Eve parties for the adults, more fund raisers in cases of emergencies in the community. Parties of thankfulness for volunteering your time at the annunal tootie roll drive, etc…even the meetings themselves involve food.

Then there is the council of Catholic Women and their bake sales for different reasons, like to help the life centers, the youth, the different ministries, etc…

I think the first year we lived here I gained 20 pounds.:smiley:

People just need to contact the office and ask about the different ministries, usually when they registar to become members of the Parish they are given all the information on the different ministries, maybe they don’t read it? Most things are in the bulletin also, and announcments are made right before the final blessing.

Don’t wait to be asked, ask.


#4

There is certainly plenty of fellowship opportunities out there. I agree with you that many of us could get out there and participate and not wait for someone to ask us to “join in the fun” so to speak. But rwoehmke asks a very good question:

[quote=rwoehmke]What do you do to handle cliques that can’t seem to welcome strangers into their midst.
[/quote]

I myself didn’t really know how to get involved at our own parish until I was asked to run for parish council one time. Once on the council, I was suddenly “in the know” on how things operate. Until then, I hadn’t a clue. The key was that someone asked me to participate. After that, getting involved in the parish community came much easier.


#5

Before 9:30 mass this morning, I was hugged by 5 people and got my hand shaken at least a dozen times, not to mention the many who waved at me and mouthed “good morning” across the room.

What lack of fellowship?


#6

Small town parishes tend to have a lot of fellowship. Our priest has fellowships every holiday, dances, and an ice cream social coming up this month (must be a southern thing:D ).


#7

No, it isn’t, I live in a huge community and have visited small communities and both are the same, at least the one I was at was. I think some people either aren’t looking or aren’t asking.


#8

Actually I was referring to ‘ice cream socials’.


#9

Armed Guards???:stuck_out_tongue:
I’ve heard this so often and, unfortunately true in far too many cases.:shrug:
I suspect this varies somewhat from parish to parish based on location, size, “culture” i.e. ethnicity etc. At our parish, there seems to be quite a bit of socializing after mass, and right in the Church, (which sometimes disturbs those of us who are trying to pary after mass.:shrug: )

Related to this, I have also heard that we are bad at welcoming new members when we see them at Church. To this I say that there is a diffference in the Catholic Church as opposed to many other churches. That is the fact that there are generally 3 or 4 or 5 or more masses on a given weekend. It can be hard to tell who is a new member and who is simply attending a different mass time than usual.
Many non-catholic churches have only one or maybe 2 services, so it’s easier to note when there is someone new in the pews.

Not everyone experiences that once a year fun time of a parish festival because they just don’t show up and join in.

And that is their loss yes??
There is a time when people need to “step up” and join in with the activities.

How do we motivate the masses to at least smile and greet each other?

Try smiling first - It’s infectious. If they don’t smile back just say a quick prayer for them like - “May God lighten their mood”.

What do you do to handle cliques that can’t seem to welcome strangers into their midst. I am happy that you had a great experience, I have had the same. It is a wonderful feeling. …Whoops, sorry forgot feelings are not dependable when it comes to Church and Religion. :thumbsup:

I’m nots sure what you mean by “cliques” above. If they are ministerial groups that are acting exclusive and snobish, then they should be reported to pastor or whomever would be in charge. If you are talking about “social cliques”, I guess I’d have to say I never encountered one of those that I would care to join given their outlook.

By the By - Our Church has a welcoming ministry for those who sign up with the parish. They do a wonderful Job.

Peace
James


#10

I live in a large metropolitan area and many Catholic churches exemplify what you describe. I think this is emblematic of diverse populations living in close proximity to one another. This has been amplified by noted sociologist Robert Putnam.

When this topic is brought up some get very defensive but I don’t see why the cards can’t be laid on the table when it comes to the impersonal nature of many large Catholic churches. I have even heard archdiocesan priests and the Cardinal himself speak on this issue, so it is not something I am making up.

One of the many reasons why Hispanic immigrants give for leaving the Catholic Church is a lack of connection to the church community. This has been written about in several Catholic publications, both liberal and conservative.

John


#11

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