Church Shopping

When people are Church shopping, do they try out Catholic Churches? If they do, what would encourage them to stay?

The lively music and the edgy relevance.

Good, solid, thought-provoking, well-informed, relevant preaching!

I actually tried a Catholic Church for the first time Friday.
No one really talked to me, but there were only like 10 people there because it was a lunchtime weekday Mass. I’m sure on a Sunday, it would have been different.
But I am planning on going back; it was intriguing.
I feel like one thing that kind of made me uncomfortable was the standing/kneeling/sitting/repeating patterns that I didn’t know, and felt lost during them.

How to say this…You might have people talk to you and you might not. I’m a convert…I chose to be a Catholic. I went to RCIA etc. When people in our parish come into church, they are quiet…most kneel and pray. If you are looking for a big welcome after…you might not get that either. It’s not a social gathering at all. But there are many opportunities if you choose to become Catholic and join the Parish.

All the standing and kneeling and when to do it…it just takes a little time…you will quickly find that the Mass is always the same…the readings change every day but everything is in the same order making it easier as you go more often.

The best way to decide if you want to be in communion with God as a Catholic is to go to RCIA…adult education. They will be starting the end of the month. This is where you will learn the teachings of the Church…what they believe and why…

To me…it’s been an experience like no other. Mass gives me what I need to go on…I love going…


Awesome! It took me a long time to figure out what I supposed to be doing. See if you can find someone before Mass and ask them how to use the Missalette. It tells you when to stand/sit/kneel, what the priest is saying, and what the people are supposed to say. It takes some page flipping, but it would have helped me immensely if someone had showed me how to follow the Mass with it in the first place. I am sure somebody would be happy to walk you through it.

Thanks for the advice! I’ll be sure to do that.

Good preaching (as mentioned)

**Making a personal connection **with the Priest an/or church members

Yeah, just think of it as one of those “Chose your own Adventure” books from when you were a kid. There is a bunch of page flipping that happens, back and forth and jumping around. However, it always tells you where to go.

Best of luck!

I second that! I had a good friend show me how to follow the missalet and it was a great help!

Missalettes are not used and not available in all Catholic Churches. The Mass is to be proclaimed and HEARD, not read, as it has been for 21 centuries. You can buy a book called a daily missal with the Mass and all the readings in it, if you wish, and missalettes are not found in the Church you are visiting. Missalettes are not used at my parish (unless you bring your own :)). Visitors welcome.

The Mass is not a social event. People will probably not speak to visitors or even to each other. Their focus should be entirely on God and the Sacrifice of the Mass. They don’t know and don’t care that you are a visitor. You are very welcome, even when no one acknowledges you. The Church offers Mass daily, usually in the morning and evening, sometimes at noon, and one can attend any time one wishes. On Sunday, there are several Masses – I may go in the morning at my parish at 7, 9, 11, or in the afternoon at l:00 or 5:30. Or on Saturday evening at the Vigil. How would anyone know if I was a “visitor”?

Protestants are used to “fellowshipping” as an important element of “worship.” Catholics are not. “Fellowshipping” is done in the many service groups, such as St. Vincent de Paul, the women’s sodality, the men’s Bible study, etc. etc. Or outside of Mass on the lawn after Mass. It should never be done in Church, where Jesus is literally Present in the Tabernacle.

Great preaching is nice, but not essential. Some daily Masses will not have a homily at all. The essential thing is the SACRIFICE of the Mass and the prayers. We are kneeling at Calvary. Every Mass is an awesome experience.

Only Catholics in the state of grace may be admitted to Holy Communion.

Peace y’all,

Jim Dandy
ex-Southern Baptist, ex-agnostic-ex-atheist, ecstatic to be Catholic!

That’s a GREAT question, and one that ALL Catholics should ask themselves when they’re on their way to Mass. Hopefully, newcomers will have a an uplifting and very welcoming experience. Hopefully, the readings will be read and heard clearly. Hopefully, they will feel encouraged to sing along with the hymns and psalm. Hopefully, the homily will be meaningful to their hearts and will shine a bright light upon the gospel passage. Hopefully, they will be greeted with smiles and handshakes by many during the exchange of the peace. Hopefully, they will understand that the communicants are recieving the body, blood, soul and divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Hopefully, they will witness true Christian charity and love amongst the families that surround them. Hopefully, the priest or some of the parishoners will chat with them kindly after the Mass. And, hopefully, they will want to return. Hopefully. :slight_smile:

As a convert, I myself took the LONG road to Catholicism. It seems I tried almost EVERY denomination you can think of before finally coming HOME to Holy Mother Church. So what made ME stay after my first visit? Well, as Sherlock Holmes would say “Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth!”. :wink:

My impression is that people come to the RCC by marriage or they were baptised and return to thier roots, so to speak.
I would be curous how many come to the church without a family connection?

Growing up, I was always a bit troubled as to why the RCC was not more aggressive in seeking converts. I still see it as a weakness that can be fixed.
I am optomistic about the recent RCC efforts to actively bring back lapsed catholics.

I did. I didn’t even have a Catholic friend or acquaintance. No one ever evangelized me, except those trying to convince me not to be Catholic. I did enjoy trying to figure it out, but I wish I had known someone who would have walked me through it.

One of the best days was when I started attending daily Mass during my second year of RCIA. Two women chased me down to introduce themselves, full of joy and enthusiasm. I wish there were more Catholics like them. I wish I was like that.

Well it sure ain’t the fellowship! :stuck_out_tongue:

How 'bout Jesus?

He’s only present, body, blood, soul and divinity in those churches that have the Eucharist!

Nope, thats just a perk:thumbsup:

Maybe thats the same here on CA, eh gurney;)


I’m joking, of course. There IS no fellowship in any of the Catholic parishes in this valley. No coffee hour or anything else for fellowship. Typical.

Incidentally, I am a bit perplexed by this concept of Church Shopping.

One ought to go where the Truth is, not where truth conforms to one’s own notions.

Otherwise, aren’t you creating a god in your own image? That is, I believe that god is
<list of qualities one finds reasonable in an omnipotent loving god>
so now let me find a church that has this god.

Rather! One ought to say “I will go where Truth is and conform my own beliefs to this Truth.”

In fact, I daresay that if you are in a denomination where everything that is taught you’re in 100% agreement with, then you’ve just created a religion in your own image. Reason ought to tell you that God must have revealed something that’s distasteful to you, something that makes you think, “Gee, I really don’t like that teaching, but I’m sure God has a good reason for it.” Reason demands that, yes?


Well said, but it’s very hard for a lost soul to KNOW what is true and where it is located. I think most church shoppers are lapsed Christians without a deep knowledge of God, or any family or community ties to their prior church. They are looking for a Church like a student searches for a good college

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