Feel like an outsider


#1

I have been back in the Catholic Church for almost a year. I love the History of the Church, Mass and the Mysetery of the Catholic faith. My problem, though, is I cannot connect on a personal level with anybody in the parish.

The priest recommened I “audit” the RCIA class to get to know people but the RCIA head nixed this idea. There are all sorts of classes and groups but they are during the day and cater to the elderly population. There are no groups at night.

I feel very disconnected and not at all a part of the parish. I have emailed the stewardship team twice but they have failed to respond and it took the small groups head 2 months to get back to me. I feel more welcome and loved at AA meetings than I do at the parish … .

I feel troubled because I have nobody to speak with at the parish.

Any advice would be appreciated.


#2

Hi Agent. :wave: First of all, welcome to CAF. Glad you’re here. But I’m sure sorry to hear that you’re having some difficulty “connecting” to people in your parish.

My advice is to be persistent. Our parish has a wonderful “Time and Talent” Directory available in the office. Parishioners can join different ministries at any time. Can you check and see if your parish has something like that? If so… I’m sure you will find several things which might be of interest to you.

You might also want to check out the social calendars of other parishes. You don’t mention your personal circumstances… married, single, working… etc. But it does sound as though you’re working. There’s no reason why you couldn’t attend social events at other parishes. Especially the “paying” events… where you pay for admission <like a dance, or stage play… etc.>. You’d meet some great folks, that way.

I would also recommend Eucharistic Adoration, whenever possible for you. You tend to encounter familiar faces both at Adoration and daily Mass… whenever you are able to go.

I don’t know if these suggestions help. But I hope so. God bless.


#3

Parishes differ a great deal in this respect. Our pastor serves two parishes; one is almost irritatingly (to me) social. The other is anything but, and I prefer that, as I have a large family and don’t socialize much outside of it. A nearby parish is not at all social on the surface, but if you attend and support their numerous events, they are. I do like associating there sometimes, particularly when other family members do. But I wouldn’t care for a steady diet of it.

But what needs to be remembered is that Catholics in general do not identify their spiritual lives with their social lives the way some protestant denominations do. A high degree of parish socialization is not religion, but a phenomenon that depends on the nature of the personalities in the parish.


#4

I noticed this sentence in your posting. Many of us who have been wounded by alcoholism crave fellowship but don’t seem to either grab it when it is offered or reach out to find it as some others may do. That is part of our scarring, I fear, and something I pray over a great deal. I often feel very torn between wanting the kind of “hail, fellow, well met” comraderie that others seem to enjoy and still wanting the solitude my personality seems to need.

I shall pray for you . . . please pray for me, too . . . :blush:


#5

I am not really seeking social outlets like dances or pot-lucks but a small group of serious Catholics getting together and supporting one another in their faith. I think it would be helpful to be able to talk with other Catholics about day to day issues.

They say that the Church is like our family but I don’t feel like there is any one I know.

I would like to get my son baptized but I don’t even know any Catholics to be god-parents.

I know I brought a lot of this on by leaving the Church when younger and living like the prodigal son but now that I have come back to the Church I don’t feel really a part of it.

Maybe I am just whining and complaining but one evening Bible study for a parish of over 2000 isn’t too much to ask, or is it??


#6

I am not really seeking social outlets like dances or pot-lucks but a small group of serious Catholics getting together and supporting one another in their faith. I think it would be helpful to be able to talk with other Catholics about day to day issues.

Hey! That’s a GREAT idea!

Why don’t you ask your priest about your organizing just such a group?


#7

I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time. Not sure what advice to give you, EXCEPT the part about baptizing your son caught my eye. My parish office found the baptism sponsors for my second child because I had the same trouble finding someone. The pitfall is that they have not turned out to have much of a relationship with her, esp. since we moved awhile back. If we had stayed in the same area, it might have been different. I think it’s preferable for Godparents to be friends of the family that you know have a good chance of being there for the long haul, but frankly, the importance is the SACRAMENT, not having an ideal relationship with the sponsors. My own sponsor into the Church (albeit not for my baptism) was also picked for me by my parish since I did not know anyone and she is the sweetest lady God put on this earth. Please contact them and let them set you up and get your son into the Church. :thumbsup:


#8

Hey!

I know how you feel! I am a young adult, and I love my parish, but like you, feel like I will never be a “part of it.” I have been going there for three years and just this year have I felt any change. I offered to teach CCD (never heard back from the people), attended RCIA (no one spoke to me other than “hello”) and I volunteered to do kids’ carnival games at a parish bazaar, and once again, no call back. Then, in a daily homily the priest said something about always challenging yourself and “don’t wait to be invited” to try something new or get involved. Well, that gave me the courage to just show up at the parish bazaar with my supplies and set up an impromptu booth. Guess what - lots of people stopped by and I met more people than i’d met all three years, and the next week, the head of the parish council asked me to apply to be on some parish education committee and I had the priests over for dinner. Yes, it was a frustrating road, and it is pretty outrageous that it is that hard to push your way into the community. But, it’s just the way it is, I guess. There are so many people in the parishes it is hard to reach out to everyone, and they don’t even know who wants to be reached out to. But, give it time and jump in where you see an opportunity (this was hard for me - I’m pretty shy) and things will turn around! Keep trying, and don’t take anything personally. And don’t rely on the church to supply your social life. I kind of realized I was doing that, and as soon as I stopped, that’s when things started going right! So just relax, do what you can, and you will see some opportunities arise!


#9

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:

I know this is off topic, but I couldn’t help being amused by your nickname.


#10

Hi again “Agent” :wave: Have you thought about organizing a parish Bible study yourself? I think all you’d need to do… is make an appointment with your Pastor… and register interest. He then, might place something in your parish bulletin. That’s usually the way they start up new groups in my parish. They place a “feeler” in the bulletin, to see if there’s any interest from other parishioners. If you’re in a parish of 2,000… I would say chances are very good that someone else WILL be interested in the idea. :thumbsup:

Hang in there. Hope you will consider taking the initiative yourself, and starting the Bible study. Please let us know what happens.

God bless.
MV :slight_smile:


#11

Check with the diocese website in your area. There may be a prayer group or other support group that may interest you. Seeing as there is not much within your own parish there may be others from it also attending within the diocese but in another church. I hope this helps. I know in my hometown town we had a prayer meeting that had all the other parishes attending. While I understand you are looking for that unity within your own parish it may be worth looking into. God Bless


#12

Agent, Maybe you’re being called to start your own group within your parish.


#13

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