First post, first question


#1

Hello,

I am a middle aged father of two, they both are enrolled in our local Catholic school. We are regulars in church but not perfect Catholics or even perfect Christians for that matter… But, I really feel like it is time in my life to find opportunities to give back a little. One of the problems is that both my wife and I are really not extroverts, we are not wall flowers by any stretch but we have issues getting so into groups that everybody knows your business etc. (I know we need to work on that). That is one of the reasons we don’t get involved in the committees at the school, my wife does a lot of class specific or teacher help but the group stuff seems to get to caught up in the gossip and who knows who, and competition.

My question is without actually going to church and asking our Priest(s) what are some good opportunities to volunteer some time?? What do you do…?

Thanks!


#2

Offer prayers for OTHERS (not your own needs)! Offer to say a Rosary for someone else’s needs! Make a regular prayer appointment with God! Then He will lead you to where He wants you. Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration it WILL change your life.:yup:


#3

I don’t think you can really get involved without having to deal with the dynamics of small groups. That’s rather a given, don’t you think?

I’d say take the plunge and get involved in an activity or two at you parish you feel you could really help and just overlook the faults of others in the group. Human beings are going to be imperfect no matter where you go or who you association with.

Learn to let the comments of others roll off your back and focus on just doing the ministry and make friends with those in the group with whom you find a natural affinity.


#4

My Church has a pantry give away. I live in a poverty stricken area…and am proud to say that the church I attend is the biggest supplier of food to folks in need…next to the goverment and food stamps of course…

It is good for my 15 yr. old and 12 yr. old to see such work being done…

God Bless…and welcome to the forums!


#5

Do you have a “Feeding the Homeless” group… ours shares the ministry with other churches, so we only have to “cook” or “serve” every ten weeks … small group, good cause.

You might also try your St Vincent DePaul group if there is one.

Bible studies, and apologetics courses also give a chance to attend, mingle, and not be overwhelmed by a crowd.


#6

You dont neccessarily have to go out and join an organization at church. Thery are a great thing but they aren’t for everyone. My advice to you would be to just be more active in bettering your spiritual life. A couple of ways to do this are:

  1. GET A SPIRITUAL DIRECTOR! if you arent familiar with this, it is getting a priest to sit down for an hour or so about once or twice a month. Usually it is best to have them give you the sacrament of reconciliation first and then you just talk about your life, your struggles, your joys, just anything you really want to. Make sure that you always go to the same priest once you choose one though. This will help you immensely as it did for me. Priests are always willing to do this and they are already familiar with it so dont feel weird about asking them to be your spiritual director.

  2. If you dont have one yet, get a scheduled hour of Adoration in front of the Blessed Sacrament at least once a week. I cant recommend this enough. It is a great time to just relax and not worry about stuff, for a change.

You dont have to join organizations and whatnot to be a good catholic. If you would not be comfortable there, dont do it. Just work on your own spiritual life and then pray! Pray for everything. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

hope that helps


#7

My girlfriend and I are also not extroverts… in fact, I’m what you might call an outright introvert. There are talents and skills that we have though, that can be valuable to the Church. We try to use these gifts and abilities, in our own small way, to help.

We both attend university and there are organizations and groups that are deticated to the task of evangelization in a campus environment. Something that I’ve found hard, but very rewarding, is getting involved in these groups and just being there - armed with as much knowledge that we can gain by studying Church documents, the scriptures, and through prayer - and being prepared to act as a stabilizing element in the often enthusiastic, but sometimes not doctrinally sound deliberations within these groups. By humbly submitting truth, and referencing it well so there’s no confusion over what is opinion and what is Church teaching, we are able to help the group in a small way stay faithful to Christ in the spiritual development of the young people of the local universities.

Another thing that I have found, is that there are usually things that need to be done, but aren’t noticed by most people. Some of these things I am capable of doing. Some of them I can only help bring attention to. For example, there is a need in our area for an expansion of the university ministry facilities. It was very apparent to me, and to a few others, that something needed to be done, as the present facilites are cramped. I went to one of the priests who is the chaplain for the largest university in our area, and discussed this with him (a wonderful priest by the way… young, enthusiastic, and orthodox). He agreed that an effort should be made toward improving the facilities, and he brought it up with the bishop a short time afterward. Now, I am looking into the possiblity of expansion on existing property and am in the beginning stages of developing a proposal for a plan of action (including preliminary designs, cost estimates, restrictions placed on expansion by building codes, etc.). It isn’t something flashy, or something that people will recognize me for, which suits me just fine… I like to stay out of the limelight (I’m setting it up so that the priest gets the credit… something he’s not aware of yet. ;)).

Perhaps there is something that you can do for your parish, or diocese even, that utilizes your special talents, and doesn’t grate on your introverted personality. If you find something, don’t be afraid to ask your priest, or your bishop, whether you can help in that specific area.

Something that I would do, before you get involved in anything, especially anything to do with liturgy or catechesis, is study. By knowing the Faith better, we are better able to see what is needed, and better able to act when necessary.

God bless, hope your journey goes well,

Agricola


#8

Hi, the main thing our family has really enjoyed doing in our parish, that is a relaxing and fun way to get to know some of the parishners, is to help decorating the church for special occasions. The official decorators love the extra hands and all ages can pitch in. Sandy


#9

If your church is undecorating for the season…go help them! Believe me that is one way to open a door and I know your help will greatly be appreciated.


#10

this brings to mind one family who was new here, neither Anglo nor Hispanic and sensitive because of their language disparity, about volunteering in other ways. Without being asked, they took it upon themselves, with their children, to go through the Church after the last Mass pew by pew, removing used tissues, replacing hymnals and missalettes, putting song sheets away, picking up dropped flower petals, putting forgotten items in the lost and found, straightening the pamphlet rack etc. They are done by the time the sacristan is ready to lock up, and the Church is always spotless for Monday morning Mass, or baptisms later in the afternoon. I saw them doing this for several weeks, and later found out from the custodian (who does not work on Sunday) that they also policed the bathrooms, made sure faucets were turned off, picked up paper towels off the floor etc. What a beautiful, humble ministry. What lucky children to have such parents as role models.


#11

[quote=ifrydr]… But, I really feel like it is time in my life to find opportunities to give back a little.

My question is without actually going to church and asking our Priest(s) what are some good opportunities to volunteer some time?? What do you do…?
Thanks!
[/quote]

You would be surprised at what needs to be done around a parish. In many parishes, so many people just go to Mass and don’t think about the parish until the next Sunday.

In our parish, there are many things that need to be done, but the money just isn’t in the budget.
One man is volunteering his time and talent and is repairing all the pews and kneelers. Another did plumbing work. One did some bushhog work, and another did some “gardening” on the overgrown bushes.
They had certain talents, and let the priest know what they could do if it were ever needed. And they were called on!

One thing I’d suggest, is that you take inventory of your skills and available time, and then let your priest know you are available if they have a need for your skills.

Perhaps volunteer to be a Catechist to teach Religious Education. Offer to purchase pamphlets if there is a rack for them. If you see something that looks like it isn’t being done, ask if help is needed to take care of it.

There are many things for “introverts” (and “Extroverts”) to do, but it takes some digging to find them.

MC


#12

I hate gossip. One thing you could do is have a response ready when gossiping starts. Like, “I’ve found that we never really know the whole story, so let’s not discuss it.” Or, “Well, we should be careful to try to be charitable and assume the best.” Or, just interrupt, laugh, and say, “Oh no, don’t start gossiping, it is my New Year’s resolution. I’m not doing any purgatory time for that!”

Just an idea. One of the best rebukes I ever had was when I started to gossip. I’m so grateful for that reminder. It was firm, but kind.


#13

If you’re just looking to get involved in the Church, you might have to take a risk and join a group. Like everything else, it’s much easier after the first time.

But, I’m wondering if you’re also talking about getting your service hours for having your kids in the school. My kids are in Catholic school also. We have to get 40 hours per kid, per year. That can be difficult at times. My wife and I are sometimes not eager to join the gossip pools ourselves. You almost can’t avoid them, and I’m starting to wonder if Catholic school moms didn’t invent gossip! :smiley: One way we get a lot of hours that really helps someone is to babysit their kids while they volunteer at the school/church. If your school allows this, it’s a good way to get hours, help out the other parents get their hours, and get to really know some of the other kids in your child’s class. We also do a lot of take home work for our children’s teachers. The next best way I found is volunteering at the annual carnival (we call it a fiesta). The atmosphere at these events is usually a lot more fun and gossip seems to diminish. If your Church/school doesn’t have one of these, maybe you could develop a plan for one and present it to the school. Excellent fund raising, fun for all, and offers parents a little more for getting service hours. Just because you might be an introvert, doesn’t mean you can’t be a great leader for organizing one of these. Also, if you take charge of something, your example of not gossiping could prevent a lot of it.


#14

[quote=ifrydr]Hello,

I am a middle aged father of two, they both are enrolled in our local Catholic school. We are regulars in church but not perfect Catholics or even perfect Christians for that matter… But, I really feel like it is time in my life to find opportunities to give back a little. One of the problems is that both my wife and I are really not extroverts, we are not wall flowers by any stretch but we have issues getting so into groups that everybody knows your business etc. (I know we need to work on that). That is one of the reasons we don’t get involved in the committees at the school, my wife does a lot of class specific or teacher help but the group stuff seems to get to caught up in the gossip and who knows who, and competition.

My question is without actually going to church and asking our Priest(s) what are some good opportunities to volunteer some time?? What do you do…?

Thanks!
[/quote]

don’t make the mistakes I used to make - do not prejudge a committee or group. Pick one and volunteer. You may be just the couple they need!


#15

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