I’ve been to 2 different churches my whole life protestant one and catholic one.
Duno if any have gone to st peters in manhattan new york? well I was there with my gf who is rc, any way I just gotta say the way I was treated there was kind of cold, no warm hand shakes no thanks for comming no one made an attempt to approach me and talk to me about the church wouldn’t this be a good time or place to convert new members?
everyone looked like they’re dead or something the church is so dark and gothic looking however I’ve been to my friends tabernacle and boy is it lively in there you feel so appreciated and people are friendly
another note I’ve been to a few other local CC and while not as gothic looking as the one in new york, but still people just mind their own business it seems they don’t care who is new or not
I’ve been in some Lutheran churches where the feeling is the same as you describe about a few Catholic parishes. OTOH, I attended mass at a Catholic College while my daughter was college searching, and the place was absolutely filled with the Holy Spirit. The experience was incredible.
My point: these experiences, yours and mine, are anecdotal, and not reflective of faith communities at large.
It would be nice if all churches of all denominations were welcoming. While this is not just a Catholic issue, as I have been to Protestant Churches, and growing up Jewish, synagogues where I did not have people glad handing me, and giving me a big welcome, I do have a different perspective for you to consider.
In general, the purpose of going to any church or synagogue is to give corporate worship to God, not to be recognized for doing what we should be doing.
Most Catholic parishes are much larger than the average Protestant parish, and while the focus is as above on giving God the worship he deserves, there tend to be more people who may be visiting the family in NY, or on holiday, who are not known to the parish than in the average Protestant parish. While some parishes do go out of their way to identify visitors, it is not really part of Catholic Culture in the Church itself. In those places where there is a social after Mass, people will mingle with coffee and doughnuts, or other munchies, and that would be the place where a new, or visiting person is engaged.
I don’t think it is a matter of a less welcoming or friendly place, as it is that traditionally (in my experience) Orthodox and Conservative Synagogues, as well as most Catholic Churches see the time of Worship to be time devoted to God. In both, there are social events after, where we focus the Love we have shared for God with each other.
I’m sorry you came away with the feeling of not being welcomed. I am sure it was not intentional.
Some things alot of non Catholics don’t realize is that when we are in Christ’s church, and he is present in the Tabernacle or on the Altar in the Eucharist, it isn’t a time for a meet and greet situation.
When most people come to Mass, they arrive early, and kneel in prayer for a period of time. This can vary depending on the individual. Even when we are done with our individual prayers, we try to remain quiet and reverent for others that are still in prayer.
During the Mass, there is the Rite of Peace, where people turn to those around them, and shake hands, etc, offering Christ’s peace, but again, since we are in the middle of the Mass, it really isn’t a time to ask if you are new to the parish or not.
After the Mass, when the presiding priest processes out, they will be at the entrance to the Church to greet people, etc. That would be a good time to introduce yourself, and explain that you are new.
Of course, before the Mass, there are more than likely ushers around that should at least greet you warmly. Again, this would be a good time to introduce yourself and let them know you are new to the parish.
My parish is rather large, and our ushers get used to seeing whoever is at the particular Mass they usher for. They should be able to recognize someone new, but I’m afraid they don’t always do that. Unfortunately, that is a failing on our part, but I’m sure it isn’t intentional.
As far as other parishoners, everyone is at a different place in their faith. Maybe some are worried about something serious in their life, some are maybe a little too focused in their spiritual life that they cut others out, it is just impossible to tell.
Give it a few more tries, and I think you’ll see things differently.
I feel its not just in CC church I’ve also done marriage prep at a RC perish (mixed marriage class) been there like 5 or 6 times again no one there even bothered to ask me hey your new? or you’re getting married right? again this could be a great opp for recruitment of new members
and while yeah I guess I could come up to people and say hey I’m new!
I feel like the host being the CC could be abit more out going or engaging thats all
It’s a two edged sword. Catholics have been accused of trying to force conversions on non-Catholics who are taking pre-marital classes. Are the other non-Catholics in the class treated any differently than yourself? You do show good insight, in both airing your concerns here, and in seeing that you too can be a bit more outgoing.
Other example my gf family all RC from birth and must say very strict catholic too
her mom was about to become a nun
I’ve met pretty much everyone in her family while they are very nice people, friendly etc no one has ever come up to me and said hey you know our chuch this and that…
not very evangelical seems like they hiding something i duno how to explain this…
now I’m not bashing all catholics just the ones I’ve met
Oh please churches and denominations are not necessary when we are part of the Universal Christian Church (big C intentional). Protestantism had the right idea a Priesthood of All Believers but then they turned around and adapted the same sort of structures they struggled to get away from. We don’t need bishops, pastors or other structures or large buildings or more than a few people reading and studying the Bible with the Holy Spirit. If you choose to have a small Home Church or be part of a Simple Church then fine that is for me the ideal situation and for me far more biblical than the Vatican, or a Megachurch or some other sort of structure.
I for one would rather give my Tithe to charities I like and ministries serving the poor than fund a pastor and a building far more opulant that is necessary.