Guess I need more advice - trying not to church hop


#1

I wasn't sure where else to put this, but I really would like some input here. I was confirmed Feb. 2009 and didn't actually join the church where I went through RCIA for a few reasons, but mostly because there were only families and the parish just wasn't as welcoming of an atmosphere. They were nice people but everyone was married with kids or elderly.
So, I joined a different parish and felt more at home there and like I belonged. I have made friends and am on several committees and got really involved, but I'm running into the same thing. Everyone my age is married and/or has kids and I am neither. I'm 37.
I do have friends who are single/unmarried, but most of them are younger than I am - twenties or thirties. I feel very lonely when I go to church and while I don't go just for social status, I still feel very disconnected from the church because I don't have kids and am not married.
I want to connect with other Catholics closer to my age and status but it's difficult to do, esp. when the guys there my age are married already and there is a strong youth group, but they are just too young.
Anyway, there is another Catholic church I went to when I was struggling before I got confirmed and they have a Young Professional group from age 20s to 40s. I have thought about attending one of their events to try to connect with other Catholics, but I don't want it to seem like I'm church hopping. I do love my church and the people I've met and I love going to Mass there, but there is no group for someone like me.
I want to be around other Catholics in my same status as I am new to this and would like to understand more about my faith.
I don't necessarily want to leave my current parish, but I don't know what the feeling would be or how I would be welcomed if I just wanted to be part of the YP group at this other church.
I also think it would be a good idea for me to not be around that guy who I mentioned in the other thread. As much as I try to avoid him, I keep running into him and it's freaking me out. I also keep dreaming about him and I almost feel like I'm going crazy because I can't seem to stop thinking about him. You'd have to read the other thread to know what I mean.
Anyway, any thoughts here? It's hard when you feel left out because you haven't reproduced or have a husband. I want those things, but I can't do anything about that. :(


#2

I don't really think it is church hopping to participate in other parishes. I visit other parishes regularly and I participate in a lot of activities outside my parish. It is easier to stay faithful if you have a support group, so if you think that can be had by being involved in another parish go for it. Also it's not really church hopping to go from one parish to another, I consider church hopping to be going from Catholic to Baptist to Mormon, etc.

Most of my catholic friends do not attend my parish, I met one great one at a retreat and then ran into her at daily mass a few months later and now we are good friends. The church we attend daily mass at is at neither of our parishes.

I too would love to meet a great guy but I am not sure that will happen in my parish so I am happy to participate elsewhere. My church consists of teenagers and really early 20s or older married couples, I stand alone at 30 and single, so I don't really socialize there, it's sad because I remember when my bracket was the majority.

There is nothing wrong, immoral or sinful we are after all called to fellowship with each other.


#3

Why not simply go to the other parish for the activities of this particular ministry? It really doesn’t seem like a big deal and it is something your parish doesn’t offer (or perhaps meet your needs).

In our Men’s Group, we have some people who are members of other parishes and that is fine. For that matter, we would not have any issue even if they were not Catholic. (Come to think of it, I went before I converted…)


#4

I think that if you love your current parish you should stay there, but that doesn't mean that you can't go to the group at the other parish, we do things with other near by parishes all the time.

I do want to point out though, that the group doesn't say Young Single Professionals, so don't be suprised if most of the people in this group are also married.


#5

Thanks. I found on the site later that they welcome others from other parishes and they do welcome single and married from 20s - 40s, which is fine by me.
I do think it's sad that this age bracket with this status seems to fall between the cracks for most churches are aimed at families, kids or the elderly. NOt that there is anything wrong with those groups, but there are A LOT of ppl like me who are just left hanging.
I wish more Catholic churches would have programs for my group. A lot of non-Catholic and non-denominational churches have bible study groups and events, etc. for my group, but in the Catholic church I've noticed that it's quite sparse. Why is that?

I'd like to visit with a friend who lives in my building the church group she goes, too, as they are quite active with singles 20s - 40s just so I can meet people my age, but I prefer Catholic groups. To be honest, I'm afraid I wouldn't be welcomed anyway since I'm Catholic and while I am not against having friends of all faiths, which I already do have, I just want to meet more Catholics. That and I am praying that the Lord brings me a Catholic man! :p

Thanks for all the input. I've decided to go to a newcomer event Sunday night at the YP group and check things out.


#6

It’s not church hopping to go to different churches for different events. I go to a parish for my regular worship.

Remember that it’s MUCH easier for Protestants to have these groups.

  1. Resources-they tithe so they have alot more $$; there are fewer parishioners; they only have one church in a 20 mile radius
  2. Population-many, many of them are fallen away Catholics or have parents that are
  3. Teaching-there is very little that’s “hard to swallow” in many Protestant circles.

That being said…
Many parishes offer different things. It’s ok to go to a Bible Study at one Parish, and to social events at another and still be attending another.

After traveling to many different areas, and seeing many parishes I actually believe there are few interested in Catholic Adult groups from ages 20-40. They don’t want the older ones becuase they hit on the women. The groups that do exist also seem to close ranks after a member gets married, or heaven forbid, has kids. I find it horribly sad and disgusting. In almost all the groups I’ve been to it always seems that the next new adult who joins is preened over to see if they’re potential spouse material by all members of the opposite sex.

And, by their mid 30’s and 40’s the former YA crowd has formed their own friendships…and even if they’re still all single will do things…just not as a parish event.


#7

[quote="therese_lisieux, post:1, topic:218322"]
I Anyway, there is another Catholic church I went to when I was struggling before I got confirmed and they have a Young Professional group from age 20s to 40s. I have thought about attending one of their events to try to connect with other Catholics, but I don't want it to seem like I'm church hopping. I do love my church and the people I've met and I love going to Mass there, but there is no group for someone like me.
I

[/quote]

2 thoughts, yes, you can participate in any social group, ministry, apostolate, bible study, retreat, class etc. offered by any Catholic parish or diocese, and for that matter you can attend Mass and confess at any parish. That does not constitute "church hopping."

2--if there is no group in your current parish that meets your needs, start one. you will probably be surprised at the number of people who come out of the woodwork who identify with that need. better yet make it regional, advertise in the surrounding parishes as well.


#8

Hope this is not off-topic.....but hey, there's not much out there for single Catholics of my age, either...and I'm in my midfifties! :mad:

When I was in my thirties, there was a woman in my area who tried to start a group called, 'Catholic Singles Over 30'. I went to a couple of meetings, and all they did was sit around, watch videos, and eat! And besides that, nearly all who were there didn't look like they'd be a prize in the marriage market, anyway! In other words....LOSERS with a 'capital L'. And in the end, the group just died a quiet death because the woman who started it had her hands in a lot of other things besides!

I'd say this to the OP-sometimes you're better off being alone. Do things by yourself such as read. Don't rely on the 'herd mentality' of groups to make you happy.

Sorry if I sound cynical....but I had to learn the hard way about 'being single in a couples' world' and in the Church where everything is geared towards married couples, families and children. If you end up being single all your life, then you're out of luck! You are looked on-if at all-as invisible. Unless you've got lots of organizing abilities and have your hands in all kinds of activities, you're pretty much forgotten! You're just an appendage!


#9

[quote="therese_lisieux, post:1, topic:218322"]
I wasn't sure where else to put this, but I really would like some input here. I was confirmed Feb. 2009 and didn't actually join the church where I went through RCIA for a few reasons, but mostly because there were only families and the parish just wasn't as welcoming of an atmosphere. They were nice people but everyone was married with kids or elderly.
So, I joined a different parish and felt more at home there and like I belonged. I have made friends and am on several committees and got really involved, but I'm running into the same thing. Everyone my age is married and/or has kids and I am neither. I'm 37.
I do have friends who are single/unmarried, but most of them are younger than I am - twenties or thirties. I feel very lonely when I go to church and while I don't go just for social status, I still feel very disconnected from the church because I don't have kids and am not married.
I want to connect with other Catholics closer to my age and status but it's difficult to do, esp. when the guys there my age are married already and there is a strong youth group, but they are just too young.
Anyway, there is another Catholic church I went to when I was struggling before I got confirmed and they have a Young Professional group from age 20s to 40s. I have thought about attending one of their events to try to connect with other Catholics, but I don't want it to seem like I'm church hopping. I do love my church and the people I've met and I love going to Mass there, but there is no group for someone like me.
I want to be around other Catholics in my same status as I am new to this and would like to understand more about my faith.
I don't necessarily want to leave my current parish, but I don't know what the feeling would be or how I would be welcomed if I just wanted to be part of the YP group at this other church.
I also think it would be a good idea for me to not be around that guy who I mentioned in the other thread. As much as I try to avoid him, I keep running into him and it's freaking me out. I also keep dreaming about him and I almost feel like I'm going crazy because I can't seem to stop thinking about him. You'd have to read the other thread to know what I mean.
Anyway, any thoughts here? It's hard when you feel left out because you haven't reproduced or have a husband. I want those things, but I can't do anything about that. :(

[/quote]

In the diocese I am involved with there are a few options, certainly nothing wrong with visiting other parishes. Here are a few other ideas that may help:

[LIST]
*]Prayer groups that have some people in your age group
*]Do a Cursillo if you haven't already done one. Meet the nicest people there, including Jesus!
*]Theology on Tap ... even if you don't drink it's a great way to meet other catholics, often single
*]Local prison ministries. I have met some amazing people who do this, not all old fogies like me.
*]Start a meeting group at the Church and attract others in the same group from other parishes. If you pastor will sponsor it
*]Start a pilgrimage group for singles. Day outs to local churches, retreats, I am starting a motorcycle pilgrimage group in my area for example
[/LIST]

you get the idea. One other area volunteering at food ministries is also a great way to meet others that are likeminded.


#10

Maybe it’s not a bad thing that there isn’t a group like that at every parish. A lot of parishes are rather small, and if broken down into demographics, there might be a fairly small number of people who fit the criteria you’re describing. Whittle that group down even more by eliminating those who are too busy or who simply don’t want to join such a group, and you might just have a really small group. Maybe it would be good for several parishes in a relatively close area to cooperate in this.

I’m a homeschooler, and I don’t feel like I fit in all that well at any parish I go to either. I just don’t relate to many of the other parents because our lives and problems are so different. Not one parish in my diocese has a homeschool group of its own. But there is a catholic homeschool group that I belong to, which is comprised of people from many different parishes. I think that the parish is good for some things, and the greater community is good for others.


#11

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