Hi - I’m joining the Church this Easter Vigil. I am feeling a little bit lost (OK, a lot lost) in our parish. The leaders of RCIA seem to be a lot more liberal than I am prepared to be – they told us that almost no one considers sterilization a sin, and they let women participate in the foot-washing on Holy Thursday, and some of them are really into women’s ordination, etc. They’re really nice people, but…I disagree with them on many points. Unfortunately, I don’t know any other Catholics, in this parish or any other one, and I would like to meet some like-minded women. I was invited to the group that prays the Rosary, but I heard them one day and they say it so fast I would never be able to keep up! (I still need a crib sheet, I’m sorry to say.) I am a convert from an Evangelical church and I just recently dared to say my first Rosary. My family and friends have practically disowned me for my conversion, and I’m missing Christian friends. Changing parishes is not an option. I guess my question is, what kinds of “groups” should I look for to find conservative people? Thanks – Debbie
Our parish is ultra liberal as well, but has a couple ‘pockets’ of conservatives, thank God. You may have to scope it out a bit, but I’ll bet yours does too. I found out by listening to folks talk when at social events and just started gravitating toward them. One was 1 of our RCIA instructors who the priest kind of fired when he heard that this man endorsed Humanae Vitae to us in class. I’ll admit he came across strongly, but he was only presenting church teachings…
I now use this church only when I can’t get to the TLM which is a drive for me. SO I attend each about 1/2 and 1/2, which seems to keep my rudder in line. (altho DH isn’t happy about it, but he and I aren’t in the same spiritual place right now)
I’m sorry to hear that. It is unfortunate that some Catholics are so misguided.
I would take the suggestion of the previous poster. And if you are feeling courageous, speak out yourself about what you believe is the correct teaching of the Church (which sounds like you know what that is). Maybe there is someone else at your Church that is also looking for someone just like you. If neither of you speak up or make yourselves known, neither of you will find each other.
Go on line and look for the nearest chapter of C.U.F or Catholics United for the Faith. They will be conservative Catholics and there may be some members near you. In Google type in CUF Catholics and your state.
I know what you mean Debbie. Sorry you’ve had to experience liberal Catholics in the church and no doubt you will find more…
If you don’t want to change parishes - is there any other Catholic churches that hold special services during the week?
You can also find conservative Catholics attending various talks or conferences. Have you ever been to a Fr. Corapi talk? How about Benedict Groeschel? How about a church that has a novena night? Adoration? There are churches that have 24 hour adoration and many of those people are your faithful Catholics. If you can try to find a group that may have a trip to EWTN.
Your faithful Catholics are out there…but sometimes they are sprinkled like salt in different places, and I’ve often found them converging at services or gatherings where true Catholic teaching will be taught.
Have you ever considered a trip to a special shrine? If you can look around and pray to God as I’m sure you already do to find that community of believers where you can share your faith.
If not - we are here…to listen…to share with.
I never like a rosary said so fast like that. It’s like one is not praying. I much prefer a quiet rosary alone where I can sit quiet - contemplate - stop, ponder - and continue on in a communion with God.
Though group rosary - is also good. Just a little slower please.
Wow does this sound all too familiar. I too am an evangelical convert and even though the RCIA team was incredibly kind and charitable, there was some rank liberalism being taught that in retrospect, was incompatible with official Church teaching. Most of it, to be fair, was faithful to the full deposit of the faith. Speak your mind on issues candidly and do not be ashamed! From my own experience, many liberals have tried to shame or ridicule me for my traditional views. That is because liberals are typically reactionary to everything that doesn’t agree with their philosophies/theology, much like the Fundamentalists. This is one thing both camps have in common - they both react strongly and usually irrationally when presented with what is true Catholic belief. Orthodox believing Catholics are outside the realm of both camps because our view is in line with that of the Magisterium (gasp!:eek:) which presents a broader and more beautiful theology without cowering away from the challenges of the world. This is why liberals, ironically, are really illiberal - they have a narrow view of the Church usually formed by some dissident theologian and focused on a very limited selection of issues, i.e so-called female ordination, promoting “liberation theology” and so forth. Keep your head up and you’ll find others who also give their full assent to the faith. Perhaps some dissenters will notice and follow suit - God is a God of miracles after all!
If there are conservatives at your parish you will eventually spot them if you keep your eyes open and learn the signs.
Watch for the kneelers, on the tongue receivers, suit wearers, veil wearers, etc. They’ll be the ones leaving the ‘Tan Books’ type booklets in the foyer rather than the vague ones if they can get away with it.
Look at see what all the parish groups are, and don’t write off the fast rosary group, even if you’re not capable of praying it so swiftly, the membership is one of the most likely places.
If your parish is -bad enough- you might not find them. But let’s hope it isn’t so bad.
I will pray to St. Anthony and your guardian angel that you are guided to find what you seek, if it would be good and can be done.
Debbie, I know how you feel. I came into the Church six years ago. I have the ability to jump around from parish to parish, and I do, and I have that same feeling almost everywhere I go!
In addition to the many fine options already presented here, I’d also suggest looking into Opus Dei. They are a lay organization made up of people faithful to the Church’s teachings and the Pope. I am currently looking into them and can suggest the book “Opus Dei” by John Allen as an excellent, balanced take on the organization. OD is not for everyone, but for some, it’s a perfect fit.
Thanks everyone for your kind responses. Now for the questions: what is a “Tan Book”? and I’m afraid I don’t know what a novena is either. I have never seen anyone with a veil at our parish, I don’t think. Is that symbolic of something? I did talk to the woman from the Rosary group last night, and she said it didn’t matter that I couldn’t keep up with them, and that I might learn the Rosary faster by listening to it instead of reading it. So I think I will try that. Our church only does Adoration on First Fridays. Is there some special significance to the first Friday? It seems like a lot of churches do it on that day. My husband loves this parish so changing is not really an option unless I go to another parish on weekdays while he’s at work Sorry for all the questions! Debbie
Sorry, another question. What is TLM? I think I need a Catholic dictionary…
First Friday Devotion - catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/prayers/view.cfm?id=876
(Bookmare Catholic Culture, it is a good reference site.)
TLM is the tern that has been used for a long time for “Traditional Latin Mass”. The Holy Father uses the term “Extrordinary Form”.
You’re looking at a Tan Book right there in Hopper’s signature. Tan publishes many good Catholic books, usually reprints of older books. Their books are not liberal. Conservative Catholics can hang out in a variety of places in a parish. In mine, they amazingly hang out on the RCIA team. Also, if you are in a parish for enough years, you will realize that the composition changes a little with time. So keep trying!
I second Opus Dei. They will be completely orthodox there, but it has to be a style match for you.
Congratulations for entering the Church. Your story is inspirational as a message of courage, perseverance, and hope. My mother says converts make the best Catholics.
Unfortunately, the ‘liberals’ in the Church are often the most active on committees, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, and the RCIA. They seem to be quite passionate about their beliefs just like many Evangelicals. As others have pointed out, if you lead by example, the people of like mind will notice and soon you’ll find the ‘conservatives’. Ex: Prayer before and after Mass, receive Holy Communion on tongue and kneeling if possible, genuflect, etc. Perhaps the better labels if necessary are ‘modernist’ and ‘traditionalist’
There is a rich history and tradition in the Catholic culture. I was born into it and am still learning. This forum is a good source of information and dialogue. Other resources I’d recommend include Websites: www.unavoce.com www.fisheaters.com www.latin-mass-society.org Blogs: www.wdtprs.com www.newliturgicalmovement.org www.americanpapist.com Books: Spirit of the Liturgy by Pope Benedict XVI anything by Michael Davies or Bishop Fulton Sheen, The Imitation of Christ is my bedside chapter a night favourite.
May God Bless,
Traditional Latin Mass a.k.a. Extrordinary Form, Tridentine, Mass Of Ages, pre-Vatican II
They’re having a sale on some very good books right now like the ‘Autobiography of St. Anthony Mary Claret’, ‘The Church Teaches’, ‘Dark Night of the Soul’, and ‘The Imitation of Christ’.
‘The Imitation of Christ’ and ‘Introduction to the Devout Life’ are two books I would -highly- recommend to any new Catholic, to anyone at all who has not read them before.
Also on www.archive.org you can find a book called ‘Theory and Practice of the Confessional’ which is a very helpful manual for priests about Confession but a layperson will certainly find very useful too to help him make a proper one.
I also love that Tan has Fr. Paul O’Sullivan’s little booklets, that should be in every parish foyer.
Debbie, it occured to me that you may come under attack from the ‘fire and brimstone’ type Evangelicals who dispise or discredit the Catholic Church. I found the following apologetic websites very useful in dealing with these types of challenges. No matter what someone says to you keep in mind the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus Christ two thousand years ago and has endured much greater challenges and turbulent times than these. Any ‘gottcha’ type challenge has already been answered by countless theologians, saints, popes, and modern day apologetics.
Remember, an apologetic isn’t an apologist. Ours is the original Christian church, not a denomination.
Thanks, Ockham. As I posted on the Evangelization forum, we have actually been uninvited to Easter dinner with the family since we are “no longer Christian.” My sister-in-law crosses the street when she passes a Catholic church so she doesn’t “give the Devil a foothold.” “Friends” of over 20 years will no longer go to dinner with us. I can only conclude that Satan has a powerful reason for wanting us to stay Protestant. Last week my autistic son’s former Sunday School teacher saw us at the grocery store and told my son that his mother was taking him to “the devil’s church.” (After we left, my son told me, “Father is more like Jesus than that lady is.” What a great moment!) So, yes, it is safe to say that we are under attack from the rabid Fundamentalists. Debbie:shrug:
That’s sad to hear and I’ll pray for you. Remember what Jesus told us, if the world hates you it hated Him first. Where some people get these ‘devil’ ideas is beyond me. As you have learned, what they believe to be the Church is nothing like what it is. Sometimes I think their wrath comes from the cognitive dissonance of trying to follow Christ outside His Church.
Here is another useful blog: catholicknight.blogspot.com/2009/03/catholicism-unbiblical-pagan-cult-and.html
"As some of my readers already know, before converting to Catholicism, I was a “born-again” Evangelical/Pentecostal teacher who was originally raised in a Baptist Church. My journey of faith led me through the rigors of Fundamental Protestantism, and the depths of outright anti-Catholicism. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I had heard a pastor preach to his congregation that the Catholic Church is an “unbiblical cult” and the prophetic “Whore of Babylon” written of in the Book of Revelation.
I eventually decided to research the origins of this wretched organization called the Roman Catholic Church. In doing so I quickly discovered that all the authoritative literature on the topic were keen on quoting each other, but very little cited information more than a couple hundred years old. In fact, most cited a single book written in the middle 1800s called “Two Babylons,” by Alexander Hyslop. This particular author constructs an entire volume of accusations against the Catholic Church, based on his own superficial connections between this or that ancient ritual, but does virtually nothing at all to back his claims with original source documentation. In fact, finding any original source documentation to support these claims, that dates prior the Reformation Era, is virtually impossible. It seems as if accusations against Catholicism developed as a product of the Reformation itself, and not vice versa.
As a result of this, I began reading the history of the early Church and quickly found a plethora of original source documentation dating back to the first few centuries of the Christian age. What I learned was shocking! and turned my whole world upside down. The early Christians were all Catholic! That’s right, the earliest Christians, meaning those who were persecuted by the Caesars and fed to the lions, believed in the transubstantiation of the eucharist, prayed to the Virgin Mary and the saints, recognized the primacy of the pope, and made offerings for their loved ones in purgatory. Oh sure, they didn’t use all the fancy terminology I just cited, but the core of their belief system was virtually identical. Knowledge of history spelled the end for my Protestantism."
first if you are sincere in this message God bless you in your move towards total Truth! yes, you will be smeared by former friends etc…that also happened to the chief Rabbi of Rome when he converted to catholic christianity in 1945 and changed his first name to Eugenio, in honor of my favorite pope ,PiusX11,he was declared dead by his former jewish friends and for the rest of his life was smeared by them…so it goes…Jesus predicted that for His followers…as to so called conservative Catholics,I am not sure what that means. Check out the local Knights of Columbus and Holy Name organizations in your parish…Right to lifers etc…and maybe you will find what you are looking for…again God bless and sustain you in your courageous decision…amen and amen…