How do you feel at your Parish?


#1

I didn’t know where to post this - this could be the wrong forum.:confused: If elsewhere, please point me in the right direction.

In recent weeks, if not months, before or after Mass, I’ve noticed what ***I’m assuming ***to be a change or difference in people’s attitude towards me at my parish…including one of the priests (which really bothers me but I’m afraid to approach and ask) and several parishioners (not close friends - just the ones who know me a little) - cases of turning away when I waved or another ignoring my greeting of just saying hello in passing - just turning away. Maybe coincidence - but it’s all happened about the same time, so I’m uneasy. I haven’t done or said anything differently. Friends tell me it’s my imagination but I can’t shake what’s becoming intuition that I’m right.

Has anyone ever gone through this at their parish, and if so, how did you deal with it? I’m not one to stay and talk afterwards, but this has me nervous, and now I run once Mass is over - maybe not wanting to get my feelings hurt more. It’s a really good parish, as well as the priests, so it’s a mystery to me.
Thanks in advance.


#2

I think personally that more and more people are growing cold in their faith, and they may see you as someone ‘outside’ or, if they’re deep in sin, perhaps even a ‘threat’ to their consciences. Some in my parish are the same way, but I just continue to be friendly when I see them, smile, and try to set a good example. Most of all pray for them. It may well not be you at all-maybe they have personal problems and their thoughts are elsewhere. As long as you’re kind to them, I woulldn’t worry, but I would add them to my prayer list. God bless!


#3

Thanks, Sally -
But, no - these are very holy, religious people…That, I can attest to, which is why I’m worried about this significant turnaround - so simultaneously amongst several. Maybe, (hopefully) I’m just being paranoid - maybe the priest doesn’t want to get locked into idle chatter with every parishioner - but I try not to do that anyway. That they may have problems, I would say - you’re right - but it’s the simultaneous timing that got to me. Oh well.


#4

I recommend you not pin your hopes on people, but only on Christ. People will usually let you down. In your imitation of Christ, ask yourself if Jesus would have been bothered by these things. Probably not. He had bigger fish to fry.


#5

Good one, Alfred. Good one.:thumbsup:


#6

Hi

I live in a small town, I get looks and see whispers all the time directed towards me. You may not live in a small town, but a Parish is a “small town” in itself :smiley: . I just ignore it (and them), rumors run around and around and eventually they die - particularly if there is no truth to them.

Someone may be jealous of something you have, or as someone else said - see you as a threat to their conscience. Even if the initiator of the rumor isn’t the ones you see (they are most likely the recipient of it) even “holy” people fall victim to the gossip mill. If you take these looks to heart…you just add your number to the list of those affected by this scandalous act.

Hold your head high - you have nothing to be ashamed of. Set a good example, and let those who see things for what they are see you unconcerned - that way your good name will be upheld by those whose opinion matters, and those whose opinion really matters already know what is going on ;).

If people can’t come to you and ask if something is true or not - then these are people you can’t count as friends.

Chalk it all up to suffering for the name of Christ and go on with your life. God will sort it all out.

Pray for them, and ask that any suffering be used for His intentions.

Peace and Blessings

John


#7

The best thing is not to assume. Assuming might become judgemental. Go and ask one those people whom you think you can ask. Don’t be afraid to let them know what you felt. You will find out the truth - it is either your imagination or them avoiding you for some reason. Be ready to face the truth if you know there is something that either you or the others need to work on or both need to work on together.


#8

I have spent the past 4 years working as a lifeguard. One young lady who works at the pool has a super personality. However, there were days when I thought I had said or did something to offend her because of her reactions when greeting me some days.

It took me awhile to piece things together. It was always the 2-3 days prior to a big test (she is studying to be a nurse). She was incredibly focused on her studies.

Without knowing more about your situation I would assume a similar situation. Try asking a person how their life is going. See if that gets any results or reveals any answers.

God bless


#9

Don’t worry it is probably nothing. I have had this happen and as time goes on it is gets back to normal. I guess we are all caught up in something else at times with worries or duties so we don’t all pay attention to the greetings of others and can without meaning to act as if we are distant to a person when it is really we are distant to everything but what is on our minds.

Its not you it is this world that we live in.


#10

I feel that way all the time.

In the past year, I’ve discovered something about myself that has made me understand my approach to Catholicism. I have Asperger’s syndrome. I have always known there was something different about how my brain worked, that there was something different about how I socialized, etc. Over the years, as I started to hear about Asperger’s, I’d think, “That sounds like me.” More and more till I started studying it indepth and realized that it explains everything about my psychology, etc. It explains things I’ve asked psychologists about that have baffled them.

It explains me better than OCD, bipolar and other attempts doctors and therapists have made to “define” me.

It has helped me to understand why I view the faith through the lens I do, and helped me to be a bit more understanding of others who do not have the same view.

For example, “folk masses” and “contemporary masses” are just psycholgoically not good for me. I have long assumed that they are equally “not good” for others, but I realize now that my brain works differently. It’s sensory overload for me, and triggers autistic rages, so I leave in the middle of Mass. It’s something I have no control over. But it’s also, I now realize, something I should not judge others for, as I used to do.

I just try my best to avoid those Masses, because it’s something I physiologically have no control over.

OTOH, I know that my Asperger’s makes me see the world in very “black-and-white” terms. I try to differentiate when something really should be a “black and white” matter (e.g., abortion) versus when something really isn’t (e.g., liturgical music).

Yet again, I never quite feel “at home” anywhere.

There are only two situations where I really feel “at home” in a church: in a very conservative Vatican II Mass (e.g., one with a lot of Latin, Gregorian chant, etc., like EWTN used to do) or in an Eastern liturgy. I don’t really feel “at home” in the average liturgy or the Traditional Mass.

But I realize that that is just the way God made me to be. It’s not a judgement against anyone else, or against myself. It’s who God made me to be, and I have to work with it.


#11

I have come to think that 90% of the time people in church aren’t even seeing me, or each other, and their minor actions or reactions simply reflect what is going on in their own minds, which are focused on their own concerns or feelings, and simply have nothing whatever to do with what is going on “outside”. I am much less concerned about their reactions, or lack of them, toward me, and greatly concerned about their apparent (who am I do judge all I see is the outward appearance) lack of attention toward what is happening at the altar. I stopped long ago worrying about what I am wearing or doing, once I realized no one really “sees me” unless they happen to want something from me.


#12

Hey CO :slight_smile:

Just remember that people can seem holy on the outside and actually be drowning in sin on the inside. :frowning: From what I know of you, I’m sure everything is fine. If some people are acting strangely, just focus on the ones who aren’t…or better yet, just focus on Jesus and you’ll be fine. Maybe you can pray for those who have been acting differently toward you.

At my church, I often feel like people might be judging me, since my DH is not Catholic and doesn’t usually attend Mass with me and DD. I wonder if people are wondering where the heck my husband is (or if I’m married at all). Then I remember that it doesn’t really matter what they think – I am there where I should be, teaching my DD our faith, and growing closer to God myself through the sacraments. If they want to judge they can, but they don’t know that my DH is really searching right now and has recently started attending Mass with us (he went for a month in a row recently, and he usually only goes on Christmas and Easter). They don’t know that I pray like crazy for him, they don’t know…and so what they think doesn’t really matter. When I’m there I bring my DH with me in spirit, trusting that one day he’ll be there himself – I just have to be patient.

Anyway, sorry for writing a book :stuck_out_tongue: just trying to show you that sometimes we may think people are judging us but they might not really be, and if they are, we just have to look past them and to the cross. :hug1:

:hug1: I’m glad you’ve been properly diagnosed! Praying that you’ll find somewhere you really feel at home. :crossrc:


#13

Here’s one way to handle it - pray this litany daily, and over time you’ll have the freedom of not being concerned about whether people acknowledge you or not. :wink:

Litany of Humility

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
**Deliver me, Jesus. **

From the desire of being loved…
From the desire of being extolled …
From the desire of being honored …
From the desire of being praised …
From the desire of being preferred to others…
From the desire of being consulted …
From the desire of being approved …
From the fear of being humiliated …
From the fear of being despised…
From the fear of suffering rebukes …
From the fear of being calumniated …
From the fear of being forgotten …
From the fear of being ridiculed …
From the fear of being wronged …
From the fear of being suspected …

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I …
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease …
That others may be chosen and I set aside …
That others may be praised and I unnoticed …
That others may be preferred to me in everything…
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…


#14

Ihave prayed that litany daily for a very long time. It is really very helpful when pride gets in the way.


#15

conservative one
Of course it could always be that people just are busy and/or have a lot on their minds. However, and this is most definitely not just a parish thing, whenever you notice a change in attitude from some people are even just one, it is most often because someone has said something negative about you on purpose… If you especially ‘feel’ it …you are definitely picking up on something.

first of all, offer it up. It happens to good innocent people all the time. don’t run…just continue to be your normal self and wave or greet as you usually do. speak to Our Lord about it in prayer and ask his guidance…it will usually pass.

there are plenty of holy appearing, solid pillars of the church who are also atrocious busybodies and troublemakers. it’s a fact of life. you may not know who said what…but once you are aware of who is causing you problems…avoid them in the future.

I’m sure many will disagree with my answer…it’s just an opinion based on lots of personal experience. Good luck


#16

I’m pretty much the same way with my Aspergers. I just hate the folksy/hippie music that some churches have. I just want to walk up yell that we’ve moved past the 1970s.


#17

I tend to agree with “puzzleannie” on this. She stated it well. “ConservativeOne”… perhaps Our dear Lord is showing you… as the others have suggested… that you shouldn’t place too much importance on the actions or opinions of those around you. It sounds like Jesus is drawing you closer to Himself. Asking you to lean more on Him.

God bless you.


#18

You say that once Mass is over you run…and that you are not one to stay and talk afterwards. This is my suggestion to you. After Mass instead of leaving immediately…stay and pray for a few minutes ~ it is good to converse with Jesus anyway while He is still physically present within you. I believe that you will find that those you run into on the way out may tend to be a bit more engaging and willing to acknowledge your presence. Many that “leave” quickly at the end of Mass have only the exit in mind rather than an exchange or greeting. This is my experience in my own parish…

May God Bless your desire to experience a sense of community in your parish.


#19

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