I Rebuked Someone Today... Did I Do Right?


We are a small town parish and there is a problem with racism among us. One of our Priests is from Africa, and one of our Deacons is from somewhere in Latin America (I’m not sure where). They both have thick accents. People have mistreated them so much that there have been repeated homilies from our Pastor about it, begging everyone to act with Christian charity.

Today at Mass the Latin American Deacon said the homily (it was a great one, I learned a lot). An elderly lady sitting behind me made comments and upset noises the entire time. (When he first started she said “Here we go…” for instance.)

Afterward, I turned to her and said, “Excuse me, I couldn’t help but overhear you making disparaging remarks about the Deacon during the homily.”

She immediately replied, “Young lady, I have been going to this Parish for 40 years!”

Then I looked her in the eye sternly and said, “Remember your Christian charity.” And that was it.

Behind me I could hear her saying “Did you hear what she said?! I love this Parish!” And the person next to me was glaring at me. I felt like I wanted to cry. As a young person at the Parish (and a recent convert to the Catholic Faith) I should be able to look up to those who have been here for so long…

Did I do the right thing? Have any of you been in a similar situation?


I think you did do the right thing; one of the acts of mercy is to admonish the sinner. Although she responded pridefully today, I suspect that your words will be on her heart and mind this week and help her to re-think her attitude and behavior at Mass.


Bless your heart-I would have added something about the 40 years apparently haven’t been long enough…lol- but that’s me…out of the mouth of babes ((honey)))(at least by comparison)…you did what the Holy Spirit moved you to do and hopefully she will reflect on it…I’m sure God smiled…:thumbsup:


I agree. You did the RIGHT thing. <I’d like to say also, that the way you handled it… a simple, calm verbal correction… with no yelling, or disrespect to her, personally… etc. shows your maturity and your judgment.>

It is greatly encouraging to me… to hear that young people are taking their Christian values so seriously! I’m just sorry that you were put into a position of having to speak to her. Every Christian… especially an older one… should know better. :sad_yes:

There is a true account of a similar event, in the life of Pope John Paul II. Maybe this will help you to feel better about what you had to do.

When he was a young boy, in Poland (Karol Wojtyla)… he had many friends of Jewish background. One day… one of his jewish friends went inside the Catholic Church… for something. And an older lady parishoner rebuked him for being in a Catholic Church and asked him to leave. :frowning: Of course, the jewish boy was very hurt by her attitude.

Later, he told his young friend Karol (Pope John Paul II) about what had happened in the church. And young Karol replied with shock and sadness “Doesn’t she know that we are ALL God’s children?”. This happened when he was a boy of about 11-12.

So… you are in GOOD company. God bless you. I feel so bad for your priest and deacon who are being subjected to such hostility among their own parishioners.


You did the right thing, despite it putting you in an uncomfortable situation. Good for you! For the one or two people who glared at you, I guarantee there were more who were thinking the same thing you were and didn’t speak up. Next time they’ll be a little less hesitant. Keep fighting the good fight and God Bless.


Well done! :thumbsup: I’m proud! :clapping:

I am sorry for the lack of charity that you were shown… clearly they persons who made the comments have not learned much about their faith.

Take joy in your suffering and that you may offer some small sacrifice to unite with Christ’s. :getholy:

As a fellow young person to another, with all due respect to our elders who have been around the block quite a few more times than us, I really think they could learn a thing our two from us at times. Clearly, this was one of those times.


Reminds me of a Easter vigil mass I once went to. I had to move to another pew because the woman behind me (an older woman) started making comments like, “We’ve never done it this way before.” Luckily there was another seat away from there. It really upset me that someone would start making comments like that during Mass.

I agree with what you did. If it comes up again, stay firm. If your pastor has spoken about that sort of attitude, bring it up.


I know I am;) only the :slight_smile: Friendly Neighborhood Methodist, but :stuck_out_tongue: I can’t resist:
God bless you!! :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:


You did fine and comported yourself with far more dignity than the older person did.

And I thought wisdom came with age…


You have more courage than I do. I would’ve wanted to say something, but wouldn’t have had the courage.

I’m in awe! As to you feeling uncomfortable because you are a new convert, I leave you with this:

“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for other believers in your speech, behavior, love, faithfulness, and purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12


You definitely did the right thing. From what you said, it seemed that you were the mature one and the elderly lady’s attitude played the part of the juvenile.

Even though the lady tried to play it off, I am sure your words had a positive effect on her. Just keep her in your prayers and see how she reacts the next time you sit near her during Mass. God bless.



You did the right thing, but in the wrong setting. You should have waited until after Mass.

If you have a parish bulletin, you can ask the priest to make a note in it about Christian charity.

I can sympasize with you (lol I was about to write “I can feel for you,” oy). My spiritual director is from Africa and he has a thick accicent. But he is very wise, so I love listening to him, even if I can’t understand at times. I’m very embarased to ask him to repeat things, though, because I feel like I’m being mean to him. Well, I do have a hearing problem, so I suppose that would contribute to the problem. But I still enjoy listening to him talk! :slight_smile:


…I agree that in most cases with a stranger-waiting until after mass would be appropriate-but this woman had no qualms about interrupting the mass for those around her- and probably would have continued if the response wouldn’t have been immediate and direct…just as you would do with your own family if they were disruptive-((((vashsunglasses)))) handled it perfectly:)


True charity is to tell the truth in love.
I applaud you as a young person and a new convert.


i think you were right to say something… personally, i wouldn’t have said what you said… because it isn’t necessarily uncharitable to be unhappy with what a priest is saying…

The fact that the woman loves the parish seems totally irrelevent… so i dont’ know why she said that… :confused:

Also… i am wondering: Do you think this woman was racist or just that she was tired of not being able to understand the priest?

I have been to parishes where the priest is hard to understand… sometimes i can’t understand a word he says!! :frowning: & it does get exasperating especially when you can’t just go to another parish easily…

I’ve made comments during Mass just one time in my life, more or less under my breath… but not because i couldn’t understand… it was because i DID understand & what the priest was saying was NOT Catholic…

Now that’s something everyone should complain about!! :mad: (…although I do feel funny that i impulsively said something while Mass was going on… surprised myself… :eek: ) I just can’t stand it when priests don’t sound entirely Catholic…


Honestly, I don’t know if she is racist or not. I just know that I am tired of people mistreating the spiritual fathers of our Parish.

About your other point, our Parish is in Arizona and if you know anything about Bishop Olmsted you’ll know that he is very much in line with Church teachings. :thumbsup: Since our old (and rather lax) Priest left a couple years ago, we’ve had only the most devout Priests and Deacons sent to us. In fact, that is another reason why they have been having problems. The Pastor is not shy about spelling out exactly what the Church expects of us, and all of them overflow with love for God and the Sacraments. I’m sure many people are angry at being told that they have been doing and/or believing things incorrectly…


In my defense, I waited until they were passing around the collection baskets. I would never had done it during any other time in the Mass.

Since the Priest has already spent whole homilies discussing the issue, I doubt an article in the bulletin would help…



i should have known!!! That explains a few things…

What i wouldn’t do to be in your parish!!

I wonder about my priest sometimes… don’t know if he intentionally is being “unCatholic” or what… just don’t like certain things he says… and he should know better… also, he has attacked me (& another woman in the parish) verbally…(the word misogynist comes to mine)… but anyway… long story…

I wouldn’t feel too bad about what happened… That woman took the chance someone would speak to her when she spoke out loud like that…

you are probably fairly young… because you say you felt like crying…

i don’t know… the older i get, the tougher i get… I guess i figured out somewhere along the line that humanoids aren’t worth crying over… :smiley:

well, one group of humanoids is wrothy crying over…

the unborn… :frowning:



God bless (both you and the woman with the 'tude),


I think you did it right but don’t forget to include that the possiblity of the lady having problem with her mind - if she is around the parish 40 years … I am guessing she is in 60’s or so? I have seen few people around this age having some sort of illness and they do talk during mass for some reason…

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