I Think I Need A New Church


#1

I think I’m going to change churches. Even though I’ve ben coming to this one a year now, even though I have always been polite and respectful and have never said any hostile word at all and always kept such thoughts to myself, i’m still treated like an outsider and probably always will. When people look at me they often sneer or give me the evil eye. I’m tired of it. I do not feel welcome in this church even though the priest has treated me with respect, hardly anybody else has. This is one of the problems I’ve always had with going to church, is that the people there think it’s their church and their church alone. And I’m just not welcome, even though I have donated time and charity to it.

I just needed to vent out some frustration, more than anything else.Thank you for eltting me.

I live in a small town. Have yany of you ever come across this kind of problem where the church members just absolutely refuse to welcome you?


#2

Well, I’ve been to a couple. But neither one was Catholic. Does your church offer any kind of bible study? If it does, you might try that. I’ve met a couple of people I now count as friends that way. I go to a large church, so it’s harder for me to get to know people.

How about Alter guild groups? That’s one thing I haven’t tried yet. But I’ve been trying to tell myself to call and ask about them. I’m real bad about procrastination. :shrug:


#3

I don’t know what guild groups are but i’ll inquire into them. Thanks.


#4

I go to a Church where the Mass is done in an objectionable manner sometimes and there are not some of the nicest people also. Yet I know that I can be pretty crummy also and I used to go to house churches and non-catholic churches before I came back to the Catholic Church.
I found much nicer people outside the Church, as most the people who get together in non-catholic churches seek each other out to be with people like each other.
I have more non-catholic friends than Catholic friends yet I go to my Church, why?

Because it is true, because it is founded by Jesus even though the Priest might not seem to care, I am there for Jesus. The problems with people never go away but you can diminish them by finding place where there are only your friends or people just like you. But then you are seeking social peace rather than truth. It is always harder to put Jesus first.

Since the Catholic Church is perfect we have to put up with imperfections with ourselves and others but seek to let God change us. Focus on the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and don’t worry about the people so much, just love them.

God Bless
Scylla


#5

I moved to this town and parish in August of 1964. In the Fall they were looking for adults to teach religious formation classes. I stepped forward. In 1964-65 I taught ninth graders. In 1965-67 I taught 10 graders. Then I started teaching 11th grade confirmation candidates. After seven or eight years, I was leaving a controversial meeting in the parish hall, when a woman came up to me and said,“What are you doing here? You’ve only been here seven years and you don’t know what is going on.” So yes, small town American parishes can be very uninviting, but no one stops you from receiving the Sacraments or attending Mass. It is important to register as a parish member if you might need to wed there, have children baptized, or be buried there.Its been forty years now and after 40 plus years of volunteer work min Church and Town many people accept me, but not all.


#6

My wife once worked as music director for an Episcopal Church, that was in the midst of a power struggle. The pastor told us one of the parishioners had recently told him, “I just want you to know that there is nothing you could do that would keep me from coming to church.”

As he said, " I think that is good." :smiley:


#7

I live in a small town too, but we belong to a large Diocese. The only Catholic church in our town is a little bit backwards.Sorry, but that is the only way to describe it. The priests are lovely and always friendly, but there is just a weird vibe from the parishoners. No one is particularly unfriendly, it’s just hard to describe why it’s odd.
After months and months of feeling uncomfortable about going to Mass every Sunday I chose to go to another church in our neighboring city that is only 15 minutes away. It was the best decision because I love it. I’m very happy with the new church.
I can’t say I would never attend Mass at our local parish again, because I probably will. Never say never. Right?
I was really torn about the situation, but in the end it worked out for me. Hopefully you will discover what is best for you.


#8

Dear Friend, we tend to see ourselves from the inside not as people see us or how we present to them. There is nothing more scary than a person who appears shy and distant.

It would not be ‘the evil eye’ but the wary eye that you observe. People don’t like to intrude if someone clearly keeps to themselves.

In a small town I guess people would either be extra friendly or extra reserved, depending on the culture of the town. I know if I’d been in the congregation, and there’d be many like me, I’d have come up to you anyway because I can easily bypass such barriers as people may see in you, unknown to you…I used to be withdrawn and shy myself! You’d never know now!

If you came into the parish with a wariness regarding whether or not you’d be accepted, because you saw yourself as a stranger, people would have cought that from you. Our body language and our attitude communicates a great deal to people.

Were you ever spontaneous! Did you ever try to put anyone at ease yourself. The mistake made by many shy people is that they wait for others but don’t give anything much themselves.

If you do go to a new parish, (Catholic I hope) please start off on a different footing, project more respect and confidence in yourself even if you don’t feel it yet. Not everyone will respond of course, but smiles at others is a start. I was as shy and self-doubting as one could be, but that’s history because I made effort, and because I care how others feel etc.

You can still change attitudes in thei parish if you really try and make the effort. If it fails sometimes don’t let it crush you. Try again with others…it may take a little times but you may be surprised!

God bless you and help you with this difficult issue :slight_smile: Trishie.
I’ll keep you in my prayers


#9

Confidence in God’s merciful love
God, You command that I forgive and rightly cherish myself. Like many people in human history, I often find it difficult to sincerely and consistently love the ‘self’ that I find mirrored in my consciousness. I know that You can bring me to appreciate the miracle and privilege of my existence!

How can I refuse to love what God loves! You treasure me, as You love and treasure each unique, human person that You create. Yet I need much grace to love this betrayer of my true being and purpose, myself! I betray Your loving creation of me by failing to be fully ‘the person I am created to be’.

You love each person so much that it led to the incarnation of Your divine Son, and to His redemption of humankind. Jesus is Your response to my betrayal of my destiny and me. Yet frequently I am unconvinced or indifferent before these astounding gifts of divine love for me and for every person!

Please give me grace to value each person as Your beloved and eternal gift. Inspire me with faith and gratitude for the gift of myself, for the lives of dear ones and of all people. Grant that these human gifts are shaped by Your love to become everlasting gifts to You, and through You, eternal gifts to each other person.

Through Jesus, You taught us that cheerful, loving mutual service of others leads to fulfilment of Your creative will. Therefore, give me grace to faithfully say ‘yes’ to Your loving purpose by active respect and charity to others and me.

Delight Yourself in me by forming me into the unselfish, joyful, helpful and prayerful person You dreamed me to be for You and others’ souls for time and eternity. 1999


#10

Hi Starwynd,

I can at least partially relate. Though I live in a city and not a small town, I attended the parish nearest to my home (about a mile away) for near on 15 years. I have a social phobia and am very easily intimidated by crowds, and I never really felt “at home” in this parish - it was very discouraging! When I made an appointment with the priest to discuss my receiving the sacraments he actually stood throughout the appointment and kept looking at the door as if he didn’t have time to bother with me.

Finally I decided to try the other parishes, and the first one I tried (on Ash Wednesday of this year) made a world of difference to me - the priests, deacons, and many others were very warm and welcoming, and at long last I received the sacraments in May! This is a parish of over 3,000 families, and yet I feel more at home and welcome there than I ever did at the old one. I drive 8 miles one way to my new parish, and it is SO worth the effort!

If you can, I strongly encourage you to check out your neighbouring parishes. You never know what you may find.

And I agree wholeheartedly with Trishie as well - sometimes shyness or uncertainty (on your part OR those of people you encounter - it’s a 2 way street, certainly!) can be mistaken for unfriendliness or even hostility. Despite my social phobia I’ve been making an intense effort to reach out to people. I’ve found what works best for me is to try to help somebody else… and in the process I “forget” myself and am more at ease.

I wish you all the best - hang in there! :thumbsup:


#11

When people look at me they often sneer or give me the evil eye.

Someone (I think it was Chesterton) said, “We’d worry less about what others think about us if we realized how little they actually do.”


closed #12

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