I wish I could find the front door to the Catholic Church. I wish that Jesus was there and I could approach Him and ask him for his help. I don’t mind that most of the people there are happy, healthy and share in some fellowship. The father is there for them. It seems that the Churches of my youth are gone. But it was only the perception of a child. I am not even comfortable approaching the father or even calling the parish. I only want one thing. I just want communion. I don’t see myself any different than the worst sinner. So I am dead inside. I hunger for the Eucharist. It’s been decades but I remember. I had started to go to Church to take my kids but I could no longer bare the humiliation that I felt staying seated during communion. I would go up with my kids to receive a blessing but then I read how it may not be proper. Even the blessing met so much. So we don’t go anymore. Finally one day I sent an email to the father where I shared some of my difficulties and desire for communion. I had asked if I could meet with him. I never received a reply. A few weeks later I called and spoke with the other priest and told him I had not received a reply. He told me the father was very busy and probably had not yet read it. He was not terribly interested. And that was that. I had bared my soul to some extent and got nothing. I cant say if he ever read my email. It just reinforced my impression that there is no one there for me. It’s a long way from the piety that is expressed by Jesus and the saints. So I don’t see the front door where someone will admit me. Unless I am happy, healthy and able to engage in fellowship. I know there are protestant churches that would be more than willing. I don’t expect that from the Church. I just wish there was one person or some way to engage the Church without this apprehension. Call the Parish? I honestly don’t think they are expecting this type of call. It’s probably just me… well I’m sure of it.
I’m sorry you had a bad experience with the Church and with your parish.
I would gently suggest that the priests you contacted are probably not good at communicating by e-mail. Many people are not good with e-mail. They don’t mean to ignore you, but people get a great deal of e-mail and it’s easy to miss important messages when you get 50 e-mails a day.
Also, sometimes it gets stuck in a spam filter and never even gets to the person’s inbox.
Please call the parish office and make an appointment with a priest, to go meet with him in person and talk about what you need to discuss.
Don’t e-mail. Call and make an appointment.
I know it may feel a little uncomfortable, but it’s the only way.
You are not going to be able to resolve this via e-mail or texting or anything other than making an appointment and meeting in person.
I will pray for you.
Jesus is waiting for you. He wants you back and cares very much about what happens to you.
Please make the appointment.
I agree with @Tis_Bearself; as impersonal and cold as it may seem to call to make an appointment, and then feel unnoticed until the appointment happens, most priests focus during appointments on you, giving you their full attention and thinking about what you are saying. Their time is all about appointments, and you can have that time when it is your appointment, just like it is your time with Jesus when you are in the confessional, and your time with Jesus when handed the host, “The body of Christ”.
Then the next time he greets you after mass, or gives you the host you may find a mutual recognition of each other. Start with an appointment, by calling (not email).
Don’t stop trying to come back to the Church. If these priests didn’t respond find another one who will. There are very caring, kind, patient, considerate priests out there. Most priests want to help anyone who has strayed come back to the church. Please don’t give up. It is worth trying again and again if need be. The happiness you will have once you are home will be beyond measure.
Agree with everyone, please, reach out to someone on the Church staff, call and make an appointment. Many parishes have websites and or bulletins with contact info for the secretary, for other folks.
As a Church Secretary myself for many years, my little bit of advice, it is not uncommon for priests to have Monday as their day off. Also, do not call no Ash Wednesday, that is a crazy day for the parish staff.
Don’t know what you’re going through right now but as others have said please call the church and set up an appointment. Lots of times email get put into spam by the filters and get over looked.
You are not dead. You are depressed.
Call and ask to make an appointment to see the priest as soon as convenient to their schedule. Explain that you are a lapsed catholic desiring confession and return to regular mass attendance. Hopefully they will bend over backwards to get you in to the see a priest ASAP. It’s not like this is holy week and they are under considerable time constraints.
I’m sure this is an unfounded feeling maybe compounded by your depression. Please don’t let that keep you away from Mass. Every Mass I go to there are lots of people who don’t go to Communion and when I’ve not gone up, I’ve never experienced humiliation. If it really bothers you, just sit at the back and focus on making a spiritual communion.
I second all the good advice you’ve been upthread. Don’t be deterred - you know Jesus is calling you, so climb that mountain and go to meet him. Make that appointment to see a priest and tell him what you wrote in your opening post and ask what steps to take to return to the Church. The door is open - it just takes courage to walk through … so pluck up your courage, put on your stubborness hat and do whatever it takes to return to the Church and Jesus.
FYI, a few years ago I asked my PP if he’d gotten my email. He replied it was there but he had just under 2000 emails in his Inbox. Sometimes I don’t get a reply, so instead I go and speak to him because he really is just so busy. Also, even though I’ve emailed my parish secretary many times over the years, for whatever reason my email goes to the junk/spam folder instead of her Inbox.
So don’t give up! Get up and make an appointment. You have everything to gain.
Are you Catholic? You can only take Communion in the Catholic Church if you’ve been baptized or received by them.
But otherwise, I was cleaning out stored books this morning and came across one that you might find useful: it’s called The Irresistible Community by Bill Donahue and has a section on fellowship at Jesus’ table.
Is it possible that your parish has a pastoral associate? This would be a lay person on the church staff who could counsel you to a degree and act as a person who could help you to arrange for a meeting with the priest. It could be a first step to getting where you want to be.
My advice is a little different than those telling you to call again. Go to the parish office during office hours. Explain you need to see a priest, you have been ignored twice, and in person ask for an appointment.
I think being there in person makes a difference with our, all to often, frustrating parish bureaucrats.
Why do you write to priests? Isn’t Confession the path to Communion?
And if they say no for some reason please remember that your yearning is also your soul, who is not dead, alive within you.
A priest or hierarchs in a letter cannot decide whether you receive Communion or not. Only within the Sacrament of Confession the priest can decide. And we must acknowledge that whatever decision the priest presents is in Union wirh Christ and His Apostles and God and is the best choice even if we feel otherwise.
Communion is not a magical potion and also not a socially binding act to get you respect from the community of people (people not Angels nor Saints) that you see at church.
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