As some of you know we are sorta new to our town as my DH is Navy. I looked up my parish as soon as we got here, went and registered and began attending Mass. I have had a bit of a time with it though…even so much as not wanting to go. And have not been going regularlily – so NOT OK.
Here’s my problem:
My church is in a 99% hispanic neighborhood. Which I have no problem with, but it seems that a LARGE percentage of the hispanics of this parish do not speak English at all. So the church, rightfully, has more Masses, classes, groups, bible studies, activities, et. all. in Spanish ONLY. We don’t speak Spanish.
There are no daily masses in English. (I enjoy these, especially now that school started and I only have a two year old in tow.)
Baptismal Prep class is unavailable in English. (A bit of a problem, considering that I am pregnant and due within 11 weeks.)
There are only two weekend Masses in English, and when I attend these I cannot understand the lecterns because of their heavy accents. Sure I can read along, and I do, and I even feel God whilst immersing myself in preparation of receiving the Sacrament. I just feel frustrated sometimes.
For instance – each time I have gone the priest does not lead the congregation in the Profession of Faith, instead has everyone repeat the baptismal vows. I LIKE to say the creed, I find it a very essential part of the mass, my experience and faith hastened by saying the words “I believe” aloud.
The RCIA class is not dismissed before the baptismal vows, BUT I am not sure there are any in the English Mass.
Finally, I have had a dickens of a time getting my kids in CCD. The bulletin last weekend said specifically “First Year First Communion Students begin classes at 9:45AM on Sunday the 23rd.” Soooo, I have my son up, ready, dressed and we are off. We get there in time. BUT all the classes have adolescents or teens in them? HUH? A volunteer tells me to go to the building behind the church and look for the director upstairs. All doors are locked. I find her again, we find another teacher who sends us into the actual Church building. Get this – it’s first year Communion students who are TEENS. The children’s CCD is run by someone else who is not there – no surprise, I have been to that church countless times and unabel to register them, I feel so frustrated. Don’t they WORK at the church? Don’t they at least answer the phone or call people back? My DD is a year behind now. She could have received communion last Spring. So my son didnt go. I can’t get ahold of the CCD guy. It’s mostly my fault, I understand that – I could have been more aggresive in hunting down the kid’s CCD people, it just became so frustrating, especially carting all three kids there and back, and unable to find the office the CCD director is in. (Even the signage and directories are in Spanish – ONLY.)
I guess overall I feel like an outsider. I resolved to try and be very Christian like and get involved, create English speaking groups if I had to. Mom’s support – SOMETHING. However, there seems to be nobody to speak to! I would be the only participant. Most English Mass attendees also speak Spanish. (But are by far less-crowded masses, like a 1/4 of the church as oppossed to standing room only for Spanish mass as I saw yesterday.)
My son and I drove over to Starbucks (LOL) after our failed attempt to get him enrolled – we got some coffee and donuts and drove past another Catholic Church on the way back. I came home, looked it up and saw that almost ALL of the masses were in English yesterday - that registering children for CCD is a seemingly easy process, and they have condusive hours. I can go to baptismal prep classes in my language. There is a TON of networking, rosary and charity groups. Daily mass is in English. So I went to the Sunday Mass at the new church.
I loved it. I even got to say the Profession of Faith. It felt awesome, it really did. It’s almost EXACTLY to the tenth of a mile the same distance from the other church I am registered at – if not just a wee-bit closer.
Should it be a problem to withdraw from the first church and register with the second? Should I inform them I am withdrawing and going elsewhere? Is it OK to leave your assigned parish for another parish you can be more involved in?
And yes, today my kids will be registered with the new church for CCD.