Mass left me feeling cold, no feeling of family


#1

Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to send our child to a Catholic school, which has led me to try and reconnect with my Catholic heritage. In doing so, I have recently attended Mass at 2 of my local churches, but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners, no feeling of community and family. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?


#2

They´re very bad catholics, in US for the mass-media and many bishops, the european catholic movements that are a pillar of the new evangelization like legionaries of christ, opus dei or neocathecumenal way( with his 3 hours mass and a great spirit of comunity) haven´t arrived to US, it´s a pity, but the important is the doctrine, the important is the eucharisty and sacraments and important is Jesus, Jesus in the bed, and Jesus in not to divorces.


#3

No “warmth” among the parishioners?
Are you SURE? You attended what, twice? Did you attempt any contact? Have you tried to get involved in a particular church by volunteering your services?

In my parish, my priest serves not just our church but another church 15 miles away. So after our 8:30 Mass he has to “book it” to get to the other church for their 10 AM Mass. Perhaps the priests in your area have similar schedules or pastoral concerns? Perhaps it was a busy time like Easter. . .or they have to get their First Communion or Confirmation candidates ready (our Confirmees are tonight, for example, and our FCs next Sunday).

Some people might not be VISIBLY demonstrative, particularly on one or two times’ acquaintance, but that doesn’t mean that they are not WARM or loving people.

At this time (April) in our parish there is no Bible Study or Adult Education, because the RCIA prep ended at Easter and will start again in the early fall. But there are ongoing programs in the larger cities. You might have to travel a bit at first, but you might also find if you do that others in your parish have traveled too and might be interested in starting a smaller group “back home”.

Look at this as your BIG OPPORTUNITY to START your life in a parish. Don’t expect to get everything all at once, and don’t expect perfection, and I’m sure you’ll be delighted to find that given time, prayer, and effort on your part that the “cold” parish “warms up”.


#4

Remember what the point of the Mass is. It is not a parish picnic, but rather the offering up of Christ’s most Holy Sacrifice. I know I personally am much too focused on Jesus’ Real Presence to really be looking to socialize. After coming into the most intimate communion with Jesus, someone not saying “hi” to me is insignificant. That being said, there are usually plenty of social activities outside of Mass that I like to attend (picnics, our young adults group, etc.) Likewise, if there is no Bible Study, why not start one yourself? :slight_smile:


#5

[quote=nrbaldwin] Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.
[/quote]

Wow! Really? I have never, and I do mean NEVER, been to a Mass where the priest just disappeared afterwards. In every single church I have ever been to, the priest has been right out front after Mass greeting the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I don’t know where you attended Mass, obviously, but all the parishes in my area offer Bible study, women’s groups, Knights of Columbus, youth groups, RCIA, etc. Perhaps you could call the rectory of your local parish and ask about the programs available to you. They are usually posted in the bulletin, but perhaps your parish for some reason hasn’t done that recently.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?

Please give it another try. If you don’t find the things you need (e.g. Bible study, etc) at one parish, continue to check around for other parishes that do offer them. Your main concern in attending Mass should be, first and foremost, the worshipping of our Lord, so no, you probably won’t find the Protestant-type fellowship during Mass. You certainly should be able to find ways to join in fellowship with the other members outside of Mass, however. Again, I suggest calling the rectory to see what is offered.**


#6

[quote=nrbaldwin]Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

… but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners,** no feeling of community and family**. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

…** I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue. **
I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?
[/quote]

  1. A Catholic Mass, if done properly, is GOD-centered and all are to be the same way. Really, It is not a fellowship extravaganza. a feeling of community/family would be irrelevent to the Mass. There we concentrate on Almighty God, and Him alone.

  2. A great IDEA! re. Bible study, catechism study.
    I would hope that you use your experience to get these started. Find a few others that share the same opinion and get going!
    When the Catholic school system vanished, the void was left. The prot’s had Sunday/Wed Bible study as their answer to the abundance of Daily Catholic school religious teaching. I think that it is now imperative to get these education resources into practice…from 5ys and older. And, include lots of fellowship there.
    God Bless you for following your instincts on returning.

ps. ALL parishes are not alike. They are made up of humans like any congegation and the priest isn’t always the best talent in the parish. You may be just what this parish needs!


#7

[quote=nrbaldwin]Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to send our child to a Catholic school, which has led me to try and reconnect with my Catholic heritage. In doing so, I have recently attended Mass at 2 of my local churches, but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners, no feeling of community and family. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?
[/quote]

At the risk of offending everyone at the church you attended and everyone that has responded so far to this thread, I would say that you are looking for something that , while offered by the church, sometimes it does seem rather in short supply.

In a word, I would say you are looking for hospitality. Maybe your not asking for a fatted calf to be killed and so on but at least someone could recognize you exist and give you a job like the rest of the servants.

Anyway, I have learned that hospitality and encouragement are very important and it seems like you didn’t get much the first time. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you for wanting it or for missing it when it isn’t there. I think many Catholic parishioners, especially those who have maintained the practice of the rituals of their faith throughout their lives, don’t appreciate that newcomers (or those who have been away awhile) do need encouragement and hospitality.

The fact is, someone should kill a fatted calf for you and throw a great celebration because you are trying to reconnect with your faith heritage. I say this as someone who has missed chances to be encouraging and hospitable and has regretted it.

Keep trying. Let someone know you are new around and are looking for a way to be a part. People who are stuck in their ways sometimes need a little push.

Good luck

peace

-Jim


#8

[quote=nrbaldwin]Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to send our child to a Catholic school, which has led me to try and reconnect with my Catholic heritage. In doing so, I have recently attended Mass at 2 of my local churches, but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners, no feeling of community and family. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?
[/quote]

Maybe the question might be better asked of you… what do you offer the Catholic Church…? Is this question fair?


#9

Fellowship is nice–but the focus is worship.:blessyou:


#10

I understand what everyone is saying. I DO attend church to worship the Lord, when my husband and I first attended the Lutheran church where we are now members, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I feel that it is the responsibility of the “old” members to welcome the “new” members.

I have been having a faith crisis lately and am searching. I am looking for answers and all these responses are very helpful. It does make me feel welcome. Thank you!!


#11

not all Churches are like that.

But I think you are looking for is a Faith Community which is rooted in the Catholic Faith.

The Couples for Christ (CFC) is such a community. It is a Catholic based, Vatican approved, Family ministry. CFC is in 123 countries and all over the USA.

Many Archdiocese and Parishes around the world have asked CFC to help with their family ministry and help spiritually strengthen it’s members.

Without the CFC, I would have completely left the Church and we were talking divorced. With the CFC, we just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary and I teach CCD, am an EM and teach in the CFC. My children are active in the CFC-Youth and CFC-Kids ministries.

Please let me know if you have any questions or If you would like more information


#12

[quote=nrbaldwin]I understand what everyone is saying. I DO attend church to worship the Lord, when my husband and I first attended the Lutheran church where we are now members, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I feel that it is the responsibility of the “old” members to welcome the “new” members.

I have been having a faith crisis lately and am searching. I am looking for answers and all these responses are very helpful. It does make me feel welcome. Thank you!!
[/quote]

When does this church hold confession (the sacrement of reconciliation)? You might attend and talk privately with the priest about those matters at that time – I’m sure he will help you.


#13

[quote=nrbaldwin]I understand what everyone is saying. I DO attend church to worship the Lord, when my husband and I first attended the Lutheran church where we are now members, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. I feel that it is the responsibility of the “old” members to welcome the “new” members.

I have been having a faith crisis lately and am searching. I am looking for answers and all these responses are very helpful. It does make me feel welcome. Thank you!!
[/quote]

Welcome back! I had the same experience when I attended a Lutheran Church with my husband. Funny thing was I later learned that many of those incredibly friendly “Lutherans” were fallen away Catholics!

Most of us long for fellowship. My parish is pretty good with it, but because I have small children my socializing ability is limited. Forgive me if I pass you by without noticing you while I chase after a toddler or run to pick up others from Sunday school.

I have managed to find fellowship at my current parish, but it didn’t happen as quickly as it did when we attended a Protestant church. Many of the Catholic groups seem to form in September with the new school year. Ask around and keep your eye on the bulletin and you’ll probably find a group. The Catholic school where you send your children may also help you find those connections. They really do exist!

In the meantime, this website is a good source of “virtual” fellowship. There are lots of very friendly Catholics. We don’t have to go to a Protestant church to share our faith with each other over a cup of coffee!


#14

mickey has a great point: fellowship is absolutely great, however concentrate on worship. Over time, the fellowship will follow.

Keep in mind, every day (not just Sunday) the Catholic Mass is said all over the world, in every continent, and in every country. The readings for the day are the same everywhere! You by attending mass are one with God and one with all of us as “we lift our hearts up to the Lord”. Over 1 billion of us. Remember us all next time you say this “we”! And we will be thinking of you!

I am involved in a number of different social groups a our church. It is wonderful to interact with these people, to see them at our weekly or monthly meetings, and to see them at Sunday Mass.

However, for me, daily masses are … amazingly uplifting, rejuvenating, extremly spiritual, etc. The strange part about this is this the fact there are only a few other parishoners there at 7am. I can really connect with God the Father, God Jesus and God the Holy Spirit.

Maybe spend some time alone at church, at a weekday mass, or at Adoration - where you can alone with Jesus with no interruptions. Someone else suggested confession. What a wonderful ideal.


#15

Hey nrbaldwin,

I am in a similar situation (just returning to the CC). The funny thing for me was - I didn’t really want socialization, etc. at first. Actually I still don’t. When I first went back, I didn’t want to be conspicuous, because I didn’t know if I was sure I really wanted to be back (although after two Masses I was sure!). Now I just don’t want any questions, especially because I am finishing out a committment I made at the Protestant church (I drive a visually-impaired congregant to a Bible study every week and that doesn’t end until May). But I’m just not ready to explain my situation. I will be someday, just not now. Also, I feel like I am re-learning everything and don’t want to have people noticing any blunders I might make.

I do want to become connected to people there. In time I will. I want to become involved in music ministry (choir or playing for Mass). Maybe even a Bible study, which I’d like to start one, since I don’t think they have one. But I really need to spend more time learning before I feel I’m ready for that. (Of course, if I got a Bible study program with everything all written down and I would be a facilitator/student only, that might work!). In the meantime, you and I should just look at this as a quiet time for us to learn and remember back to all the old traditions we may have forgotten.

I think in time people will approach you. They will approach me too. Actually, I’m thinking of going to a ladies’ event they are having tonight that is open to the public.

But for now, I’m just that unusual lady who always wears a hat and sits in the 7th row from the back at the 11:30 Mass!

Aunt Martha


#16

[quote=nrbaldwin]Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to send our child to a Catholic school, which has led me to try and reconnect with my Catholic heritage. In doing so, I have recently attended Mass at 2 of my local churches, but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners, no feeling of community and family. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?
[/quote]

Mass is Mass. The Eucharist never changes. Why look to feel warm and fuzzy and family-like? Not to say that that is bad, I have to admit, that it’s attractive. But, isn’t our faith all about ‘receiving Christ’ and reflecting upon that? Everything else is secondary. I love good hymns, but people often clap as to say, “You did a great job!” Isn’t because of God’s will they have the talent to bring forth music to us so that we may hear the Word of God in song? (I don’t feel comfortable clapping) I would look within yourself. Really teach your family that it’s how you meditate, and how you pray to the Lord and how much one gives thanks is what’s best in our church, our Mass. I hope this helps. A few years ago, I thought about leaving the church because…IT did nothing for me! Boy, was I wrong. I kept with the church and have never looked back. Peace and love of our Lord be with you on your journey.

:blessyou:


#17

[quote=LoneRanger]Maybe the question might be better asked of you… what do you offer the Catholic Church…? Is this question fair?
[/quote]

JFK- Is that you?


#18

I am totally amazed at the number of Catholics who are still stuck in the private “just me and God or Jesus” at Mass. What ever happened to the Church described in the book of Acts and in some of Paul’s writing. Early Christians were attracted to the Church by the love evident in the congregations. Community and fellowship is’nt every thing, but worship without it strikes at the very significance of the Eucharest.


#19

[quote=nrbaldwin]Although Baptized and Confirmed Catholic, I did not attend Mass much growing up. A few years ago, my family joined a Lutheran church.

Recently, my husband and I have decided to send our child to a Catholic school, which has led me to try and reconnect with my Catholic heritage. In doing so, I have recently attended Mass at 2 of my local churches, but they left me feeling cold. There was no warmth among the parishioners, no feeling of community and family. Everyone just came, worshipped, and left. Also, the Priests disappeared after the Mass. They did not stay to greet the parishioners.

In addition, I haven’t seen any sign of Adult Education (Sunday School) or a Bible Study, which I would like to continue.

I would really like to re-join the Church, but am I looking for something that the Catholic Church doesn’t offer?
[/quote]

The Catholic Church offers you Christ in the Eucharist! What more could you want! If you understand the Mass how can you not sense the meeting of heaven and earth, you and all the angels and Saints. What more community is there than the Community of Saints! In any Catholic church with a tabernacle, as well as at Mass you are in the Presence of Christ Himself! It’s what the other Christian communities can’t offer.


#20

I don’t think Catholic churches seem as “social” as Protestant churches. However, that has never bothered me. I am there (in church) to worship God, not to socialize with the parishoners.

Karen


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