New Catholic being shut out in my parish

Hello everyone.

My wife and I were formally received into the Church this past December. We were formerly Russian Orthodox. We believe that God led us to the Catholic Church.

I realize some of the things I will mention will seem trivial, but the cumulative effect of them has been rather discouraging.

The day we were received, I registered us with the online parish registry. From that site, we can ask questions and even join groups within the parish.

Almost four months later, and numerous attempts to contact the groups/ministries I am interested in, and no responses. Not one.

I am very interested (or was) in the Knights of Columbus. Again, four months of unreturned emails and phone calls. I had even enlisted the aid of the Knights at the state and even national levels to get my local council to reply. Nothing. No response at all. The state and national Knights have been great–it is my local council that will not respond.

Please understand, this is the best parish in my area. The priest is wonderful, and I really love attending Mass.

Last week my wife received two welcome to the parish letters, asking where she would like to serve and which groups she might be interested in. She also received a personal welcome phone call. Not welcoming us as a couple, but welcoming her only.and I received none. I am the one registered as head of household and nothing.

I want to belong, and I want to serve. I have really put myself out there and have been completely shut out.

Can anyone give me any advice as to how I should take this? Is God telling me something? I have spent so many hours in prayer, many hours in discussion with my wife and we just can’t figure it out.

Thank you in advance for any advice/suggestions.

Brett

1 Like

Were you were baptized Russian Orthodox as adults (age 14) and not baptized elsewhere first? If you were baptized as an infant (under age 14) then was your father Russian Orthodox ? I ask because there is an ascription to the corresponding Catholic church for those the come into full communion, such that Russian Orthodox would be ascribed to the Russian Catholic sui iuris church.

http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=123&pagetypeID=9&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

Hello Vico,

We were baptized as adults, (our first baptisms), and were married in the Orthodox Church.

I would hope you would see people when you went to church each Sunday? You may have to reach out there by introducing yourself and your wife around to members of the congregation after mass. Once people put a face with a name, it usually will spur them to action.

4 Likes

Then you are actually members of the Russian Catholic sui iuris church, unless you specifically transferred with approval of the bishops. There are not many Russian Catholic parishes. I know of two in the USA.

Yes, the diocese approved of our transfer, due to the lack of any Russian Catholic parishes in our area.

1 Like

Parish websites are notorious for having out of date info and dead links. If someone is not getting back to you, there is a chance your inquiry went into the great vortex.

Even the fact that your wife was welcomed and not you tells me something is off with the online system. Call the parish office, ask to get your registration straightened out and ask how you get in touch with the blah blah group.

About the Knights, that is weird. Knights are known for seeking 100% participation from men in the parish.

9 Likes

I would take this as a sign that your help is so desperately needed because they don’t even have enough help to keep up with inquiries. That’s not unusual. You’ll likely have to assert yourself in person with the right people. Perhaps Father can point you in their direction after Mass. I’d be surprised if it were purposeful neglect.

4 Likes

I would add to this that, for whatever reason, women may “have it together” more for reaching out to other women than men using email etc. I’m involved in several ministries and the women communicate constantly. The men, not so much. There have been times when one man will ask his wife to relay a message to a friend so the friend can relay it to her husband, rather than directly between the two men. I have no idea why it works this way. It seems rather silly. But there it is, apparently.

2 Likes

Please do not take this personal. Catholic Parishes are notoriously disorganized, esp ministries.

A few years back, my parish hired a consultant to attempt to better organize our ministries. They are better, but still far from organized and running at peak optimization.

The truth is, often, unless something is organized by the parish staff, it’s not well ran. And fellowship is typically very low on the staff’s list of priorities.

This reminds me of a good Catholic joke I once heard: “How do you know that the Catholic Church was created by God? Because no other organization this disorganized could possibly survive 2000 years.”

So unless Father tells you something specific one day, I would chalk this up to total disorganization and/or lack of follow up by volunteers. And why they sent a letter to your wife and not you - who knows. Some people view parish volunteer work as women’s work so perhaps the welcome committee only reaches out to the wife?

Again, my point - do not take this personally. Due to the average size of a Roman Catholic Parish in America today, many (not all) are terrible at fellowship - esp welcoming new members

1 Like

Hello.

Is there another parish around that would welcome you?

Honestly, some aren’t. For several years, I’ve never seen my parish’s KOC Council doing a single thing at my parish except someone annual collection. And then then, it’s only in the bulletin and they never work a table, make an announcement at mass, etc.

I’ve honestly never seen them at my parish and they never post anything about joining.

I honestly think so councils are so set in their ways that they believe if someone wants to be a member they will hunt them down…

I would assume disorganization before anything else.

Many positions in the Knights are filled with warm bodies. I don’t mean to offend anyone, but that is a reality. If the person In that position is not retired then they are doing a second job for free. Guess which one gets a priority? If the person is retired, as many nights are, then you sometimes have a person who is doing a job they really don’t want and are also elderly.

Parish tasks may be assigned to workers who are already overburdened and possibly underpaid. The task may be delegated to a volunteer as well.

I think until you really have some kind of evidence that your being shut out it is probably just a matter of poor business practices. People can be decent moral people and still be bad at their job. You may have to initiate action more than you want to get things going.

1 Like

Don’t’ do anything online.
Catch persons after Mass, during coffee an donuts, show up at gatherings…introduce yourself. Likely no one knows who you are.
Ask your RCIA Director to make some introductions too.

6 Likes

Don’t take it personally and don’t assume ill motive. Just treat it as an opportunity to demonstrate your enthusiasm.

Approach Father. Tell him of your difficulty and ask his help in making personal connections. Once people have met you, it is much easier to make the connections the second time.

I’ll second the comments about the Knights. The generally strive for a high participation rate, but lack the resources to make it happen. Perhaps God provided you both with this experience to be sure that you had the gifts you needed to be able to help them as they needed.

I second this. Churches are notorious for setting up an online presence and then totally blowing it to bits. In my master’s project for a church, they begged me to give them a social media presence. I refused to unless they agreed to maintain it for at least a year after I handed it back to them.

It’s now been 5+ years and its going very well. However, at another former parish their facebook often goes weeks or days without an admin and followers often give somewhat inaccurate information.

4 Likes

A lot of the men in the Knights of Columbus are older fellows and they may not be totally computer-savvy. Or the person who typically monitors the e-mail or messages may have fallen down on the job.

Your best bet to join is to find the local office of the K of C post and just go down there in-person to a meeting, or if that’s not feasible, go to one of their events and introduce yourself and say you want to get involved. They will likely be glad to have you based on the different K of C chapters I’ve met.

But if for any reason your local chapter is not totally welcoming, then please look for another one close by. In my area there are at least three different groups within about 15 miles of each other.

The normal process is that you make a declaration, in writing, with two witnesses that you are Latin, after that document is sent to you by the bishop of the receiving sui iuris church, and then in your records a note is made of which sui iuris church you are ascribed. I am curious if that was that done?

Yes.

Message me with contact info (city, parish), and I’ll get you the Grand Knight’s contact info, and vice versa.

More likely someone is asleep at the wheel, or even more likely no-one actually got the message to them.

Or, perhaps, there are too few left to be functional as a council :frowning:
hawk, Grand Knight of KofC 7708

2 Likes

In my experience due to poor admin and communication you do often have to be quite pushy if you want to get involved with a parish. Also do you work? A lot of things are only really open to retired people.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.