I attend Mass at the Catholic parish of my childhood (I’m the 7th generation of my family to do so) every Sunday along with my wife. While it’s the best of two Catholic parishes in town it offers next to no activities outside of the Mass. It’s been this way for at least 20 years and the last few pastors have seen to be very hesitant to allow any new fellowship activities.
A little more than two years ago my wife and I started attending a “non-denominational Protestant church” right around the corner from our house (it took over a beautiful old Episcopal parish). WE do this on Sunday evenings in addition to attending Sunday morning Mass after being invited by a neighbor.
The services are definitely “Christian lite” (they sort of remind me of Robert Schuller’s Hour of Power) but they are also not anti-Catholic in any way. The fellowship this place provides has become most precious to my wife and I. When we show up we can either pray silently inside the church (we often pray the Rosary) or visit inside the “atrium” (parish hall.) The services begin with 2-3 FULL hymns. The hymns are beautiful/classic, my wife and I love to sing and it feels like we are singing in a 400 person choir. Then comes some communal prayer, followed by a sermon (often an excellent sermon.) More singing, more prayer and finally some more singing.
Then we all head to the atrium for a well planned potluck each and every week. After our first visit I met with the pastor (at my doing) and explained that neither my wife nor I would ever consider leaving the Catholic Church or stop attending the Mass but that we were hungry for Christian fellowship. I also explained that I cannot afford to tithe at two parishes and that our weekly giving would be quite modest. He waved my concerns aside, said he understood and there hasn’t been a problem nor any attempt to proselytize us.
Is there any problem with attending their Sunday service? I certainly cannot think of any. My parish isn’t about to change and I would really miss going there each Sunday evening. Thank you.