Outsider


#1

Hi everyone! Hope all is well! If I say anything offensive I’m not meaning to trust me…sometimes I don’t phrase in a way that makes sense I’ve come to realize. :wink:

I guess I’m having difficulties with the process between being a full member of the Catholic church. I haven’t converted yet and will not be until I move this time next year so I can do RCIA the new state I am moving to. I realize conversion in one city is the same as conversion in another, I just feel it would be good to know fellow newbie converts when I move. Not to mention RCIA just started up in my area and I’m just not ready yet. I know I have heard some people say they can do RCIA and be done as early as November instead of Easter. Are there RCIA classes that start up later in the year?

What I’m having problems with though is what do till I’m a full member of the Catholic Church? I don’t feel like I can fully be apart of either the Protestant church or the Catholic church. I can’t fully be apart of the Protestant church because I don’t believe a lot of what they teach now especially about communion being bread and grape juice. I go to a non-denominational church with my mom, but the more I learn about Catholicism the more I feel like an outsider in the Protestant church.

I can’t fully be apart of the Catholic church yet because I haven’t converted. I can’t receive the Eucharist so I just sit in my seat. I usually sit towards the back because I feel like I have a large stamp on my forehead that says Protestant since I am unable to participate in the entire Mass. So by sitting in the back I hope I’m less noticeable. Yes I realize it is perfectly fine to stay seated during the Eucharist because you should be in a state of grace to receive, but honestly I’ve never seen anyone stay seated except me and trust me I’ve been looking just so I wouldn’t feel alone. I attend a really large parish too (seven services a day) so it makes getting to know people difficult.

I attend Mass on my own and I don’t have any friends in the area that are Catholic I could attend with. The only Catholic I know is my boyfriend who lives 700 miles away in the state I’m moving to in a year. So I’m pretty much all alone in this process. My family (all Protestant) think I’m making a horrible mistake. Some have even gone as far to say I will not be a Christian when I convert which hurt to have them so set against it. So now I feel like an outsider in my own family :frowning:

The Protestant church I attended my entire life was not truly following Christ’s teachings…but does that make me a bad person for not knowing that? Does that make them bad people for not being apart of the Catholic church? Many of the Protestant churches are still filled with Christ…just not in the way intended. I have a hard time coming to grips that some of the very people who gave me a love for Christ as mentors, pastors, family, and friends growing up would go to hell because they’re not in the Catholic church but are Protestant. Are my own parents destine for hell even though they are Christians just because they are not Catholic? Maybe my understanding is wrong…I feel like there is so much I don’t understand. :confused:

Again I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m just venting frustrations with my inability to understand and looking for some advice. And I probably don’t understand any of this as I should…so if I’ve said something completely wrong please tell me! I feel like I am on this invisible fence line unable to be apart of either church. Sorry for such a long post. Will feeling like an outsider ever go away? I know the obvious answer is yes…but right now it doesn’t feel like that. :frowning:


#2

Try not to feel like an outsider at a Catholic Church. I completely understand. I converted also. I didn’t know anyone else who was Catholic. I went to Church alone. I remained seated during Holy Communion. It does get easier. At first I felt weird, but after a little while, not so much. Everyone else got used to seeing me and wouldn’t try to get me to go. I sat on the end so I wouldn’t be in anyone’s way (I stood up and stepped back so they could get through). I also attended daily Mass. It doesn’t take long to develop tough skin on the issue.

Also, there is nothing stopping you from attending any functions at the Church. You can’t take Holy Communion, but you can go to bible studies, etc. I did all of that and eventually met people.

It will get easier!


#3

wow, you have a head full of worries! i think you should join a group in the church, preferably a service oriented group, to meet more catholics so that you’ll feel more at home. as a cradle catholic who runds an rcia program, i can tell you that you are most welcome in the catholic church. just because you cannot yet recieve the Eucharist does not mean that you are not united to the true church in spirit. you are one of us by virtue of your baptism and your liove for christ, the same way that your family is united to the catholic church through thier love of christ. even though they do not have the fullness of truth, they do have love for God, as you have pointed out. a person cannot love God without God granting him or her that grace, and so i would not worry too much about your family going to hell. God is love- where there is true charity and love, there is God. remember, all churches and denominations are made up of sinners. some sinners have more truth available to them and a greater fullness to accept or reject. sadly, i think you’ll find that sometimes catholics can make the greatest sinners, but don’t forget that they can also make the greatest of saints. go to rcia, pray, and be happy with God, letting Him worry about saving the world- it really his job anyways. do your best to be a good example of Christ and follow tyhe teachings of the church with all your strength. it is this kind of person that i can see christ in, even if she hasn’t yet recieved the eucharist


#4

Is your catholic faith important to you?
Should your potential mate share your faith & values?
Looking for fellowship with other catholic singles?


#5

Normally no, this is supposed to be a year(approximately) long process, at least I am unaware of any that are shorter. Some exceptions are made.

What I’m having problems with though is what do till I’m a full member of the Catholic Church? I don’t feel like I can fully be apart of either the Protestant church or the Catholic church. I can’t fully be apart of the Protestant church because I don’t believe a lot of what they teach now especially about communion being bread and grape juice. I go to a non-denominational church with my mom, but the more I learn about Catholicism the more I feel like an outsider in the Protestant church.

I can’t fully be apart of the Catholic church yet because I haven’t converted. I can’t receive the Eucharist so I just sit in my seat. I usually sit towards the back because I feel like I have a large stamp on my forehead that says Protestant since I am unable to participate in the entire Mass. So by sitting in the back I hope I’m less noticeable. Yes I realize it is perfectly fine to stay seated during the Eucharist because you should be in a state of grace to receive, but honestly I’ve never seen anyone stay seated except me and trust me I’ve been looking just so I wouldn’t feel alone. I attend a really large parish too (seven services a day) so it makes getting to know people difficult.

(

I would suggest instead of sitting, sit on the side that the priest normally distributes the Eucharist on and process to the front with you arms crossed, hands on shoulders, making an “X” and receive a blessing from the priest. Normally they will bless you. Thats what I do when I know that I am not in the state of grace.

I attend Mass on my own and I don’t have any friends in the area that are Catholic I could attend with. The only Catholic I know is my boyfriend who lives 700 miles away in the state I’m moving to in a year. So I’m pretty much all alone in this process. My family (all Protestant) think I’m making a horrible mistake. Some have even gone as far to say I will not be a Christian when I convert which hurt to have them so set against it. So now I feel like an outsider in my own family :frowning:

Sorry to hear that your family is treating you thus, this is an opportunity for you to teach/evangelize to them the truth. I know that it hurts and you are suffering, but it is a chance to offer your suffering up for yourself, for someone you love, or someone who needs it.

The Protestant church I attended my entire life was not truly following Christ’s teachings…but does that make me a bad person for not knowing that? Does that make them bad people for not being apart of the Catholic church?

No and No, they simply don’t possess the fullness of truth. That’s the easiest way to explain things for now. And your ignorance of the truth does not make you bad, or guilty of it. You are now following through with discovery of the truth.

Many of the Protestant churches are still filled with Christ…just not in the way intended. I have a hard time coming to grips that some of the very people who gave me a love for Christ as mentors, pastors, family, and friends growing up would go to hell because they’re not in the Catholic church but are Protestant. Are my own parents destine for hell even though they are Christians just because they are not Catholic? Maybe my understanding is wrong…I feel like there is so much I don’t understand. :confused:

Someone correct if I am wrong here, but I believe the Church teaches that they are salvific in nature and they are not condemned because they are not members of the Catholic Church

Again I’m not trying to offend anyone. I’m just venting frustrations with my inability to understand and looking for some advice. And I probably don’t understand any of this as I should…so if I’ve said something completely wrong please tell me! I feel like I am on this invisible fence line unable to be apart of either church. Sorry for such a long post. Will feeling like an outsider ever go away? I know the obvious answer is yes…but right now it doesn’t feel like that. :frowning:

Hang in there! We will be praying for you. Welcome to the Catholic Church.


#6

Go ahead and start RCIA where you are. I am a teacher and would want you in my class. Love to see how each class bonds with one another. You can then finish when you re-locate.


#7

You’re not an outsider. God is calling you to the Catholic Church and you have to be patient. You will become a Catholic in due time. You always have to remember that Jesus is beside you during the Mass. He is there for you, and you are certainly no “outsider” to him. The Holy Angels who surroud the Altar and the church during Mass know you’re there and they are pleased about it. They are your friends and guardians.

The people in the church will notice you, and they will be pleased to see you. Eventually, they will talk to you and you will make friends. You just have to patient. The Saints in Heaven know you’re at the Mass and they are extremely happy about this.

The Redeemer, his Blessed Mother, the Angels, the Saints, and all of the parishioners know you’re at the Mass and they’re all overjoyed by this. You’re no outsider. All you have to do is introduce yourself.

When you’re at Mass, concentrate on the sacrifice that is taking place on the altar and have faith in God. Even though you can not receive the Eucharist, make an act of spiritual communion. Pray and ask God if you can recieve him spiritually. Tell him that you firmly believe that his body, blood, soul and divinity is present on the altar and that you yearn to receive him. Ask him to be with you and express your desire to eventually recieve the Eucharist. In time, you will eventually receive the sacraments, but for the time being, simply pray and study the faith in preparation for RCIA.


#8

Welcome!!!

Please call your Parish and begin attending the RCIA classes where you are now. You can attend class where you are, and not officially come into the Church until you move - sort of like auditing a class :slight_smile: I’ve know people to attend RCIA for two or three times before they are really ready to enter the Church.

Of course, it would be great to go ahead and come in this year - when you move, you can jump right in and get involved with Parish life in your new hometown.


#9

I’d suggest you not do that because it is time for reception of Holy Communion, not of blessings of those who cannot receive. As far as I know this practice is a home grown practice that is not approved even though people do it sometimes. As far as I know, you can’t even receive the blessing when in mortal sin anyway because of the state of the soul.

I’ve been in the situation of being in mortal sin and unable to receive. I’ve had to be the only one in a pew while everyone else receives. But you know what? It’s uncomfortable but the point is to please Christ, not people. If people think things about you, who cares? What matters is what God thinks of you and I am convinced He is very pleased when someone does what they are to do and suffers for some reason for it then to do something that would make them more comfortable instead. Let other people think what they want. God will be very pleased.

And just so you know, you still receive graces of being there at the Holy Sacrifice even though you cannot receive so don’t think it is not important to be there just because you can’t receive yet. And when you do receive, hopefully this time will create in you such great love for the Holy Eucharist…

Pax Christi tecum.


#10

While you sitting out the reception of Holy Communion until you receive it formally for the first time during the Easter vigil…
You can still make a spiritual communion…and here’s the prayer you can use if you wish.

Spiritual Communion Prayer
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.


#11

perfectly understandable and normal feelings, you are not alone

yes some parishes, like mine, are year-round and accept candidates at any time. by “not ready” do you mean “not ready to make a full commitment to the Catholic church?” No reason why you should before you have even begun RCIA. The purpose, or one of them, of RCIA is to give you what you need to make that decision. The commitment is not a given for everyone involved. Many people take years of study and prayer before they arrive at that point.

there is no rule that says “RCIA is a year-long process at the end of which everybody joyfully celebrates sacraments.” It takes as long as it takes.

My best advice would be to start the class now where you are, start asking questions, getting answers, and getting to know other people in a similar situation as yourself. That alone will help with a lot of what you are experiencing, esp. the “outsider” feeling. Even if you move and join another group, you will have made progress, and worked through some issues that are problematic for you.

you will also develop some prayer habits that will help you immensely.

and by the way, Welcome Home! cliche but every journey begins with that first step


#12

You should talk to your DRE or your pastor about some of your concerns.

BTW, I’m a Catholic, but sometimes I don’t go up to communion because I need to go to Confession to receive worthily. My dh is not Catholic, and he always stays in the pews. I wouldn’t worry about that.

When I see someone sitting in the pews, I actually feel a little sad for them and also grateful. I’m grateful that they are taking communion so seriously. So many receive when they shouldn’t.

God bless you!!!:slight_smile:


#13

Yes, and sometimes people forgot to keep the hour fast before Communion.

I am a new Catholic–from Easter Vigil 2008–and I don’t know that I can add anything to the great advice that people have given.:slight_smile:

When I was waiting to begin RCIA, and even afterward, I felt like I was so in-between places. I asked the priest, “So where do I stand with God right now?” He replied, “You are His beloved.”

Dear friend, your story is about a journey with God. Be encouraged. Now is a wonderful time to start giving your hurts, your confusion–anything–to Jesus to be united with His pain on the Cross.

Our Lord is teaching me, at this very moment, that I must rely on Him for the gifts of love, of faith, of everything–and that means I can’t magically move myself from one stage of growth to another. It’s just like losing weight, getting fit, having a baby, or whatever–things come gradually according to the processes God sets in motion if we give our wills to Him (not easy, but worth it). You can ask Him for your needs.

As far as your time at Communion goes, I must say that one of my biggest comforts was going forward for a blessing. As another poster said, cross your arms in an x over your chest (your fingers will be near your shoulders) and walk reverently toward the front with your mind on the One Whom you are nearing. I carefully bowed while second in line from the front and waited for the blessing, then continued to my seat to kneel and pray.

God bless you, keep you, and comfort you.
~TE


#14

Thanks for all of the responses they have really helped! I finally got up the courage to talk to the RCIA director at the parish and he was encouraging. I’ve decided to start classes this Sunday because he said there was no obligation to join. I’ll still get a sponsor so I think having someone familiar with the process will help. If I decide this year isn’t right to join the Church I can go through RCIA again the next year.

As far as going up in the Eucharist for a blessing I asked the director about it, but he said the parish discourages the practice. He said I could participate in a spiritual communion as others have described here so I guess I’ll do that.

My family is handling the news better. I think after hearing my reasons it helped them get over the initial shock.

I’m sure over time I will feel more at home in the Catholic church. I know Christ has me on this path for a reason and I know RCIA classes will only help. :slight_smile:


#15

Wow so awesome! Good luck and i am overjoyed for you! Glory be to God.


#16

If by participation you mean partaking of the Eucharist, that’s not correct. Your presence during Mass is your participation.

Due to marital status, I’d been going to daily Mass for almost a year and to Sunday Mass for about 6 years without partaking of the Eucharist, in spite of having being baptized as an infant.

Do go to Mass, adore the Lord present in the Eucharist and ask Him to be in Communion with His Church and be able to partake of His Body and Blood.

:blessyou:


#17

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