Problems with your Parish?

“may mercy, peace, and love be yours in abundance.”

Have any of you had problems with the parish you attended? Such as issues with the pastor,problems in the youth group,concerns with the liturgy. How are you guys dealing/or dealt with the said problem or issue?

Happy Sunday. :slight_smile:

We have not. We belong to a great parish with a well run youth program, music director, etc.

However, problems at church should be dealt with basically as any problem would be. First speak to the person in question and explain your concern. Many times things can be fixed at this level. The person understand your concern and makes adjustments, or you understand why things are done a certain way and accept it.

If that doesn’t work after sincere effort on your part, speak to the pastor. Explain your concern and the steps you have taken to resolve the issue.

Finally, if this does not help, and the problem is truly egregious, then speak to the bishop. However, most problems don’t rise to this level. Usually they come down to a matter of preference or focus. In that case, your best course of action is probably to avoid the situation as best you can. Attend a Mass where the choir doesn’t sing, find other activities for your children, or perhaps volunteer to start alternate programs.

Of course, do not allow someone else’s shortcomings to push you away from church and the Mass.

Only a few problems. A while back the bishop of our diocese sent two priests into the area to manage four parishes. Because they are so busy its kind of hard to get ahold of them sometimes (for confessions, etc.). Other than that, the priests are fantastic. They’re easy to talk to, friendly, somewhat outgoing, and very holy.

As far as liturgical abuses go, there are next to none in my home parish. Like I said, the priests are very good at keeping things in check. Its a very traditional church with the tabernacle front and center (and its one of only a few in the diocese like that) and several people who still kneel to receive the Eucharist. I like it a lot.

Music wise, we don’t have a very good program. There are two people besides me who do music at Mass, so I am there every third week. The hymns are pretty conservative when I’m there, but I’m not too sure about the rest of the time (my family and I sometimes attend another parish). Other times the musicians on the schedule just don’t show up.

We have no youth group because there are not enough youth to support it. About 2/3 of the parishioners are 50+.

Thats about it.:o

I’m going to follow this post. I’ve had problems in the past. About nine years ago I moved parishes because of a very unwelcoming CCD program. The neighboring parish had a great program and we joined it and have been happy. Fast forward to a new pastor and new concerns for me. Not sure what to do. I do like being Catholic so I will most likely just wait it out. Pastors come and go here pretty frequently. Can’t really talk to the pastor as he is most of the problem.
Oh, and I am pretty active. I teach several CCD classes, EM, VBS leader, etc.

My parish has not experienced any of these problems. Does your parish have a church council at which these issues may be brought up for discussion?

I have found that the vast majority of parish problems are usually more annoyances than real problems, and these annoyances are mainly issues of humility for the one being annoyed. If the crisis of the day includes, “I feel”, “I think”, “I don’t like”, it’s probably not a parish problem, but “I problems” by the unhappy parishioner. :shrug:

Yes, if one considers completely ad libbed Eucharistic prayers including the consecration itself, no Gloria (on Sundays not in Advent or Lent), no Creed, and other additions/subtractions to the liturgy to be problems.

I haven’t had problems with my current parish recently.

In the past, problems were more with people with huge ego’s who wanted to control everything on their own, or others who wanted a social club instead of a faith community.

Having to sacrifice parish retreats and other spiritual events for, Bingo, Las Vegas Nights and Beer Feast, it was no wonder people found Christ in protestant churches rather than our own.
That was many years ago, when the parish was supporting a school. Since the school closed, the spiritual life has improved immensely.

Jim

No problems with liturgy, just with the way the over-controlling pastor does things. Example: he didn’t like the carpet in the church hall which was remodeled by previous pastor no more than a year and a half previously. So he had it taken out and replaced with tile. Not only was this a huge waste of money to take out this almost new carpeting just to satisfy his own preference but now the church hall is extremely noisy because the carpet absorbed some of the noise. He doesn’t like communion in the hand so he insists on people receiving on tongue and this is a regular parish, not a tridentine Mass parish. He doesn’t like people sitting in back of the church, so he won’t turn on the lights in the back half of the church for the evening Mass (it’s a small church so I am not talking about some huge gothic structure).

You really need to find another church. That’s the great thing about Catholic Churches. There are lots of them to choose from. Sometimes the longer ride is worth it. I would however send a letter to him addressing my concerns, but then I would leave.

Although I do like my parish, I am starting to get tired of the liturgical abuse, specifically holding hands/lifting hands during the “Our Father.” I am wondering why our priests do not enforce against this; maybe it takes people to complain and therefore I have to make a complaint myself? Though to who directly, I can’t begin to know. And to how I would bring up the issue, I don’t have a clue. I myself never have or do not practice holding/lifting the hands during the “Our Father.” I am wondering where this practice surfaced from; when I was in church a decade ago, this practice was not commonplace. Now in the past few years, people have started doing it.

I know I’m at Mass for the Eucharist and should not pay attention to what other people sitting in the pews around me are doing, but it’s hard not to notice when you’re one of the few people (me) who isn’t holding or lifting your hands in the air. I suppose I’ll have to somehow bring up this issue with the priest? But how?

Another problem with my parish that I’ve been noticing is all the constant chatter of people in the pews around me when I’m kneeling before the Mass starts. I would think if people would like to have loud conversations, they could go out in the narthex to talk. Many people have been treating pre-Mass as if it’s a social club, and it’s being rude to those who want some quiet prayer.

That’s really it, I guess. I really wish I could find the courage to attend Latin Mass, but I don’t feel like driving more than half an hour to the nearest parish that offers Latin Mass. Plus I’m afraid of the fact I don’t know what dress code is appropriate and there may be some discrimination against someone like me who wears conservative, business casual shirts/pants to work instead of dresses. I really wish that my parish offered Latin Mass because I wouldn’t need to drive a long distance (my parish is less than 5 minutes away from where I live).

I guess I either have to find another parish that offers Latin Mass, or try to stop the liturgical abuse in the Ordinary Form at my current parish. Or just deal with it.

The parishioners holding hands is not a liturgical abuse. It may certainly be annoying though. I would reccomend against changing parishes for that reason alone. Try sitting closer to the front, keep your eyes closed during the Our Father and let it go.

As for the EF Mass, maybe go on a field trip one week and see what it’s like. I wouldn’t worry about wearing a dress. Just dress neatly and modestly as you do already and check it out!

Yes, I have had issues with my pastor. But then, I have also had conflict with my wife. Life is not about avoiding conflict. What I did, was talk to the guy when I knew the next potential conflict was coming. We went back and forth and hashed out the issues. I got what I wanted and he got what he wanted. In this case, the kids won.

Wouldn’t that make the consecration invalid? Has anyone at your parish contacted the bishop?

I’d deal with it by finding a parish I like.

Sigh. I understand. More than I want to.

We don’t hold hands, either. I have to close my eyes as I stand, with my hands in ‘prayer’. I close my eyes a LOT during Mass. If only I could close my ears too, to the noise and distractions, to the people having conversations during the Eucharistic Prayer or the Homily, or the Readings.

Our parish is also very ‘social’ it seems (unless you’re ‘new’…I’m not sure how long it takes to break into their social club). It doesn’t matter if it’s the LifeTeen Mass or the morning Mass. The *disrespect *in my Father’s House is the same with adults and teens. I think it’s important not just to tell people to be silent, but WHY to be silent. WHY to be reverent. But in the meantime…loud conversation that drowns out EVERY part of the silence in the Church. I plugged my ears today before Mass. Why are people so afraid of the silence? We can’t be silent at home, in the car, with our loved ones, or at Church. :frowning: :frowning: What might God be wanting to say? Are we scared?

As for the 1/2 hour…many people drive that or more to attend Mass. I’m blessed to have many parishes in my area, and I"ll drive to the reverent one when I can. In the meantime, I am just trying to bear it, and trying to think of how to bring it up to either the Youth Minister or the Priest.

Silence is something that is really needed in Church, and prayer in general. Many people are afraid of silence. But if anything, the world would be a better place if people could acknowledge some silence. Even when I try to have “silent” prayer, there are still a million noises and distractions to take my mind off my prayer, especially when saying the rosary. There might be a neighbor’s dog outside completely breaking my silent prayer, if that’s an example. It’s too bad we can’t get some silence at Mass.

I don’t hate my parish but I wish they would offer Latin Mass. We have Ordinary Form Mass and oddly enough, Charismatic Catholic Mass. Why offer Charismatic first and the original Latin Mass not at all? We don’t use any Latin whatsoever.

We have a problem with our priest. Over the past year or so he has essentially “purged” our Parish of longstanding members and staff. A few examples are:

  • Choir Director (and then entire choir): Called in for pay cut; told the choir was “too good” (it was awesome, I loved it - inspired me to sing!). Also the choir was “too intimidating” because it was “too good” (I never heard a complaint, nor was anyone ever excluded from the choir). Our priest also complained about a member of the choir who was not Catholic. There’s too much to list, but after the litany of complaints and outright insults, our Choir Director opted to not renew his contract. All members of the choir quit.
  • He accused parish members (some staff) of stealing collection money. It was his perception that money was missing because the money bag was either empty or “light”. Police were involved. DNA samples were requested of the staff!
  • Parish secretary finally quit after being hounded. She was told to remove all personal items (like family picture) from her desk, as the desk is parish property. And her paid time off meant that she had to find a replacement AND she had to pay that replacement out of her own pocket.
  • Most recently, the Admin Assistant called in to tell the priest that she could not come in because there was a State of Emergency declared due to the winter weather. His response was “well I am here”. She responded that of course he is, he lives there!. The resulting conversation ended up with her being fired.

Our priest is known to berate staff. The above are a few of the numerous incidents I know about. Many people have left. Some of the staff members really needed those jobs. Luckily most were quickly hired by other parishes - they are good and valuable people.

This priest has a history of these kinds of “problems” and has been moved around a few times. There have been numerous attempts to get answers or action from the Diocese, and there is no response. It just doesn’t seem right that people who have been attending this church for many many years apparently have no other choice but to “suck it up” or find a different church.

Find another Catholic Church. It may be a little longer commute but it will be worth it. Sometimes you can’t fight the fire!

Sorry, but that will be the last resort.
It is disheartening that the Diocese shows no interest in parishioners per se. Some things never change; keep quiet, close your eyes, don’t make waves…
The flock should just mosey on over to another parish; no matter how long they’ve attended, supported, and belonged to this one.

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