Should I abandon my parish?

I’ve never been one for socialising, and having lived in the same parish for nearly ten years, I still only know 2 or 3 people, and only as nodding acquaintances at that.

Up until two years ago we had a pretty liberal Priest and it was a real trial to put up with. I often felt more depressed after Mass than at any other time of the week, which was awful. However, two years ago we were blessed with a new Priest who was very devout and traditional and made all kinds of changes for the better - we even had the Extraordinary Form of Mass. Recently, after having had this wonderful Priest for such a brief time, the Bjshop moved him on and has replaced him with a Priest even more liberal than the first one.

I just can’t face going back to the awful liberal rubbish, but I also can’t help but feel, deep down, that maybe a trial is what God intends for me, and that my parish is where I should be. I just don’t know.

I want to do God’s will and not my own. Any advice?

Make sure that the EF Mass is not removed from your parish. If there’s a threat of that, I think you should stay to make sure it doesn’t happen.

It has been already. When the Priest left, it left with him, otherwise I would stay and fight for it, yes.

Without knowing any details, I can only ask if you have read “The Lamb’s Supper: Mass as Heaven on Earth”?

Perhaps what Scott Hahn talks about in that book is something that God is trying to teach you, and the best way to drive you to it is to put you in the same situation that caused Mr. Hahn to write the book in the first place?

Hello Acteon.

Yes, I have read it, although it was some time ago. Can you refresh my memory and tell me exactly what it is that God taught Hahn, and may be trying to teach me?

We were in a similar position with our old Parish and transferred to a new one that has the EF Mass. I know that the Eucharist should be the prime reason we attend Mass. However, a previous pastor we had insisted on homilies that strayed from the Gospel and tended to be liberal. By the time Communion had occurred, no matter how I tried I was in a “bad state of mind” and figured that it wasn’t worth it. By the way, thus pastor also refused to even consider an EF Mass. In the meantime however, I have been visiting other parishes (due to my husband’s illness) and find that some of the parishes celebrate the Mass with as much devotion as the EF Mass, and the homilies seem to be able to stick with the Gospel.

I was just re-reading St. Therese’s “Story of a Soul” and there’s a passage where she says that she loves God so much almost wishes she could be in hell, so that even in that place of desolation and despair, there would be at least one act of love rising up to Him.

Perhaps it would help you to think that way - that no matter how bad your church is, at least you can send God your praises and your love in the midst of your suffering.

Or - you could just find another church! :smiley:

Is this the only Catholic Church you’re able to go to? Have you checked to see if there’s an Eastern Catholic parish nearby?

There is nothing wrong in switching parishes at all. You are not leaving the Catholic Church and if you are troubled by the direction the parish is going (or going back too), if you can then switch then do so. Our family has done that. Usually, a Bishop will leave a priest in a parish for 6 years. It is surprising to see him pulled after 2 years. Either this priest requested it because he had problems with taking over a liberal parish and got tired of the battle with others or your parish council went to the Bishop to complain. Since you do not seem involved with the parish it would be hard to guess. Maybe that is why you got a liberal priest do to the parish council and the behind the scenes issues. I don’t believe that God want us unhappy in our parish homes. It is suppose to be our family of faith. Since you are not involved and little connection with others there this might be the perfect opportunity to move on. God bless.

Father Thomas Dubay (from EWTN) says in one of his books that there is nothing wrong with searching out a parish that you feel comfortable and happy with and to search until you find it. The Lord does not want us to be depressed after mass!! Why would you want to put yourself through that kind of trial again for no reason?

Find a parish that you really like that you can meet others and be happy! The Lord will send you crosses to bear, but the job of guiding and taking care of that parish belongs to the priest and the bishop.

I learned this the hard way. I was at a terrible parish and now have found a better one.

Can. 214 The Christian faithful have the right to worship God according to the prescripts of their own rite approved by the legitimate pastors of the Church and to follow their own form of spiritual life so long as it is consonant with the doctrine of the Church.

General Instruction of the Roman Missal

  1. A Priest, also, who possesses within the Church the sacred power of Orders to offer sacrifice in the person of Christ,[80] presides by this fact over the faithful people gathered here and now, presides over their prayer, proclaims to them the message of salvation, associates the people with himself in the offering of sacrifice through Christ in the Holy Spirit to God the Father, and gives his brothers and sisters the Bread of eternal life and partakes of it with them. Therefore, when he celebrates the Eucharist, he must serve God and the people with dignity and humility, and by his bearing and by the way he pronounces the divine words he must convey to the faithful the living presence of Christ.

That said…your terms “liberal” and “rubbish”…give an idea of the problem…but its hard to give a recommendation without a few specifics…re: orthodox teachings…following the order, words and rubrics of Holy Mass ( “pray the black…do the red”)… homilies IAW Catholic Scripture interpretation and teachings found in the Catechism…right to life, marriage, use of sacraments, being faithful to the Pope and bishop, etc…

Is this a problem that is likewise viewed by other parishioners as you see it…has parish council members been advised of the problem…anyone spoken directly to the pastor about his actions/words???

Pax Christi

Personally I have a bias toward old-fashioned territorial thinking, and so my personal advice would be to stay with your geographical parish except in the most extreme of circumstances.

Move on and find peace.

There is night and day from one catholic church to another based upon Priest, affluent neighborhood or moderate, standing vs kneeling for communion, political aliance , etc.

I know this with three RCC in 5 mile proximity.

So go find peace and a good message. No need for liberal rubbish.

This is really something you need to discern for yourself. I think there are good arguments to be said for both sides.

There’s the familiar idiom that you need to go to where you are being fed. I think there’s some truth to that, but we also need to be careful. I think it’s problematic when people place so much emphasis on their priest that they’re willing to cut bait and run the first time a new priest says something they don’t like. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve heard people leaving their parish (sometimes for another one, sometimes for none at all) for the silliest of reasons. Nonetheless, sometimes the situation can be so spiritually draining that it is better for us to find some place else.

What is the rest of your parish life like? How about the people? Not to denigrate the role of the priest, but the parishioners usually have just as much to do with the tone of the parish as the priest. If there are good people, it makes it easier to weather any problems that arise.

I know it is difficult for us introverts, but I would encourage you to reflect on ways you can more fully participate in the life of your parish (whether it be this one or a new one). We are designed to be in community. We cannot be Catholics in a personal bubble of our own making, only showing up for the priest to dispense to us the sacraments before we return to our “real” life. Trust me, I recognize how difficult that can be. I am an introvert and I usually prefer solitude over interpersonal interaction. But I firmly believe that it is necessary for us to get involved, especially if we want to have any influence at all on the direction our parish moves in. If we’re not willing to get involved and raise these issues, then we cannot really complain if we fail to see any change.

Since I have a semi-similar experience I would suggest that you give yourself a break and try some other churches if that is possible. Go to several services just in case the church you attend is having a bad day. Compare the groups and places for you to join and then go back to your current parish with new eyes. As you have found out the priests are moved, sometimes frequently, so you could change churches and end up with that priest leaving. If you see some hope, stay, you might be surprised how people are aware of you even if you don’t socialize.

You really shouldn’t use political terms like “liberal” to describe that which you do not like. If he doesn’t follow the rubrics then talk to him about it or move on.

I really don’t care for my pastor but he’s certain better than the only other Catholic parish/pastor in town. Recently the other priest announced his retirement and I prayed fervently for a good man to replace him.

I couldn’t believe who the bishop sent. I was astounded actually. Safe to say I won’t be switching parishes anytime soon, but I was preparing to do just that.

Regarding the Scott Hahn book, God may be trying to teach you your own lesson, not the Scott Hahn lesson. Don’t worry about what He taught others. Father Jean-Pierre de Caussade in “Abandonment to Divine Providence” would tell you to make your station in life Holy. Focus only on today - let God take care of you and life. Listen to God, not others - in some ways that’s funny since why should we then listen to him.

Yes. It’s time for a spiritual retreat - sound the trumpet. Abondon the fort…

I have been waiting to use “spiritual retreat” like that for some time.

Very true. The OP can certainly try attending various parishes before making some official decision to switch parishes. Doing so would certainly aid the discernment process.

Excellent advice. The use of “rubbish” is really beyond the pale when associating with the holy Mass. In cases where “liberal cooties” are the stated problem, it could really be a problem of faulty catechesis.

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