I used to be a regular here for about a year. Let me tell this story, and maybe you all can give me some advice.
About 2 years ago I started going to mass weekly. In fact, I didn’t miss but a few Sundays in a year. About 6 months after I began going to mass I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had already been going to mass and confession, so it was with great faith I received anointing for the sick, and went to surgery. While in the hospital for 7 days and having 13 inches of my colon removed, I was never visited by a priest or deacon/extraordinary minister. My priest had asked me to let him know how my surgery went. I had contacted the parish secretary and asked for inclusion in the bulletin so that others could pray for me. My name never appeared in the bulletin, and my priest only occasionally asked how I was doing after I returned. Anyway…
I asked the head of the Lecturers if I could begin training and he took my name and number and promised to call. That didn’t happen. I continued to be faithful to come to mass and I asked my priest after mass one day if I could be recommended for the Diaconate the following year. In front of everyone in line to shake his hand, he said “first you have to get your marriage blessed” and went on to the next person! I was embarrassed and kept walking. My wife is protestant, as was I for 14 years. I was raised a Catholic and returned to the church some 10 years ago. My wife accepts that I have returned to the church, and had agreed to renew our vows at the church, but I was truly embarrassed that Fr. said this in front of all these others. I felt like a little kid being admonished by a parent in front of friends.
I was so disappointed in the situation at my parish church that I am contemplating changing parishes. My priest is rather cold and the congregation is so large with just one priest to be there for everyone, it makes it hard to become involved. In addition, the average age of the congregates is about 20 years older than I.
I was so disheartened that I quit going to mass last fall. I am disappointed in myself, but part of the problem is my work schedule, half excuse, half reality. If I was really dedicated, I would go.
I want to go back to the mass, but I think I would like to go to another parish so as not to confront the priest, who undoubtedly will make me feel just as bad as before, now for missing mass for so long. The other problem is that where I live there is only one Catholic church in the county. The next closest parish is small and older than the other, and the most lively parish is about 30 minutes away. I would love to go there as the priests are Franciscan and there are 4 of them and 3 deacons, whereas my parish has just one priest for 1400 families. I am embarrassed, confused, and needing advice. I know I need to confess and go back to mass, but I really don’t want to be belittled again.