To be shredded or not


#1

I dont know where to post this dilemma of mine. I half expect to be shredded on here, from the posts I’ve read on these forums. But I do feel anonymous enough to continue.
I was a lukewarm catholic alot of my life until I seen to the baptism of my husband and children. I made a promise to become a more sincere catholic and this means weekly mass.
I just haven’t clicked with this priest [a former priest baptised my famlily] This current priest is so uncomfortable around me. Occasionally I will attend the saturday mass, and the attendance is small, sunday is more popular.So out in the foyer after mass the social scene is more personal. He will have his back to me the whole time, and its not just this one time but all the time, and then he will go out for a cigarette. He is so friendly towards parishioners. He can talk to anybody, anyone, baptise 5 families at once, sings in musicals and plays, address a church filled to the brim. But he can barely utter a sentence to me.
Its like his every effort is not to engage glances or conversation my way. I dont presume any of this, its too obvious, his body language is a give away. He has not called me by name ever, and I recieve communion from him every week for the last 3 1/2 years. This has become a viscious cycle and I dont want to upset him even more, so am staying away from his space, and I’m scared.
I have waited so long to belong to a church family, but now I’m there I feel like I dont belong at all.
I am ready for the onslaught.

Shae


#2

[quote=Shae]I dont know where to post this dilemma of mine. I half expect to be shredded on here, from the posts I’ve read on these forums. But I do feel anonymous enough to continue.
I was a lukewarm catholic alot of my life until I seen to the baptism of my husband and children. I made a promise to become a more sincere catholic and this means weekly mass.
I just haven’t clicked with this priest [a former priest baptised my famlily] This current priest is so uncomfortable around me. Occasionally I will attend the saturday mass, and the attendance is small, sunday is more popular.So out in the foyer after mass the social scene is more personal. He will have his back to me the whole time, and its not just this one time but all the time, and then he will go out for a cigarette. He is so friendly towards parishioners. He can talk to anybody, anyone, baptise 5 families at once, sings in musicals and plays, address a church filled to the brim. But he can barely utter a sentence to me.
Its like his every effort is not to engage glances or conversation my way. I dont presume any of this, its too obvious, his body language is a give away. He has not called me by name ever, and I recieve communion from him every week for the last 3 1/2 years. This has become a viscious cycle and I dont want to upset him even more, so am staying away from his space, and I’m scared.
I have waited so long to belong to a church family, but now I’m there I feel like I dont belong at all.
I am ready for the onslaught.

Shae
[/quote]

Sit down, put pen to paper and tell him, or just go up to him and ask him if it’s your imagination or is he ignoring you.
I would write, as the written word as a way of penetrating the heart, or you can just ignore him and offer it as penance.
Whatever you decide, I hope you get it resolved. :blessyou:


#3

Priests are human too. They have their own individual personalities and interests which may or may not click with all their parishioners. You seem to be focusing (perhaps too much) on your “relationship” with your parish priest. But recognize that even though you may want to have a close personal and social relationship with your priest, that is only your desire and expectation. The priest only facilitates and assists in the religious life of his parishioners. Each parishioner is responsible for developing his or her own relationship with God.

Surely, you can find your niche within the parish community, even if you are not close with your parish priest. Indeed, maybe he doesn’t know your name. If you get more involved in parish activities, he will get to know you better. Plus you will probably feel better about the parish, your faith, and maybe even the priest the more actively involved you become. I hope this message doesn’t come across as “shredding”. (Is that an Australia expression? It isn’t American!) Welcome back to the richness of our Catholic faith! Stick with it and you will be glad you did!


#4

Shae,

I believe that this concern and perceived slight from your priest is very real to you.

Maybe you could share what sort of relationship/interaction you wish to have with your priest in an ideal situation. Are you looking for a simple “Hello! How are you?” or something more? It concerns me that you are so hyper-aware of his body language in relation to you. Have YOU said hello to HIM?

You mentioned wanting to belong to a church family. May I suggest getting involved in a parish ministry? You will get to know other members of the parish and perhaps feel more included.

May I ask if you commonly perceive that others are excluding you? If so, perhaps this is more than just over-focusing on your parish priest. What about getting to know this specific priest is so important to you? I would only second what La Chiara said, as our relationship with God and our belongingness to the Catholic Church should not be dependent upon whether or not we are close to any priest.


#5

Good advice from LaChiara, Shae. You may be reading more into the situation than it warrents.

Have you approached the priest after Mass with say a positive comment his homily or a sincere question? Maybe the priest doesn’t know you well enough to initiate a conversation. Also maybe he’s forgotten your name and is embarrassed. (We have name tags but not everyone wears them)

Try approaching the priest in a friendly and sincere manner and see what happens. I am sure it’s distressing to feel that the priest doesn’t like you but you may be misinterpreting his reaction.

Lisa N


#6

I used to have a parish priest who was very close to me, but somewhat cold to my wife. I began to observe that he wasn’t like this just with my wife, it was with all women. He was a very holy man, and didn’t want to give even the slightest chance of any scandal. So he kept his distance from women.

It could be that your priest is just being careful, trying to guard himself. Maybe he finds you attractive, and he’s trying to avoid the near ocaission of sin. I agree that a letter could possibly resolve the issue. And I would encourage you to get invloved in a ministry. Service to God is more important than having a good relationship with the priest.


#7

Great advice given, all.

If you desire to be a part of the parish family, that’s much more than one man. Desiring his attention may be unhealthy spiritually for either one of you.

I recall a priest from our parish who was a wonderful, holy man. He once told me how appalled he was that women would come to the rectory, on parish business, dressed in shorts, etc. He exclaimed to me, “This is a house where men live and are called to celibacy! These women shouldn’t come here dressed like that!” Of course, he was correct. We women don’t know what affect our dress, our body language, even a glance may have upon a man.

To further illustrate, this same priest was away for quite a time. The first time I saw him after he’d returned to the parish, I (like an idiot!) ran up to him and gave him a warm hug and told him how great it was to have him back. Well, he completely stiffened and didn’t return the hug! Ooops. Silly me. I was only thinking of myself.

Love that dear priest with the heart of Christ, and pray for his soul. But do respect that he may avoid certain people for his own spiritual good.

God Bless. <><


#8

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