Trying to Find a Catholic Community


#1

Does anyone know of any Catholic communities that you’d reccomend? I’m surprised there aren’t more resources on this, I’ve been googling about it a lot. I would like to live in a Catholic community, for the good of my own soul.

I’ve been coming back to the Church. I say it that way, because I decided to come back to the Church in about May of this year. I was going to Mass faithfully and was planning on going to a Catholic college (which will remain nameless here). Anyways, other than Mass, I met 0 Catholics, I talked to one priest 2 times. And I stopped going to Church for the last few months. The last Mass I went to was at the end of September.
So, I want to go to a community where I can go back to the Church. I don’t want to join like a missionary activity thing (I’m not in a place to be doing that). I have a lot of personal demons that I’d like to combat. Like St. Benedict spent 3 years in a cave. I want to go somewhere where I can become Holy. I NEED to, actually.

A few days ago I was very depressed. I’m not sleeping right, I have very few people in my life. And I have very few people to talk to about my decisions. Like, at the moment, 2 friends. My parents are out of my life and so is my brother. None of them are particularly religious anyways.

Lets see, I’m gay, I have depression. I have a 14 year+ pornography addiction. And it made me leave the Church to seek out a gay lifestyle, which I did for less than 2 years (2016-2018) before deciding to come back to the Church 6 months ago. So, wherever I go, I need to find people who can help me with these issues. Many Catholics aren’t comfortable talking about them [I once lived with a Catholic Deacon, but my priest told me NOT to tell him I had same sex attraction, even though I later saw a Courage DVD at his house. Clearly he would’ve been qualified to talk to me and help me on it, but my priest advised against it, so I never did]. Anyways, point being, my sexuality and porn addiction and the mental issues that stem from that are just problems like any other, and I need to find people who will help me tackle them. Rather than me being quiet about it and keeping it to myself. They need to be addressed.

I could go on lol. But I’ll try to end it here. I was just giving some background on me that is pretty relevant. Ideally, I just want to find somewhere where I can still be working and making money (bc I definitely need to be doing that right now), but where I’m also living in Catholic community. Finding my place in the world, becoming Holy. I wasn’t ready to go to college by myself. I have plenty of gifts and talents, but when left to my own devices things get bad. I’m just perhaps not cut out to go it alone, I mean, most ppl probably aren’t.

I look forward to the responses. I may be going to a Benedictine Abbey near me to ask them if they have any ideas on this…


#2

I think most Catholics find their community in their local parish. Those who want the community aspect find ways of meeting and connecting with people, usually in service endeavors. You say you haven’t been to mass in months, yet you desire a Catholic community. Involvement in your parish is the first step in being a part of a Catholic community. Go to mass. Get to know people. Sign up to serve somehow (check the bulletin or talk to the ushers).

My experience is that being of service to others – rather than meeting people with an attitude of “how can you help meet my needs?” – is the way that relationships form and develop. And until those relationships form and develop, sharing your most intimate struggles is absolutely not appropriate. In fact, when it comes to temptations and sin, it may never be appropriate to share those struggles with anyone other than your confessor or a counselor.

When I meet someone new who dumps all their emotional and physical issues on me in our first encounters, I feel uncomfortable. I’m not a psychiatrist or a counselor, and I’m not renting out rooms, and I’m not hiring for jobs.

I pray you find what you are looking for.

In the meantime, meet God halfway, and go to confession and get to mass. God bless you!


#3

Thanks for your response, but I disagree with most of it.

Most Catholics have a family at home. So, they live “community of persons” at home with them. I’m single and gay, and will never have a family. So, for me, I don’t think finding community at my local parish is what I’m looking for.
Also, I do have a serious addiction, as I said, and serious mental health problems. So, I’m not in a place to be performing any ministry. I need to go somewhere that can help me. I’m not looking to dump my problems on some random people at a parish. But, presumably there are ministries and communities that CAN help me, and I’m posting here to say, I need to find one of those. At this stage in my life.
Lastly, not being able to share my problems only made them worse.
I do appreciate the prayers though, I need all of those I can get!


#4

Sorry I couldn’t be of help. I do recommend contacting a local parish and making an appointment to speak with a priest there about your needs and concerns.

You might also contact Catholic Charities within your diocese if you are looking for some sort of group home or halfway house setting.

God bless you.


#5

I’m not sure you’re ever going to find a single community or group that will meet all your needs. It may be more a case of finding multiple communities. A Gertabelle said, joining with a like-minded group to serve others is a great way to both meet people and get out of ourselves. A prayer group or small Christian community may be good. A spiritual director and a counselor may be helpful. Joining a group like Courage may help. While there may be some overlap, each group has a different purpose.


#6

I don’t know where you live OP but this is a difficult issue because of the relatively low numbers of Catholics in many places. Parish communities often don’t work for everyone as you’ve found. There are a lot of lone Catholics and these folk need to be better acknowledged and supported.

Have you tried seeking secular help with some of your issues? It can be harder to find counselors that are also supportive of your religious beliefs but they are out there.

I would keep going to mass and try to find time for private prayer. Volunteering can be good but you sound in a bad place and need some healing yourself first.


#7

I’d recommend a Courage chapter if you can find one.


#8

I did email my local Courage chapter. I happen to live somewhere that has one. I’ve been to Courage in the past, and I didn’t have a great experience when I was going. But, hopefully this will be different.

It is kind of a lifelong goal of mine to make a community that will work for me. I mean, I don’t imagine I’m so unique. I think there’s a real need in the Church for more communities. I mean, many many people are becoming more isolated in our society. People didn’t used to stay in their homes and watch tv/ internet all day back in our grandparent’s day. People knew their neigbhors. Etc. Also, not to mention how many people are addicted to pornography. That’s another real challenge that’s not going away.

I was going to a counselor about a year ago, and it was funny how for like 5 or 6 sessions he kept saying at the end “Oh yeah, the pornography addiction, well, we’ll have to cover that first thing in our next session!” And we never ended up getting around to it. When I’m looking at pornography, it ultimately makes me want to leave the Church and go back to the gay lifestyle. So, its a pretty pressing concern. I’ve never dealt with it in 14 years. I was a practicing Catholic for close to 5 years. I got confirmed, and I remained addicted that entire time.

I live in Ohio currently. But, I’ve moved around a lot in my life. And, I’d certainly be willing to move to a community. The only one on my radar now is called the Alleluia Community in Augusta Georgia. So, that’s gotta be like 12+ hours from where I am. Hopefully someone will have some leads here. I’ll be asking some priests soon…


#9

First of all my prayers are with you. God loves you and He wants you to come back to Him and His Catholic church. You are like many of us looking for a place to belong. I would DEFINITELY say get involved with a Courage group wherever you go. They will be the best ones to listen, help and know where you are coming from. Be as involved in the Church Parish as you can. Frequent the Sacrament of Confession and then Holy Communion, pray the Rosary daily and ask our Lady to help you with all of the things going on in your life. Best to you.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be


#10

I second giving Courage another chance. Perhaps that will help?

The only other thing I can think of is perhaps a religious order, or if you wish to remain lay, perhaps Opus Dei or a lay third order?


#11

Again, I hope so. I emailed the Courage here, and they’re only having one meeting between now and after the New Year, bc of Christmas. So… I’ll go to that.

I used to be closely associated with a Benedictine monastery. But I discerned that it wasn’t for me.
I would like to pretty similar to religious life, but as a laymen. I mean, aren’t there tons of news stories out that say gay men shouldn’t be allowed to be priests or religious?
Yeah… so, thats the end of discernment for me, as far as I’m concerned. I can’t be a religious, or a priest, or be married to a woman. So, no more discernment! Yay! :roll_eyes:

TBH though, I have thought about Opus Dei being an option. I’ve heard they have houses/ communities where singles live. But, I’ve never actually met any Opus Dei people or anyone who knew much…


#12

I feel for you. It does sometimes seem like people who don’t fit in such as people with SSA are always being told what they can’t do rather than what they can do.


#13

Sounds like you need to formulate your own plan of life for the time being. Times for rising and retiring; meals; sacramental participation; Liturgy of the Hours; rosary and Divine Mercy chaplet. ADORATION.

Carry a green scapular with St. Benedict and Miraculous medals and pray the prayers often. Visualize pouring a chalice of the Precious Blood over yourself, especially when tempted. Offer your temptation for the conversion of those who are suffering from the same thing, and you’ll be surprised at how quickly the demons take flight.

Ask Our Lord and Our Lady to send a bolus of the grace of distraction when you are attracted to that which is unhealthy. They have to have permission before they can act. Be sure this is what you’re really wanting mentally, or the grace won’t be given. It’s only through grace that changes can be made. Courage is nice, but you really need the grace of God to be able to change anything.

Be sure to get the help you need for your mental illnesses. Concentrate on stabilizing your work and devotional life. God often works through events, and if He wants you to deepen your baptismal promises by joining a community, He will have you meet up with them.

Blessings,
Mrs Cloisters OP
Lay Dominican
http://cloisters.tripod.com/
http://cloisters.tripod.com/charity/
http://cloisters.tripod.com/holyangels/id9.html/


#14

My Diocese


#15

I am suspicious of a community that you seek. It seems to me after awhile many such communities of whatever strip tend to go off the deep end, get into this us versus them mentality, and eventually fall apart.

Like you I find it a massive challenge to meet anyone in the Catholic Church. How one is to go about it is beyond me.

It seems that this community involvement you want may be an escape valve. You have to sit down an make a plan of action for yourself regarding work, school, and generally getting your life together. You may be too idle and you know the ole’ saying: “an ldle mind is a devil’s workshop.”


#16

I have no one in my life. If my plan is so bad does anyone have another plan?

I used to be a practicing Catholic. And I went to Mass like 5 times a week. I had no one in my life. It didn’t work. Don’t tell me to get a job and pray and do everything by myself. I am utterly alone. I have no one. No one. I don’t want to live if I’m just asked to work a job and go to Mass by myself.
That also entails eating every meal by myself. Almost never speaking. Watching some tv at night by myself every day. And crying myself to sleep. That describes the vast majority of my days the past several months.
Christianity isn’t supposed to be alone. No man is an island. And I’m about to lose it. And no one had better suggest to me that I should be an island.


#17

I’m going to email them. Because I’m desperate. I will move to Arkansas if it means people will be in my life.


#18

Here’s just a thought. Do y’all want to be part of a Church that doesnn’t have any communities?
I want to join a lay community, basically bc I have to. I’m unable to become a religious, because I’m gay.

But, it seems from the responses here, that there just aren’t any communities. I was kind of expecting “Oh yes, so and so group is just down the road from me, and you should check into them!”. Or “I’ve had an experience with this ministry that sounds like they could really help you!”.

Are there actually any lay communities at all? That I can live in and work in?


#19

I know many parishes with vibrant communities of all sorts. One of the first steps to community is simply showing up to volunteer. Right now my parish needs leaders, volunteers, help in every aspect you can imagine. I long to set up an arts guild at our parish someday :slight_smile:


#20

have you looked at the Cursillo movement? it’s a lay organization but creates a type of community.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.