I am in the middle of a conundrum. I am not sure what I should do.
I am/was a member of a parish that is about 45 km from the the town I live in, in northern Canada. Actually, it isn't really a parish, it is really a missionary church.
My fellow parishioners refer to us as outsiders, basically because we aren't from the local area. From that term, I guess you can see where I am going with this.
For all intents and purposes we have a small parish, anywhere from 10 to 45 showing up on Sundays with the average being around 20.
Both my wife and I were quite active in the parish since we found the church in this area in 2005. I was a liturgical minister (reader), on the parish council, the diocese deanery, Knights of Columbus. Like all organizations, we had our share of disagreements and agreements.
During the winter of 2010, I became quite sick and was unable to go out between December and February. When I returned to church for the first time. Several members came up to me after mass and asked why I had decided to return to church and not stay away. Until this time didn't realize that there was any kind of problem, however, I was given to understand that since we weren't one of "them", (remember we were always considered "outsiders"), they were hoping that we wouldn't return.
I spoke with our parish priest about this matter and he told me that it wasn't right and that was it. I attended mass for a few more weeks, but the resentment had come to the surface and actually became palatable. I resigned from the activities that I was involved in. We had only two other people in the parish that were our friends. So we stopped attending this church and starting attending another church in a distant town (130km). Because we are in an isolated community and are greatly affected by weather and local conditions, we cannot always make it to mass at the new location. I discussed with the priest there and he told us that we should make it when we can and God will forgive us for those times that we couldn't.
Our problem, especially during winter, is that we are unable to make it to church more that we actually are able to attend. While, Father has said it was ok, I am starting to feel really guilty about missing mass on these occasions and I really don't want to go back to our old church because I don't want to go somewhere where we are wanted.
I really don't know what my question it, but I would appreciate any comments that might help.
Thank you and God bless.