Watching a Cradle Catholic wander away


#1

An internet group I’ve belonged to for years has a small sub-group of Christians (to comply with the no religious messages on topic main group…)

Anyway, I am one of two practicing Catholics in the group – and for the most part it is a very charitable group. One young lady is a cradle Catholic. She has been feeling isolated, too old for the youth group, past the college crowd – not married – kind of stuck in between without fellowship. I have had some conversations off line about her Catholicism – then, she will go silent for awhile. Last update was she had signed up to be a greeter at her Parish -

This message was posted this morning:


“[font=Arial]Hello all,
Seriously I am on what seems a never ending quest to find my place in religion and church. I was a greeter which ended as did my attendance, I know I know but I tried to put my heart into it, it just didn’t grab me and I am not into doing things half-butted.

Anyways, so I went surfing on the net and came across this huge Christian church ( the thing takes up a block ) and saw all the groups they have. There is this one group called Impact 20 for Christians in their 20’s and early 30’s which meet every Wednesday night. Cool thing is that it is open to [/font]ALL Christians no matter if [font=Arial]you are Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, etc. Also you don’t need to
be a church member either. I decided to take the plunge and go, and let me tell you [/font]OMG it was awesome. Walking in and seeing others my [font=Arial]age, girls [/font]AND guys on the same age level who believe in God. I [font=Arial]walked in and said basically hi I am a new person. Right away they introduced me to other people and offered to sit with me in which I said sure. [/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]They started off with music played by a band and words on
three screens, next there was a sermon by a pastor in his 20’s and boy did it talk to me. Then they talked about their mission to [/font]Ecuador and the person talking said how many people where Catholic [font=Arial]by upbrining and not by choice, which got me thinking.

I am Catholic by baptism and how I was brought up. Am I Catholic though because I personally want to be or because I am comfortable with it because its all I know. Please note, this was not a hey lets convert catholics thing, it is my own personal questioning.

Anyways it was an awesome experience and I definitely want to go back on Wednesday nights. Seriously though, it was nice, no stoning the Catholic, no religious debates, none of that ****. So, I am a step forward to finding a belonging.”

*****************************[/font]

So – help me out here. She lives half a nation away from me, but I cannot just sit on my hands… When I was her age, I was on my journey into the Catholic Church. I could use some advice here from some of you Cradle Catholics who may have had similar experiences…


#2

This is heartbreaking to read.
There are so many Catholics living on the edge. It seems that only various circumstances in life keep them holding on… There is a feeling of searching and not being fed among many Catholics today.
The problem is lack of true leadership and obedience from many (not all ) of our bishops and priests. Until this changes we will continue to witness many disparaging situations like this.

If you have never witnessed this in your life personally…family, friends and fellow parishioners, you are an exception…very sad.


#3

So she would trade the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Present among us, for a youth group???

With people that would desire to convert Catholics in Equador??


#4

Wow. It sounds like she’s very happy and excited about this church. I pray that it’ll help bring her closer to Christ, His true church and His saving grace. Good for her. It’s always nice to hear inspirational stories like that. :slight_smile: Though I was puzzled that you weren’t pleased about this. Maybe I missed something in the story? :confused:


#5

[quote=ChristianWAB]Wow. It sounds like she’s very happy and excited about this church. I pray that it’ll help bring her closer to Christ, His true church and His saving grace. Good for her. It’s always nice to hear inspirational stories like that. :slight_smile: Though I was puzzled that you weren’t pleased about this. Maybe I missed something in the story? :confused:
[/quote]

Well, she is IN His True Church, she as close to Christ each Sunday in the Eucharist that any living mortal can ever be.She can recieve His Saving Grace in Sacramental Absolution.

Why would anyone be happy if she left the Pillar and Foundation of Truth?


#6

[quote=ChristianWAB]Wow. It sounds like she’s very happy and excited about this church. I pray that it’ll help bring her closer to Christ, His true church and His saving grace. Good for her. It’s always nice to hear inspirational stories like that. :slight_smile: Though I was puzzled that you weren’t pleased about this. Maybe I missed something in the story? :confused:
[/quote]

Kage_ar is displeased because this woman has steeped away from the Catholic church. As a devout Catholic, is is saddening to watch.


#7

Exactly - I could send her a thousand books, books are not fellowship… well, except for some of us :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=jrabs]Kage_ar is displeased because this woman has steeped away from the Catholic church. As a devout Catholic, is is saddening to watch.
[/quote]

Oh, okay.

I’d initially read it as, “She wasn’t finding what she was looking for before, but then she succeeded in finding a Christian Church” so I figured that, as long as she’s following Jesus, she’d be okay.

I’d have been more worried if she’d left to become a Scientologist or something. I’m sure she still loves her Catholic friends and is probably pleased that this new place doesn’t church-bash like so many others out there.


#9

What is disheartening to me is the idea that large churches, rock bands, three screen tvs, and hip pastors, mixed with a dose of enthusiasm, is all it takes to pull people out of the Church. When all of this new enthusiam is no longer new, I wonder if she’ll feel like something is again missing in her journey?


#10

[quote=John Joseph]What is disheartening to me is the idea that large churches, rock bands, three screen tvs, and hip pastors, mixed with a dose of enthusiasm, is all it takes to pull people out of the Church. When all of this new enthusiam is no longer new, I wonder if she’ll feel like something is again missing in her journey?
[/quote]

People do get sucked into the “feel good” aspect of that type of environment. It is part of the veil of deceit the enemy weaves - to make us believe that all religions are good as long as they are Christ focused. Of course who doesn’t want to be surrounded by accepting and loving folks. This is a huge draw as well.

I will keep your friend in prayer. This is what is gonna help her most.


#11

I have absolutely no problem with her getting into a better relatioship with Christ, we are all called to do that. That is great, what is sad is she doesn’t know what she has and that is the what we see.

There are many of us who have gone through a lot just to come back to the Catholic Church. What disturbs me is this is the first step sometimes to rejecting the Catholic faith, I did the same thing. I never realized what I had in the Catholic Church and I drifted away… It took years for me to come back.

Many, many Catholics don’t know why they are Catholic and they give it up, like Esau giving up his birthright for a bowl of pottage. There are a lot of feel good Churches out there, I have been part of one at one time. They are good in bringing people closer to Christ, but many times reject the Catholic Church, sometimes to the point of prostelytizing Catholics, and sending missionaries to Catholic countries. They send missionaries not to just bring people closer to Christ, but encourage them to leave the Church and start others. Is that bringing unity?

The Christian thing to do is just preach the gospel and bring people closer to Christ not split up the body of Christ more by Church planting. Do they believe that Lutherans are wrong? Episcopalians? Then why don’t they join together and bring unity, instead of Church planting?

We are a feel good society, and though she might not be leaving for this, it certainly seems like she is leaving because it feels good, not for doctrinal reasons. You shouldn’t be Catholic just, because you want to be, or you were brought up like that, tradition, or you like the art. You should be Catholic if you believe it is true, and Jesus did indeed give us a Church, He died for us and you love Him.

God Bless
Scylla


#12

I think it is very sad for anyone to leave the True Church for a “feel-good” environment. But – the Catholic Church needs to do a much better job to reach out to all people – not just those who fit the social mold.

Not all single people are teenagers or young adults. Not all adults are married, and they don’t all have children. People who feel they have no place in the church (especially if they don’t have an obvious calling to a ministry, such as singing in the choir) may leave, especially if they haven’t been catechized well enough to understand why they should stay.

And the fact that they may have been inadequately catechized is no excuse for us (or the Church) to willingy let those people slip through our fingers.

Crazy Internet Junkies Society
Carrier of the Angelic Sparkles Sprinkle Bag


#13

[quote=kage_ar]So – help me out here. She lives half a nation away from me, but I cannot just sit on my hands… When I was her age, I was on my journey into the Catholic Church. I could use some advice here from some of you Cradle Catholics who may have had similar experiences…
[/quote]

You know what, it may be God’s will for her to wander away for awhile. Reading and hearing the numerous re-version stories here and on the radio, it seems evident that these wanderings into other denominations end up acting as the catalyst the person needs to truly recognize the Truth in Catholicism so that they are able to come home of their own free will, and they end up being stronger Catholics for their time away.

Just keep her in your prayers, keep in touch with her so you can follow her faith journey if you care to. Be thankful she’s leaning toward a Christian denomination instead of New Age, Eastern (Buddhism) or Wiccan influences.


#14

[quote=Brendan]So she would trade the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ Present among us, for a youth group???

With people that would desire to convert Catholics in Equador??
[/quote]

If she fully understood and believed in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist she wouldn’t be going anywhere. There’s nothing we can do to make her believe in it, that’s a matter of the Holy Spirit revealing the Truth of the matter to her in her own time. It may take not participating in the Eucharist over time to get her to miss it, without really knowing why or recognizing that she’s missing it…but it’ll tug at her heart and something will always be amiss wherever she goes, until she comes home.


#15

[quote=kage_ar]An internet group I’ve belonged to for years has a small sub-group of Christians (to comply with the no religious messages on topic main group…)

Anyway, I am one of two practicing Catholics in the group – and for the most part it is a very charitable group. One young lady is a cradle Catholic. She has been feeling isolated, too old for the youth group, past the college crowd – not married – kind of stuck in between without fellowship. I have had some conversations off line about her Catholicism – then, she will go silent for awhile. Last update was she had signed up to be a greeter at her Parish -

This message was posted this morning:


“[font=Arial]Hello all,
Seriously I am on what seems a never ending quest to find my place in religion and church. I was a greeter which ended as did my attendance, I know I know but I tried to put my heart into it, it just didn’t grab me and I am not into doing things half-butted.

Anyways, so I went surfing on the net and came across this huge Christian church ( the thing takes up a block ) and saw all the groups they have. There is this one group called Impact 20 for Christians in their 20’s and early 30’s which meet every Wednesday night. Cool thing is that it is open to [/font]ALL Christians no matter if [font=Arial]you are Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, etc. Also you don’t need to
be a church member either. I decided to take the plunge and go, and let me tell you [/font]OMG it was awesome. Walking in and seeing others my [font=Arial]age, girls [/font]AND guys on the same age level who believe in God. I [font=Arial]walked in and said basically hi I am a new person. Right away they introduced me to other people and offered to sit with me in which I said sure. [/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]They started off with music played by a band and words on
three screens, next there was a sermon by a pastor in his 20’s and boy did it talk to me. Then they talked about their mission to [/font]Ecuador and the person talking said how many people where Catholic [font=Arial]by upbrining and not by choice, which got me thinking.

I am Catholic by baptism and how I was brought up. Am I Catholic though because I personally want to be or because I am comfortable with it because its all I know. Please note, this was not a hey lets convert catholics thing, it is my own personal questioning.

Anyways it was an awesome experience and I definitely want to go back on Wednesday nights. Seriously though, it was nice, no stoning the Catholic, no religious debates, none of that ****. So, I am a step forward to finding a belonging.”

*****************************[/font]

So – help me out here. She lives half a nation away from me, but I cannot just sit on my hands… When I was her age, I was on my journey into the Catholic Church. I could use some advice here from some of you Cradle Catholics who may have had similar experiences…
[/quote]

HEY! Invite her onto these boards and then ask her if she gets EWTN and can watch Life on the Rock…ask her if SHE can start a group…maybe we can ease her into the idea that she is not supposed to go to church to be entertained…she is supposed to go to Mass to be with her LORD…


#16

[quote=kage_ar][font=Arial]Anyways, so I went surfing on the net and came across this huge Christian church ( the thing takes up a block ) and saw all the groups they have. There is this one group called Impact 20 for Christians in their 20’s and early 30’s which meet every Wednesday night. Cool thing is that it is open to [/font]ALL Christians no matter if [font=Arial]you are Christian, Catholic, Lutheran, etc. Also you don’t need to
be a church member either. I decided to take the plunge and go, and let me tell you [/font]OMG it was awesome. Walking in and seeing others my [font=Arial]age, girls [/font]AND guys on the same age level who believe in God. I [font=Arial]walked in and said basically hi I am a new person. Right away they introduced me to other people and offered to sit with me in which I said sure. [/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]They started off with music played by a band and words on
three screens, next there was a sermon by a pastor in his 20’s and boy did it talk to me. Then they talked about their mission to [/font]Ecuador and the person talking said how many people where Catholic [font=Arial]by upbrining and not by choice, which got me thinking.

I am Catholic by baptism and how I was brought up. Am I Catholic though because I personally want to be or because I am comfortable with it because its all I know. Please note, this was not a hey lets convert catholics thing, it is my own personal questioning.

Anyways it was an awesome experience and I definitely want to go back on Wednesday nights. Seriously though, it was nice, no stoning the Catholic, no religious debates, none of that ****. So, I am a step forward to finding a belonging.”

*****************************[/font]

So – help me out here. She lives half a nation away from me, but I cannot just sit on my hands… When I was her age, I was on my journey into the Catholic Church. I could use some advice here from some of you Cradle Catholics who may have had similar experiences…
[/quote]

Help you out by trying to stop her? Sorry, aint gonna happen. She is going to pursue this no matter what you say - why wouldnt she? I have been saying for the longest time how weak the average parish life is for Catholics between the ages of 15 and 65 - there is nothing aimed at them. All the effort seems to go to the “not confirmed yet” and those of retirement age. She won’t be walking either, she’ll be running. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that if she is seeking Truth it will lead her back to the Church - in time.

Phil


#17

I have suggested these boards - sent links, and I’m going to do it again!


#18

No one who truly understands what we Catholics have
would ever wander away.


#19

The most basic thing she needs to undrstand is that the Catholcic Church is not a social club.


#20

[quote=jrabs]People do get sucked into the “feel good” aspect of that type of environment. It is part of the veil of deceit the enemy weaves - to make us believe that all religions are good as long as they are Christ focused.
[/quote]

I only partially agree with this statement. I agree that if it is the “feel good” aspect of the group that is calling he in well then that will pass if the group is just as you describe it.

On the other hand it’s obvious that this woman’s parish is not providing for her needs. I have noticed that in the late adolescent years the Catholic church seems to be more of an after thought for many young people. Many of my friends who are “Catholic” are only so in name. It isn’t until they have families/children that they turn back to church unless they see something there worth staying for (in this time familial ties are usually not so strong so spiritual/familial obligations can take a back seat to the individuals search for God). Add a growing sense of alienation from the other parishioners to a community that provides for her spiritual needs beyond just the traditions of the church and I’d say it’s understandable that you have people leaving during this time.

I understand the arguments about the Eucharist and all of that but we need spiritual nourishment from those around us. I think sometimes the Catholic church can feel (at least this is how it comes across to me) very much like you have a room full of strangers who are all on their own path. Again I’m not Catholic co of course that plays into it but when I went to mass with my Wife we were out the door a few moments after the last amen. When we went to my church it took about twenty minutes because everyone was talking to each other and not rushing off to the next thing. As Christians we are called to fellowship not only with Christ but with our Christian brothers. It’s a gift and not a burden.

Again I want to make it clear that this is my experience and I’m sure the opposite is true in many cases but I can only comment on what I have experienced. That being said I think you will see more and more people on these “edge” groups who have looser ties to the church being drawn to places where they see their spiritual needs being met. Maybe smaller parishes would help, it’s hard to have a really close group when there are over a thousand people. My church went to cell groups of 20 for evening services and it really helped build the community. Maybe a movement to something similar would be what the Catholic church needs.


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