What do you do when your parish doesn't have a Fa.Corapi?


#1

I live in a very rural town and attend a small parish and most of the members are aged, really old and there are no programs. The church is kind of dead, if you know what I mean. Everybody just shuffles in for mass and hurries out to the parking lot after mass.

                          When I watch EWTN the people on the telecasts make being a Catholic an euphoric experience. EWTN has very entertainable hosts such as Scott Hahn, Fa. Corapi,Stephen Ray and Marcus Grodi. But they present the everyday Catholic faith as if everybody is all caught up in the joy of it.
                            But when I attend my parish in the real world I don't see that same joy. Everyone is just THERE and doing their bit, if you know what I mean. It is hard for me to keep going when nobody greets me or talks to one another. I want to believe me. Do any of you experience these things at your church?

#2

Well, it depends on what Mass I go to.

If I go to the 7:15 AM Mass with a Rosary at 6:45, those people, even though they are not “caught up in it all” like we can see, they still have that quiet reverence for God. Isn’t that being caught up too?

But then, the 6 PM Mass, the Lifeteen mass, has people throwing thier hands up and loud singing, and sometimes (gasp) clapping. That is kinda being caught up too.

The other Masses are somewhere inbetween.

There are a lot that walk straight from the communion line to the parking lot and leave. That drives me crazy. I hate seeing a fourth of the church leave right after communion. I think it is kinda disrespectful.

Adam

Edit: I have found with Catholics that going to Mass is usually entirely about God. Where as with Protestant churchs I have gone to, sometimes it is almost a social project. Like people looking around to see who isn’t there that week. My advice is to get involved with the Church programs and projects. Maybe join the choir or something. Meeting people DURING Mass is almost impossible. But if you go to Mass surrounded with people you know, you will feel more “on fire”.


#3

Our parish isn’t the most friendly one either. There are a few who will speak to us upon entering but the rest just seem to glare, probably because we have five kids and there are not too many families there with that many kids. Our priest is a soft spoken man and people kind of take advantage of that. Boy, wouldn’t that be awesome to have Fr. Corapi as your priest!!!


#4

If you live in a rural area, your choices are somewhat limited but it seems to me that you could try and bring in some Bible study or some such thing. Jeff Cavins’ Bible study is good and is available on DVD and video cassette; so too are the other people you mentioned. Perhaps you could bring Fr. Corapi to your parish that way. The main thing is to try your best, and don’t let your expectations be too high: if only three people come to see a video, well, that’s something. If you’re the only one who comes, then you can enjoy the video on your own.

I would talk to the pastor, tell him of your frustrations, and ask if he knows people in the parish who could aid you in encouraging more fellowship.


#5

[quote=Stac4Grace]Boy, wouldn’t that be awesome to have Fr. Corapi as your priest!!!
[/quote]

Yes, but he would be gone all the time speaking at everybody else’s parishes! :frowning:


#6

The real world isn’t TV

I’ve heard teachers complain that the whole “Sesame street let’s make learning fun” approach made things very difficult in the classroom because they couldn’t compete.

Not every congregation is as active as another, not every priest is world-class speaker. Their jobs are tough enough, let’s not make in any harder.


#7

[quote=steveandersen]The real world isn’t TV

I’ve heard teachers complain that the whole “Sesame street let’s make learning fun” approach made things very difficult in the classroom because they couldn’t compete.

Not every congregation is as active as another, not every priest is world-class speaker. Their jobs are tough enough, let’s not make in any harder.
[/quote]

How horribly depressing! :crying:

We should always strive to improve ourselves. I think Sherlock figured it out (how appropriate)! Why should we be complacent?


#8

I was listening to Tim Staples 3-CD conversion story.

He said what you just expressed. How the Pentacostal, and the Assemblies of God were so social, so friendly, so “family”… and the Catholics all seemed bored, somber, or even angry to be at Mass where the fellowship was saved for the parish hall.

The important thing to consider is why we are at Mass… to worship God alone in **His **re-presentation of the event that redeemed us all.

It is sad that your fellow parishioners are anxious to leave. "Well, I was late for Mass, so I will make up for it by leaving early :whacky: " But perhaps, with your suggestions, your priest will give homilies that will encourage them to recognize what they have that our hand-holding separated brethren can’t enjoy.


#9

[quote=msproule]How horribly depressing! :crying:

We should always strive to improve ourselves. I think Sherlock figured it out (how appropriate)! Why should we be complacent?
[/quote]

I didn’t say be complacent but it is also important to know people’s talents and skills and limitations

Having unrealistic expectations can be just as damaging as being complacent


#10

We have an alternate priest who fills in with our regular priest. The alternate priest READS the homily off from a written paper. Sometimes he doesn’t even look up. I did ask about why there weren’t programs and I was told they couldn’t get enough people interested enough to get together. Everyone just wants to come to mass and get home I guess.


#11

Personally, I can’t stand Fr.Corapi…I don’t know what it is, but before he’s opened his mouth he already gets on my nerves. On a Catholic mom’s board everybody was raving about how wonderful he is, so I tried to watch him on EWTN…but no, not my cup of tea! Although, I have to hand it to him: he’s very direct and doesn’t beat about the bush :thumbsup: !

But…I get what you’re saying, why can’t every parish have a charismatic, devout orthodox, well-versed priest who draws the crowds. Yes, but I must admit…I actually like old-fashioned, quiet priests who get the message across without it going ‘over the heads’ of half the congregation. When dh was at seminary, he was told, by the late Cardinal Basil Hume, ‘Aim your sermon at a 14-year-old, don’t make it too wordy or too simplified, that way nobody will feel it goes way beyond their capicity of understanding, and even the children will get something out of it’. If anybody has ever read one of his books, or heard him speak: that was exactly how he did it…And I must admit that is what I like. We have 4 priests and a deacon (who only one rare occassions gets to do a homily), and one of them is so ‘wordy’ you just lose interest within 5 seconds flat. Another is GREAT with children (and thank God our parish is brimming with 0-10-year-olds!), but it means his homilies are like listening to a ‘story before bed-time’ for 4-year-olds. The other two have got it just right: children can follow it, if only parts, teenagers are on the edge of their seats, adults listen attentively and the elderly nod in agreement.

I do agree with the statement that Catholics go to church for the Mass, Protestants see it as ‘fellowship and socialising’. The solution to that would be what we do in our church: all off to the parish-hall afterwards, where the children play together while the adults have coffe/tea & cake/cookies :wink:

Anna x


#12

We can’t expect each parish to have a great speaker and whatnot, but we must expect each parish to have a devout, orthodox priest. For instance, a priest at my parish now is completely out there, he teaches that there is no hell and all sorts of other ideas. This is incredibly dangerous for the faithful? What is a person to do?**


#13

[quote=kyleforu]I live in a very rural town and attend a small parish and most of the members are aged, really old and there are no programs. The church is kind of dead, if you know what I mean. Everybody just shuffles in for mass and hurries out to the parking lot after mass.

                          When I watch EWTN the people on the telecasts make being a Catholic an euphoric experience. EWTN has very entertainable hosts such as Scott Hahn, Fa. Corapi,Stephen Ray and Marcus Grodi. But they present the everyday Catholic faith as if everybody is all caught up in the joy of it.
                            But when I attend my parish in the real world I don't see that same joy. Everyone is just THERE and doing their bit, if you know what I mean. It is hard for me to keep going when nobody greets me or talks to one another. I want to believe me. Do any of you experience these things at your church?

[/quote]

Hey Kyle!
Has it occurred to you that YOU might be part of the answer to that problem?

Yeah, yeah, I know…you’re just one guy, and I understand where you’re comin’ from. I promise.

But think about St Francis of Assisi who was in prayer and heard Our Lord tell him to rebuild His church. Francis at first thought that He had meant the chapel building that he was in and which had become really run down. If you check out his life, you’ll discover just how radically Francis got the message after that and because of him a great many others did as well.

I guess the one word answer is “VOLUNTEER”. Volunteer to lead the Rosary before every Mass that you attend. Volunteer to act as greeter & usher or whatever. Volunteer to do Faith Formation and build the church up. Find one or two people every Mass and shake their hand and get to know them. See if they have any needs that you can help with. Old people get lonely. Find out what your pastor’s needs are and see what you can do to help him.

Ask your pastor for Eucharistic Adoration, even if it’s only for a couple of hours once a week to begin with and be sure it gets put in the bulletin. I have heard some stories of how that has really turned a parish around. Jesus responds with the Holy Spirit when we get into His church and bring in a servant’s heart. Check yourself out and see what all gifts you have that your parish needs and then start the ball rolling. It may not be easy, but if you bathe your efforts in prayer, the Holy Spirit is the one who does all the real work within people. Be friendly and compassionate just like Jesus Himself. He lives within us, so let Him shine out!

Remember what Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said:
The Catholic Church is like a caged lion. You don’t need to defend it.
Just open up the cage and let it out.
Let the lion loose!


#14

[quote=steveandersen]I didn’t say be complacent but it is also important to know people’s talents and skills and limitations

Having unrealistic expectations can be just as damaging as being complacent
[/quote]

I apologize for misinterpreting you. :o

Admittedly, not every parish can be “as seen on TV”. So the parish priests lack good speaking and leadership skills…fine; we all receive different talents.

But if the faithful are merely punching their ticket at the door (if they remember to even bring their tickets with them) then there must be things that can (and should) be done.

Our expectations cannot even begin to match what is taking place on the altar, despite the most meager of appearances. Would a more fiery priest inspire the hearts of these people? Probably. But in absence of that, what can be done?
:hmmm:


#15

[quote=kyleforu]What do you do when your parish doesn’t have a Fa.Corapi?
[/quote]

You be thankful that you have a priest who brings you Mass every week, and that you’re not living in a parish with no priest assigned and gets just a communion service three weeks out of the month.

It’s always better to count your blessings!


#16

I lived in a small town (less than 500) for 3 years. The only activity outside of mass there was CCD, so that’s what we volunteered with. Chances are that your church would take anybody willing to volunteer, regardless of their qualifications (i.e. I wasn’t Catholic at the time, only my wife was). Perhaps you could help instill more enthusiasm in the next generation of Catholics. (Be warned, though, inspiring kids is difficult and sometimes depressing.)


#17

I agree entirely. That’s why, if one tries to light a bit of a fire in a parish, it would be wise to expect to be the only one warmed by it. Think of these efforts as “private devotions” with room for additions!


#18

[quote=forthright]I lived in a small town (less than 500) for 3 years. The only activity outside of mass there was CCD, so that’s what we volunteered with. Chances are that your church would take anybody willing to volunteer, regardless of their qualifications (i.e. I wasn’t Catholic at the time, only my wife was). Perhaps you could help instill more enthusiasm in the next generation of Catholics. (Be warned, though, inspiring kids is difficult and sometimes depressing.)
[/quote]

I don’t think that you should limit yourself to CCD if that’s all there is. Nor is that program necessarily meant to enliven a parish, but is a teaching program geared towards one specific age group. Again, Jeff Cavins’ Bible studies are available in video and DVD, as are other speakers.


#19

Ask not what your parish priest can do for you, ask what you can do for your parish priest.

It is partly our responsibility to bring Catholic Life to our parish. If you want a bible study, start one. Talk to you priest. I would bet that he would be excited to have new blood excited about the faith. There are unlimited possibilities.

The reason why so many Christians hop from church to church is because they want the church to entertain or “feed” them. The church of “What’s Happening Now” usually gets the most visitors.

Be proactive!!!


#20

I have 3 DVDs of Fr Corapi’s talks and hope to get some more soon. I can watch Fr C on EWTN on my computer when I manage to figure out the time difference (usually it is hit and miss).

This post has given me an idea to loan one of the DVDs to another parishioner. Then, later, it they liked it, I will mention that I have another one, and would they like to come around and watch it one evening. And invite the PP as well.

Who knows?


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