Why do you the church is sleeping on some issues?


#1

Single - Instead of providing singles with a support base we're pretty much on our own, or told being single is vocation and we should just live with it. :hmmm:

The mass exodis of Catholics leaving the church. Nothing is done to educate Catholics on their faith and there's a lack of a support bases unless you're a family with a child attending the parish school.

These are just some issues. I could think of more but it really bothers me that the Church seems to be taking a lazy attitude regarding many issues....pursuing vocations would be another.


#2

You’re right with regards to singles. The older one gets, the worse it is.

Nearly all events (parish and otherwise) focus on and cater to families with children. Singles often feel like a ‘fifth wheel’ or an oddball.

I would take issue with ‘the mass exodus’, though. If the ‘leavers’ want to go, then it’s of their own free will. Maybe they weren’t really that serious about their Faith to begin with.

I take some hope in the young people who are at WYD in Madrid, Spain, and in the increase of young vocations to the priesthood and religious life.


#3

[quote="Luvz2travel, post:1, topic:252663"]
Life is what you make of it.

[/quote]

What are you doing to help singles in your parish?

What are you doing to promote adult education?

How about vocations?

Church programs don't magically appear out of nothing. :) Some parishes have the manpower/infrastructure in place to make all of the above appear as though effortlessly. Other parishes are smaller and generally require you to pitch in if you want to see a program past the basics.

My parents' church has 24-hr Eucharistic adoration for vocations, among other things. It's about five minutes away from a gorgeous retreat center, has a St. Vincent de Paul society to help the underprivileged, two different Bible study groups, active KoC and Catholic Daughters organizations, an active youth group, an elementary school with a waiting list a mile long, and more.

My church? We have to borrow a priest from half an hour away twice a week. :p We're lucky to have enough volunteers to teach religious ed for kids. We get promotions for singles events-- at a parish two hours away. And we do have an Altar Society that keeps the church clean and buys Bibles for graduating seniors each year-- all two of our graduates, if it's a good year. :p

You get what you put into things. If you're wanting to see things that don't exist, make them exist. Be a leader. Be active. Don't be passive and grumble that "no one else" makes stuff happen... step up to the plate and get the ball rolling. :thumbsup:


#4

The "exodus" is not an issue. The CC is the largest religious body in the world, and it is growing. So there will naturally be a number who want out. It's called free will.

What do you want to see for singles? If it's an effort to "help single people find someone," I'd respectfully suggest that that isn't the Church's mission. God never promised everybody a spouse.

ICXC NIKA.


#5

Being single is not a vocation - it is a state of being and often temporary or transitory.


#6

Who is this "the Church" that you're referring to? As pointed out, the Church is all of us. Want to know why families get their problems addressed, why there is a parish school at all? Because the parents make it happen, that's why, because there aren't legions of sisters dedicated to the education of children any more. Even when the sisters were running things, they couldn't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Without parental involvement, and lots of it, parish schools die very quickly.

OP, you sound like someone who sees the problems, but hasn't really investigated whether any efforts are being made to address the problems, let alone waded in with ideas and energy of your own. Well, seeing a problem is the start! Great so far!! The next step is to see what is already being done, how, and by whom, and then see if there is anything you can do to encourage, add to, or improve on what is started. The people working on the problems bothering you may have been praying for someone to help them. You may be the answer to that prayer!!

I just heard a priest give a talk yesterday about his experience in starting a new parish. He said that in most parishes, about 10-25% of the parishioners do essentially all of the work, and most of those have to be asked. In other words, you make an announcement: we have this work that needs to be done, please call X if you can help. The other 75% of parishioners just show up for Mass and an occasional other event.

He was delighted to find that new parishes are made up of people who have inititative. Parishioners were constantly coming up to him and saying not, "I see this need, what is the parish going to do about it?" but rather "I see this need, I have this applicable talent and experience, and here is the project I plan to start to address the need. These are the people willing to help me or that I would like to approach. What do you say?" He went on to say that starting a new parish makes it abundantly clear that no one can say, "I founded this parish". No individual person can make that happen.

If you're single and you think your parish needs some project aimed at singles, don't barge in assuming no one cares and no one has done anything. Rather, ask what has been requested, what has been tried so far, when, and by whom, what the results were, what the current thinking is and why. Then poll more singles than those already involved, pray about it, decide what you (plural) think will serve God in addressing this need, approach the pastor with a proposal, and go for it. Be prepared to try several iterations of this before you hit upon a truly significant result, but if you have proceeded on a foundation of prayer, don't be surprised if the Holy Spirit bowls you over right off the bat.

As for educational resources, there are far far more of those in most parishes than there are people showing up to avail themselves of the resources. So what do you mean that there are uneducated Catholics leaving the Church? The classes are offered, the materials are available online, and people don't use them. The truth is, if the bulletins are left out before Mass starts, people will read those instead of listening to the homily! This shows that the Church leadership is lazy? I think you'll see this pattern too often. Don't let it discourage you.

As for pursuing vocations, check out your local chapter of Serra Club. serraus.org/ or
Again: There are lay people out there with projects in mind and doing things, but the bodies to help are hard to scare up.


#7

[quote="Suslar, post:5, topic:252663"]
Being single is not a vocation - it is a state of being and often temporary or transitory.

[/quote]

The question of whether the single life is or is not a vocation is moot, in this particular case. Whether the state is transitory or not, whether it has some status or not, there are single Catholics who advance more quickly in their spiritual life, who suffer less often and less painfully from setbacks, and who are simply more fruitful as Catholics if they are not left totally to their own devices, but rather have the companionship, encouragement, and example of other Catholics in similar circumstances. There is a reason the Lord sent them out two by two.


#8

Dear Luvz2travel,

I am so sorry, when I read your words it just seems like you are in so much pain. Do you feel let down by the church? Is it your local parish, diocese or both? I am so sorry that is your experience.

You know that some of the suggestions people have offered you here are something to pray about. Often sadness or unhappiness about a circumstance are the “trigger” for many people to work for profound change! You could be the one Luvz2travel! You could be the person that the Holy Spirit is calling out to you through your sadness to work for positive change for Catholic singles support in your area.

I will pray for you, thank you for taking the time to share your story here. God bless.


#9

[quote="EasterJoy, post:7, topic:252663"]
The question of whether the single life is or is not a vocation is moot, in this particular case. Whether the state is transitory or not, whether it has some status or not, there are single Catholics who advance more quickly in their spiritual life, who suffer less often and less painfully from setbacks, and who are simply more fruitful as Catholics if they are not left totally to their own devices, but rather have the companionship, encouragement, and example of other Catholics in similar circumstances. There is a reason the Lord sent them out two by two.

[/quote]

I don't understand what you are saying. The OP made the single state a point by the quote "told being single is vocation and we should just live with it." If someone is telling any of us who are single that, the OP should know it is not true. It is not a vocation to be single. Yes, single people can have a vocation but the state of being single is not of itself a vocation. Why are you declaring that a moot point? It can't be moot if the OP included it in the thread.

And is it the OP's responsibility to start a singles group? I don't think so unless it is the OP's calling. Yet, the OP - as like myself - do have the ability to talk to parish staff about being sure singles are included in various social and educational events.


#10

[quote="Monicad, post:8, topic:252663"]
Dear Luvz2travel,

I am so sorry, when I read your words it just seems like you are in so much pain. Do you feel let down by the church? Is it your local parish, diocese or both? I am so sorry that is your experience.

You know that some of the suggestions people have offered you here are something to pray about. Often sadness or unhappiness about a circumstance are the "trigger" for many people to work for profound change! You could be the one Luvz2travel! You could be the person that the Holy Spirit is calling out to you through your sadness to work for positive change for Catholic singles support in your area.

I will pray for you, thank you for taking the time to share your story here. God bless.

[/quote]

The issues I brought up were just example of many issues where the church seems to lie dormat or ignore. I know many christians who are members of churches with a strong community support base that is active in promoting christian beliefs. I have no anger toward the church but am in fact very concerned that the church doesn't do enough. I don't feel so much let down by the church as left uninformed and uneducated. I feel the church is letting herself down by not being more proactive against the self obsessed culture we live in.

On the first point I've been a member of several catholic singles groups some of which had the endorsement of the church but still failed because of lack of support in such simple things as letting the group advertise in the parish newsletters or not letting us use church facilities. As to what I did I was an assistant organizer in one. I work 2 jobs just to make ends meat and don't have time to run a group myself. If God wants that he needs to make it possible.


#11

I agree with Easter Joy on this one. You are either part of the problem or part of the solution. If you are single…you are single. Find out what other parishes are doing all over by researching, and bring back the suggestion to your parish/diocese. You may be transitorily single but maybe not…The Church is open to meet needs of people. This is a need. Single folks need to have community too. the OP feels the void…then either join something existing or come up with something else and persue it…and listen to leadership too. The pastor is in charge and would have very good guidance to aid in development of a group.

To me the group shouldn’t be focused on meeting other singles but on mission work.


#12

[quote="Suslar, post:9, topic:252663"]
I don't understand what you are saying. The OP made the single state a point by the quote "told being single is vocation and we should just live with it." If someone is telling any of us who are single that, the OP should know it is not true. It is not a vocation to be single. Yes, single people can have a vocation but the state of being single is not of itself a vocation. Why are you declaring that a moot point? It can't be moot if the OP included it in the thread.

And is it the OP's responsibility to start a singles group? I don't think so unless it is the OP's calling. Yet, the OP - as like myself - do have the ability to talk to parish staff about being sure singles are included in various social and educational events.

[/quote]

OK, well the Pope tells single people that the single life is a vocation, so if you disagree with that rhetoric, you're still going to have to live with it. If you agree with it, the problem the OP is raising remains. In either case, there are single Catholics, some temporarily so and some for life, and they still have needs that are distinct from married Catholics, from parents, from priests, from religious. For the purposes of this thread, then, the point of whether being single is their vocation or merely their state in life is moot.

Parish schools get started because there are parents who want one, parents who do the work of starting one, and parents who continually volunteer to keep the thing going. If the OP thinks his or her parish needs to provide more support for singles....well, that is about as much of a "call" as it takes to get a parish school started. Maybe the "call" is just to speak up and gather a consensus, but I've never heard of someone who was "called" to see a need, complain about a need, and yet not do a thing about it themselves. Either the need speaks to the person, or it doesn't. Part of the message is going to be "this is your part of the task" and "this is not your part of the task", that is true. Still, it is unlikely that the call is going to be "complain, but do nothing yourself." Talk about it, encourage others, pray for people to help, do something! Otherwise, it's just a cop-out.

Moses was surrounded by a people who thought their "call" was to see a need and complain to Moses about it. That earned them 40 years of discernment time in the desert. That's not exactly an ideal model for the Christian life, is it?


#13

Someone please correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding is that the single life can be a vocation when one does not feel called to marriage or religious orders. I’m 42 years old, have never wanted to be married or have children, and don’t have a religious vocation. I am happy and content being single. This is neither a temporary nor transitory thing. At age 42, it’s highly unlikely I’ll ever change my mind about wanting marriage or children. :wink:

Having said that, I am aware that there are a lot of single people who wish they were married, but are single due to force of curcumstance. In their case, yes, I would argue that their being single is likely not their vocation.

Sorry for derailing the thread slightly. Back to our regularly scheduled posts. :slight_smile:


#14

#15

[quote="EasterJoy, post:12, topic:252663"]

Still, it is unlikely that the call is going to be "complain, but do nothing yourself." Talk about it, encourage others, pray for people to help, do something! Otherwise, it's just a cop-out.

Moses was surrounded by a people who thought their "call" was to see a need and complain to Moses about it. That earned them 40 years of discernment time in the desert. That's not exactly an ideal model for the Christian life, is it?

[/quote]

What? How do you come up with this stuff?
When I mentioned the word "call", I meant it in terms of a discerned direction from God to take specific action. Just because I have a need for a doctor or dentist doesn't mean I am called to become one.

Where in Scripture does it say the people Moses was leading were "called" to complain? You're just making that up and I have no idea why because it isn't helping you to make a point. The fact is that it wasn't their complaining that earned them 40 years in the desert - it was directly disobeying God that caused the punishment.


#16

[quote="edithsteinrocks, post:13, topic:252663"]
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but my understanding is that the single life can be a vocation . . . QUOTE]

Is the unconsecrated single life a vocation? By Emily Stimpson - OSV Newsweekly, 7/24/2011

That’s the question a good many unmarried Catholics have about their single state in life. And its answer is one upon which Catholics of good faith sometimes disagree.

Those who argue that it’s not a vocation point to the magisterial writings of the Church, including the Catechism of the Catholic Church, noting that nowhere will you find any mention of a “single vocation.” Those who take the opposite point of view make reference to the large numbers of singles living in the world and say it must be a vocation, that people are living it right before our eyes.

What gives? Why the disconnect? And who’s right?

Meaning of vocationAnswering those questions first requires we get precise about our terms. When the Church talks about the word “vocation,” what does it mean?
Sometimes it means the journey or the path we’re on — the journey to holiness. To holiness, God calls each and every member of the human race. That’s why this path is commonly referred to as the “universal vocation.”

Then there is what we do on the path. That’s our “secondary vocation.” It encompasses 9-to-5 occupations (butchers, bakers and candlestick makers), as well as apostolic activities (volunteering at crisis pregnancy centers, running parish youth groups, visiting shut-ins, etc.). It also can encompass the bearing of certain trials or living out of certain situations. Think, for example, of oft-used terms such as “the vocation to suffering” or “the feminine vocation.” Those, like the vocation to teaching or ministering to teenagers, fall into the category of secondary vocations.

The final meaning of “vocation” has to do with how, as adults, we travel down the path to God. That “how” is called our “primary vocation.” Traditionally, the Church has identified three of these: holy orders, marriage and consecrated life. Each of those primary vocations is defined by the gift of self. The priest gives himself to Christ’s Church. Married people give themselves to a husband or wife. And consecrated people give themselves directly to God: They start living now the relationship all are called to live in eternity.
In the case of each primary vocation, that gift of self is not a transitory or temporary thing. It’s not given one day and taken back the next. Rather, the central relationship of each is spousal. It’s exclusive, total and enduring. When the gift of self is made to God, enduring is a “for all eternity” kind of enduring. When the gift of self is made to another person, it’s just an “until death to us part” kind of enduring. Nevertheless, the idea is the same: You fully and freely give yourself to another, and through that giving you pursue your universal vocation, holiness.

You also could say that through one spousal relationship you prepare yourself for another spousal relationship, the spousal relationship God calls you to enter into with himself. When considered in that light, a primary vocation isn’t just “how” you journey to holiness. It’s with whom you make the journey.

So, where in all that does the much talked about “single vocation” fit?
Although it’s increasingly equated with the vocations of marriage, priesthood and consecrated life, unconsecrated singlehood doesn’t seem to quite jibe with the traditional definition of “primary vocation.”

Remember, primary vocations are exclusive and enduring. Once you give yourself to another — God, the Church, a husband or wife — you can’t give yourself to anyone else. Ever. At least not without the intervention of death or a tribunal.

Missing the callYet that’s not the case for unconsecrated singlehood. It’s a state in life that’s generally transitory and always, at least technically, easy to exit. In other words, you don’t have to get a tribunal’s permission to cease being single. You are supposed to cease being single. You are supposed to enter into a spousal relationship with someone — the Church, God or another person.

In theory, that all makes sense. In reality, however, it gets a bit sticky. After all, what about men and women who never marry? Or those who don’t feel called to marriage, the priesthood or a religious order?

First, it’s important to remember that a person doesn’t have to be a religious in order to live the consecrated vocation. It’s the norm, but it’s not a prerequisite. So, if people don’t feel called to marriage, holy orders or a religious order, it might just mean they’re called to live the consecrated vocation in the world as a consecrated single, having solemnly vowed the entirety of their life, exclusively and enduringly, to God.
It’s also important to remember that, unfortunately, there is such a thing as a missed vocation.

(cont'd)

[/quote]


#17

(Part II)

Everybody has a primary vocation. But not everyone will necessarily enter into the vocation to which God calls them. Sometimes that happens because of illness or accident — because of the tragic realities of life in a fallen world. Other times it happens because of the misuse of free will.

Although God might make someone for a particular vocation and call him or her to it, he never forces anyone to answer that call. Which is why, when enough people won’t answer, you have vocational crises — a shortage of priests, a shortage of nuns, a surplus of singles.

Of course, not all those singles are refusing to answer God’s call. Many of those called to marriage would happily do so. But it’s not entirely up to them. Theirs is a vocation that takes two capable and willing partners to enter. And when those capable and willing partners are in short supply, that means some men and women, through no fault of their own, will “miss” their vocation or enter into it later than they would like.

It stinks. But it happens.

Embracing opportunitiesFor that reason, however, all unconsecrated singles should strive to see their single years, for as long as they last, as an integral part of their secondary vocation. Spouse or no, all Catholics are on that journey toward holiness, and whether they’re single for a little while or for a long while, the lack of a spouse does indeed afford them opportunities — of both suffering and service — that marriage, the priesthood and consecrated life might not. Leading the single life, for as long as it lasts, is definitely something you do on the path to holiness. It is very much a secondary vocation.
Recognizing that is what makes unchosen, unwanted, unconsecrated singlehood bearable. Likewise, embracing the opportunities it presents is perhaps the best of all possible aids for singles in their journey to the eternal spousal union for which we all were made.

And no one disagrees about that.

osv.com/tabid/7621/itemid/8196/Is-the-unconsecrated-single-life-a-vocation.aspx


#18

The point of my thread was not the issues mentioned I was just using those as examples. The point is weather or not the church is as proactive as it should be. If you read history you'd be aware that decades ago the church was much more active in it's support of it's members and in protecting it's beliefs. I'm just wondering what happened since it seemed to go to sleep after the 60s or aro:rolleyes::rolleyes:und the 60s. :hmmm::banghead::whistle:


#19

As others have questioned who do you see as being this "The Church" whom you accuse?
You and I are members of the Body Of Christ. The One true Catholic Church.
The Magisterium of the church is far from silent on these issues. Just look at what's going on in Madrid as I type these words.

I fully understand your pain. I too have seen the lack of suitable groups for young and single people in areas where I have lived.
I too have tried to be directly involved in the leadership of groups which have not been successful due to various reasons.

but I fully agree with the others who have stated that it is the responsibly of people like you and me to fix the problem. We are the church.
One theme which comes up in the Bible, in every papal encyclical I have read, and repeatedly in the catechism and other documents is a call to PERSEVERANCE.
I have been guilty of giving up too soon on projects.

Is the vision for a "Singles Group" which you have in keeping with the teachings of the church? What do you want it to do?
Teach people about the teachings of the church: this is the Job of a Bible or catechics study group: doe it need to be exclusively for singles?
Provide a "Catholic Dating Agency"? such a facility may work better on a less local level. there are existing larger organisations. (I'm based in the UK so I dont know who's active on this topic in the US). There are secular online dating services which are not incompatible with finding a suitable catholic spouse. _ I can prove that from personal experience as I found the wife God had planned for me through a secular website.
Is what you seek a "Youth Group"? There are huge numbers of movements already existing within the church which have special ministries to the Youth. By virtue of the age group they target they specialise in ministering to single people. By joining one of these groups and (if necessary starting a local branch) you can obtain the support necessary, & possibly the recognition of authenticity needed to access parish resources.

If your local parish will not allow you to use the resources you feel you should have access to, will another nearby parish?

I dont know exactly what you're looking for but at opposite ends of the spectrum of spiritual styles, I would mention both Youth 2000 and the Opus Dei as being 2 respected organisations which provide teaching and ministry to young people and to singles. and can support you in setting up local groups. (I dont know how active Youth 2000 are in the US, but there will be similar groups, Opus Dei are global, as are the Fransiscan Third Order Reguars, and many other missions.)


#20

Hi Luvz2travel,

Thank you for responding! Well I have to agree with you that the church can always be doing more to reach out to her members. You are right in being concerned that the church is not doing enough…I can think of many ways we can improve that is a fact!

It seems you have really worked hard already for outreach to other singles. I am sorry to hear those groups failed because of lack of support. Certainly with your work schedule you don’t have much time or energy to run a group. I have to say though, that a person of your passion and faith I beleive you can move mountains with your prayers! Clearly God has wonderful plans for you and your talents and gifts. I will pray for you and your journey and I wish you peace.


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