October 17, 2010

Checking Out

Gentle Reader: I told you yesterday that my parish is slated to merge with another and close. I went to Mass today and it was an emotional time. Well, Mass should always be emotional but this was even more so. Some people were upset, some people were lost, some people cried during the Mass-yes, pretty much a regular Mass, right?

Ok, it wasn’t.

It is my prayer that my family in Faith doesn’t decide to “check out”. There were a few people who said they were “parish shopping”, there were a few regular 10:00 people who were MIA. Maybe they were out of town or maybe they attended the Anticipatory Mass last night to hear the news in person as early as possible.

It is my prayer that my family in Faith does not give up. Give it a chance.

The press does not know the whole story. The press is not your friend. By and large the secular press is not going to interview you after Mass to get the positive stories of hope that I heard. The press wants to continue their month long coverage of the local Catholic Church that is supposedly in its death throes by printing the most negative and emotional comments they can find. There was a group of them outside my parish after the Anticipatory Mass grabbing quotes from the oldest people they could find that were willing to talk to them. After all, the most senior people coming out of the church are probably the folks most likely to be emotional and may not react in a positive way-not that early on. The media wants to get the raw soundbite.

It’s true some people may have “checked out”. It’s true that some people are angry and upset. However, I was talking with a group of parishioners after Mass and the consensus was; Yes, it was sad. Yes, we are worried about the treasure of our building and what is in it, however, there was a sense that we could make it work. In fact, we were already talking about starting Lenten Soup Suppers at our new home. We said: “They don’t have soup suppers. They’ve tried but have not started it.” “Well, they do now” You betcha. We can bring a gift to our hosts.

8 Comments:

Blogger Nan said...

Cathy, I'm so sorry that you're going through this.

October 18, 2010 8:23 AM  
Blogger ignorant redneck said...

Cathy-- I am sorry for this as well. I have experience of a place of worship being closed, and the hole it leaves in both the community, and often in the liturgical life of Catholics.

I'll remember you and your parish in the Rosary tonight.

October 18, 2010 9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cathy -

I am from the Cleveland Diocese, and my parish merged with another. It is a hard, painful thing to lose your parish home, but you are so right to have the attitude of moving forward.

I never dreamed I would be as happy as I am after the merger, but something beautiful happened in our for us, and I pray the same happens in your case. Our parishes were very dissimilar in our approach to worship - we were more liberal, and they were very traditional - but what we have in common is our love of God and our Catholic faith. We are learning to appreciate our differences, and thankfully parishioners from both sides of the merger have been cordial, respectful and warm toward one another.

We were also very blessed by our good Bishop Lennon, who has been scandalously attacked by the media and disgruntled Catholics in our diocese. People from both parishes privately participated in a 54-day novena over Lent this year to pray for His Excellency, that he would select a holy and devout priest for us, and for protection for them both. When our parish merged on July 4, we were assigned a very fine pastor who is sensitive to the traditions of both former parishes and is including the more faithful practices to our beautiful new parish.

I loved my old parish, but I love the new parish, pastor and parishioners even more. Don't stop praying. It is painful to think of what you are losing, but don't lose sight of what you will be gaining. God is good!

October 18, 2010 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Cathy,

I am a parishoner at "your new home". It's a good home! I'm terribly sad for you all, but we also look forward to receiving the new faces. Way to keep your chin up! And I do wish we had soup suppers...

In Christ,
Sarah

October 18, 2010 1:51 PM  
Blogger Angela M. said...

First the crucifixion, then the resurrection.

October 18, 2010 3:28 PM  
Blogger Cathy_of_Alex said...

Thanks for the support, everyone!

Sarah: I'm looking forward to worshipping with you!

October 18, 2010 5:34 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I feel your pain...

October 20, 2010 8:42 PM  
Blogger nazareth priest said...

I apologize for my "seeming" detachment from all of this...the attachment to particular parishes, to their history, the family legacy, the true "communion of persons" that takes place is nothing to be disregarded...
as a monastic priest (but one who has worked in parishes previous to my religious life) I can only say this:
to be Catholic; to belong to the One, True, Apostolic and Holy Church...to be united to Peter, int he person of our Holy Father, under the successor of the Apostle, the Bishop, is the real and true grace.
Our brothers and sisters in many lands who have endured such horrid persecution, alienation, execution, death, horrid torture and penal situations remained Catholic because of their love for their Lord and the True Church.
I pray that in all of this, and in all of the situations throughout this country, where closings, re-alignments, mergers, whatever must take place, that the Catholic Faith may be the foundation and the authentic Liturgical celebrations may be the unifying factor.
We may very well be preparing to live as a "mission nation" once again; with the statistics showing the decline in Catholic practice, births, financial support, etc...
we may be looking towards a future that is very different than what we are accustomed to; the English Catholics during the Reformation (my real love and center-point...being of Anglo-Irish descent) made due with what they had and what they could do.
Jesus' Church will prevail; our present situation may not.
My prayers and sadness for all the grief that is going on here; truly.
But our Lord does not abandon us; ever.
Even if we are deprived of Holy Mass. He never abandons us.

October 21, 2010 2:30 PM  

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