Saturday, June 16, 2012

An acquaintance I've known for many years - inexplicably, our relationship hasn't moved beyond that of mere acquaintanceship - messaged me on Facebook recently to say she's leaving her church of 14 years. She thought I should know.

She said it was a difficult decision. I didn't pry for her reason. I was not surprised by her decision, however. Every family I knew in this church - and I knew close to two dozen families - has left. She told me many more than I know.

She consoled herself with the notion that friendship goes beyond the building and that she has supportive friends from various churches. I asked about finding another "church home" (I speak fluent, if antiquated, evangelese) and she named a couple of alternatives. I'm confident her husband will take the lead in this situation and get the family settled before the summer is out. I suspect if it were up to her alone, she would be content on her own for a while.

In talking with my immediate family, I've learned a peculiar fact: I'm the only one attending church. Not merely "regularly," but "at all." They have their reasons, mostly involving change: leadership, liturgy, mergers. When I told my husband that my mother hasn't been to church in years, he exclaimed, "What's the world coming to when little old ladies aren't even going to church?!" It will be difficult to find a sponsor for Kenny's confirmation in a couple of years.


RAnn said...

I'm one of five kids and the only one attending church at all. Only 25% of the kids in my daughter's Catholic school are children of supporting parishioners (and given that most parishes here have schools, I doubt that many are supporting parishioners of other parishes).

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about "evangelese". I've heard people talk about finding a "church home" more times than I can count, as Protestants in general -- and evangelicals and charismatics especially -- have a tendency to "shop" for churches. Back in my evangelical days, I used to joke about all the "church nomads" there seemed to be, going to a church for a while before pulling up stakes and moving around to look for another spot to pitch their tent.

Yet it's sad to see the large number of Catholics who have slipped away from the Church as well. May the Lord send revival!


Ebeth said...

Dear Dear friend, I can only hope and pray the husband takes this as you say and leads the family to another parish...quickly!

Like you and RAnn, of the three of us, I am the only one still Catholic and attending actively.

The pope has assigned next year (Beginning in October) to be the year of FAITH!!! And to go with this theme, the NEW EVANGELIZATION movement. What a blessing, he is!

We need to get on the Evangelization train and remember, we are not here for the people OR the pastor, we come to worship Jesus Christ. He is the reason for all the seasons of life!!!


Anonymous said...

How sad! The Church (both Catholic & in general) has many problems, but to chuck it altogether seems so sad. I just wrote on this very thing for my September column for Liguorian, and the upshot was that the best thing we can do is simply live the faith--if we'd do that, it would revitalize the Church (as Evan said).

Janette said...

My siblings(53-60) are slowly returning- one after another. My mother is taking the lead- finally reflecting on faith instead of religion.
I am not a good example to my children, and in turn they are not comfortable in their Catholic shoes. I questioned too much in front of them. Still, I see great faith in their daily walk.
Getting back to a daily walk.
It is time to remember the Church and the walk it can help inspire.