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Dear Edith: Starving but wanting to stay

Dear Edith Starving but wanting to stay at your Parish --FemCatholic.com

Dear Edith,

A recent move has landed my family 20 hours away from home. We now find ourselves in the rural south, in the middle of the “Baptist belt.”

The Catholic parish is very small, and I am embarrassed to admit this but I absolutely hate the parish life. I’ve disliked priests before, but never to this extent.

Our pastor is a good man, he’s faithful and is available for all the sacraments; my dislike is totally a clash of personalities. I also disagree with the way a lot of things are done within the liturgy. Often things are included and made a part of the mass that have no business being a part of the celebration (for example, once a month we sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to everyone who is celebrating their birthday that particular month).

I’ve worked in professional ministry settings for the last 7 years and I have a degree in Theology and Religious Education. I think this is partially why I get so frazzled. I volunteer at the parish, helping where I can, but I’m not in a position to “fix” anything.

I don’t want to be prideful and I don’t want to leave the parish. However, I do want to be spiritually fed… and I feel as though I’ve been eating spiritual food that’s been badly cooked for over a year. I guess where I most need help is in my own mindset.

How do I remain humble and “fed” in a situation where the emphasis is placed more on fellowship within the community than on Christ? I know he’s still there in all the graces of the sacraments, and my struggle with the parish makes me feel so ungrateful.

Sincerely,

Starving but Wanting to Stay


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