I have mentioned from time to time that I wasn't happy with the parish in the small town, and I had tried some other ones but just couldn't find "the one". I am finally feeling comfortable in the parish in the small town, which is the parish in which I grew up. I am actually starting to feel like I belong.
A few weeks ago there was an announcement that "Why Catholic" groups were starting back up. "Why Catholic" is a kind of adult religious education where small groups get together and "explores Catholic teaching with direct quotes from Catechism of the Catholic Church, scriptural references, and reflection questions." So, I filled out the form with my information, and requesting the "Working Moms" group. And then I started worrying: What if the group doesn't want me? What if the group is really for moms with young kids? What if I just don't fit in?
The first question stemmed from when we first moved back to the small town. I called someone about getting involved in a group, only to be told that they were all full. Talk about feeling unwelcomed. I mentioned that to someone a while back, and that person said that I should have never been told that. Ya think? While I was waiting for the leader of the small group for Why Catholic to call, I was secretly hoping that she wouldn't be able to get in touch with me. But, the lady over the whole program called and told me that the leader of the group would be getting in touch with me soon. A couple of weeks after that, I got an e-mail from the leader. I had no escape. Last Wednesday was my first week with the group. I hadn't met any of the ladies except one of them a few weeks previous to that. And they welcomed me with open arms. One lady is going to have a baby Monday (her 5th), and she has children up to 20 years old. A couple of other moms have elementary school/middle school age children, another one has high school kids, and the other one has a son in the Army. So, it's a nice mix, and it seems to work. I can't believe how comfortable I feel with these women! This is what I was missing from SC: friends who share my religion, who I worship and socialize with. Okay, so I'm not quite to the "socializing" part with them, but there is some socializing going on during our 1 1/2 hours.
Then there's Adoration. I've met a couple of women who have the hour after mine. We spend a couple of minutes in transition (as I'm leaving and they're getting there) to catch up.
Yesterday I got a really sweet birthday card from our priest from Africa. My mom told him it was my birthday, and he brought her a card to give to me. And, he wrote the sweetest message in it. It really touched my heart that he would take the time to write that sweet, sweet message. It's like he knows everything I'm struggling with, and he's telling me he's there for me. He is simply amazing.
So, I think things are looking up! This parish isn't perfect, but I don't know of one that is.
Of course that group would want you- who wouldn't want you! That was so sweet of your priest! I didnt know it was your b-day the other day! Happy late b-day sweet friend. I hope you had a great one!ReplyDelete
Awww. There are so many sweet things in this post! What grace! When I moved here from Dallas I prayed for good Christian friends. I now am friends with 3 lovely Catholic women and my faith has grown by leaps and bounds!ReplyDelete
So glad you are part of that group; it is good to make connections like this to "do life together" if you know what I mean! We have small groups, community groups, life groups, fellowship groups but it is basically the same concept. Good way to meet others, share a common interest with your faith/religion, pray for them, with them, etc!! Neat!!ReplyDelete
But I have to agree, a group like this should never be full but always open to people who want to join :)
Happy belated birthday! So happy you've found a group that you will grow in. Have fun!ReplyDelete
I'm so glad that you were able to find a small group where you feel welcomed and a part of. That is what I'm missing at our church. Have a blessed weekend.ReplyDelete
I love stories like yours. I love to hear how God works through each of them. I'm glad you went...even with the new kid in the class feeling, too.ReplyDelete
Your birthday?!?!?! Did I miss a post? Happy Birthday, Mary! May God fill your day with joy and your year with abundant graces!
So glad to hear, Mary!! I am having the same experience going to the same parish I grew up in...so much has changed but I'm finding ways to get involved...life is an adventure! The Why program sounds really cool, I may have to look into that!ReplyDelete
First of all "Happy Belated Birthday"! I hope it was a time filled all all sorts of all things special.ReplyDelete
I'm glad that your experience with the group was a positive one. That's as it should be. Seems to me that's what the whole concept of Church is all about.
Feeling welcomed and loved can make such a difference. So glad you've found your home.ReplyDelete
Mary, I'm so sorry that I missed your birthday! Happy Belated Birthday, my friend! I'm so happy that you have found a place to belong and that you are feeling comfortable now. I know when you plug in there more and get to know everyone better that you will feel even more comfortable. They are going to love you. We do! :)ReplyDelete
So glad you found the "right" church! I've always thought your church should feel like home.ReplyDelete
This is wonderful news. I am so happy for you. Of couse you fit in!ReplyDelete
It may not be perfect, but it sounds like it does offer a lot of great stuff!ReplyDelete
Oh you sound so much like me! I'm a parish reformer, I think! LOL!! So much so, I was just elcted to Parish Council and am also involved in the Adult Formation group at my Parish. I'm a full time worker and it saddens me when I see programs held at Church after the daily Mass, and nothing offered for those of us who only have evenings. I love your Church's program "Why Catholic" as we are in the midst of the "Catholics Come Home" campaign in the Boston Archdiocese. Can't tell you ho happy I am that I found your blog!! Inspires me!!ReplyDelete