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.