A Protestant read my book and messaged me on facebook asking for help. He is becoming convinced of the Catholic Church’s claims but has visited the Catholic parish in his area and received a cold shoulder, even when he and his wife asked for help.
I have to say showing interest in the Catholic Church is nothing like evangelical Christianity. We still have not met with the Priest or Deacon. We went a few times but there was no interaction at all before or after Mass so we did not feel welcome and had no clue on what was going on. After going a few times and calling to have the priest or deacon come talk to us we stopped going after not hearing back.
He eventually called and said he was really busy and would get with us this week during the week and he has not as of yet and as it is Friday I don’t see it happening. Pretty disheartening for the Church of Christ.
We were very excited about it but now it just seems like no one cares and so are just going back to sticking with studying the Bible. Did you experience the same thing or similar when you became Catholic. I have read a lot online that this is a big problem in the Catholic Church but I had no idea it would be this bad. Any recommendations for us. Crazy that God has brought us to the Church and it is zero priority for anyone there to help us in any way. Who knows maybe this is more of a test for them than us in God’s eyes but boy is it discouraging.
Crazy and disheartening is right, but not uncommon.
First off, go buy Shaun McAfee’s book Filling Our Father’s House. Shaun speaks as a recent convert who experienced similar things.
I asked for more detail, and my friend described to me this (pathetic) situation:
We talked to the deacon at St. (Redacted) Catholic Church in (Anywhere, USA). The first time we went we didn’t have even one person talk to us beyond a hello or smile. You are right in it requiring that we make the effort. Before this church we also called St. (Miscellaneous) and again same thing no call back from Priest. We went there once and it was again cold and no interaction.
Compare that to one day a couple weeks ago when we went to (Evangelical Protestant mega church). We show up there and they had special parking for new people. You then are taken in and welcomed in and talked to by a number of people. We got the same reception while attending (Other popular Protestant church). People interested in who God has lead to them and eager to welcome them to Christ and help where they can.
Very sad Brother as both times at the Catholic Church the best word to describe it is cold. Very sad for us as we are alone down here and need a support structure that churches have offered us. We truly will choose Christ over this support and feeling of fellowship from a church family but it has been very surprising.
I grew up Mormon, came out of that false religion into evangelical Christianity and in both of those environments there was extreme support and welcoming. With the Catholic Churches we feel like we are imposing.
An example you might find interesting is we have felt like we are under a spiritual attack since looking into Catholicism. Nothing going right and very hard times to discourage us. As my wife was raised Catholic her family would get a priestly blessing at these times. We figured it would help in what we were dealing with.
My wife called desperate multiple times to St. Miscellaneous. The secretary said again that they were busy and she had sent an email so we would just have to wait. She did mention that we could come get a kit to do it ourselves with holy water like it wasn’t a big deal. Another surprise as I thought the big claim of Catholicism is authority. As we didn’t know what we were doing I told my wife we would wait for the Priest or Deacon.
When he finally called I told him we really felt we needed a blessing over us and our home and he again said they have a kit and anyone can do it. I had my wife go get the kit and the holy water and the paper said we needed bread, wine, etc in the prayer, not holy water . We did it anyway in a makeshift way with the holy water. That brings us to the deacon saying he would call us this week in our conversation and nothing.
I could call a mormon church tonight and they would be at our door immediately to share their false christ. I could call an evangelical church and get a similar though not as extreme response at least with the right Christ in most cases. That is kind of my question to you also. Do you think it is this way by Gods design? The other churches make worship about the people, what makes them comfortable and happy whereas the Catholic Church has it about God alone. If that is it then great but it has been a hard thing to know for us. If you think that might be it then it would be great to understand more on it.
You are literally the only Catholic who has spent time helping us understand and your book was awesome. I really hope it works out for us as we are lost.
Where to begin with this story? We all know priests and deacons are busy but the very thing they should be busy about is serving these people. Giving them blessings, blessing their house, exorcising demons, bringing people the sacraments, and sharing the good news of Christ.
Too many parishes are run by little functionaries “doing a job,” filing papers, and stamping documents. All that is necessary but is supposed to be so that people can meet Christ and His Church. Bureaucracy was made for man, not man for bureaucracy. The process is not the end goal.
I don’t know what is contained in the DIY Home Blessing Kit, but having a priest bless your home is standard and Church-approved. Sure, you can and should sprinkle holy water around your house and invoke the Trinity with the sign of the Cross. No doubt that that is good, but having a priest do a formal blessing is even better. A hierarchy of authority exists, in the temporal and spiritual world.
The fact that they were told to get a “kit” to bless their own home so they would quit bothering the priest and deacon–and then that this kit required bread and wine (what?)–is ludicrous. I guess images of It’s a Wonderful Life call to mind when they give bread and wine to the family moving into their new Bailey savings and loan home. That’s lovely but is something different than a home blessing by a priest.
Demons Don’t Wait for Committees
This is pathetic. Take a possible case of demonic possession, influence, or infestation. Yes records need to be made and kept for various reasons, but someone shouldn’t have to go through weeks of paperwork and back-and-forth to have a priest come out and help them.
My friend Dan Lord had demonic forces afflicting him (influence or oppression I think) even after becoming Catholic. He needed a priest to be able to discern what was happening and then to rid him of the demonic attacks. You don’t make a guy going through that wait for months while you fill out paperwork and take it up in committee. Get a priest out there who is trained in this area and help the guy. Even if it turns out it is not anything demonic, the priest can help the person with resources, listening, counseling, and so on.
Fortunately, not all parishes and dioceses are like this. The Church is being revitalized and renewed in countless places and ways. But the experience of my Protestant friend is not rare, unfortunately. Is it any wonder that many Protestants, even when becoming convinced of Catholicism, prefer the warmth and welcome of their Protestant community over the cold shoulder of the Catholic Church?
The fullness of truth is found in the Catholic Church but we are often sorely lacking in actually living that truth. This is a call not just to clergy but also to lay people. Start a group in your parish whose members will visit people like my friend: visitors, newcomers, and inquirers.
When you are at Mass be attentive to other people and who might be looking for a welcome. Go up and say hello.
Lord Jesus, help us to be people who welcome others in Christian love. Wake us up; break us out of our routine and comfort; set us on fire with zeal and love for you and our neighbors. Amen