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Devoted to discussion pertaining to those issues which are specifically relevant to people 45+. Topics must have a specific perspective of people in this age group for it to be on topic.

The story of Abraham and Sarah is told in chapters 11-25 of the book of Genesis.
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May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Richard-15378 said: With my church slated to close in December, this is one of my greatest fears ... that I won'...
(Quote) Richard-15378 said:

With my church slated to close in December, this is one of my greatest fears ... that I won't be able to find a church where I feel comfortable .... It has me wondering if i will even continue to go to Mass after my church is gone .. I never thought I would ever think this way, but it is happening ...

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Richard, It is tough when the church closes down, I know it. It took me and my girls months to find a place where I could worship. I go to church to pray but prayer also includes fellowship. I was taught that there are two sides to prayer -vertical with God and horizontal with each other. We need fellowship to grow in our faith. We have finally found a church where we feel welcomed, are able to participate in the mass and get fed with the word and the Eucharist and we also have fellowship with one another. I am praying that you too will find this. With God nothing is impossible and in all things he works for our good if we place our trust in him. God Bless you Praying Praying Praying

May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Ellen-813688 said: I agree. For me, the most important part of the Mass is the Eucharist. I don't care w...
(Quote) Ellen-813688 said:



I agree. For me, the most important part of the Mass is the Eucharist. I don't care what the priest looks like or who talks to me. I don't even care if the Mass is in English. I can read the Gospel on my own and seek out homilies and discussions among friends and family ( including nuns and priests in my family) and literature. I am just joyful to receive the Eucharist. Period.


I know that fellowship is very important in strengthening our faith. We can seek this outside of the Mass. Bible study, volunteering in the church and Catholic charities and Christian charities, etc. are other venues to share our values and beliefs. I'm fortunate that all of my closest friends are Catholic, just by chance, or maybe by God's design. I don't feel the need to socialize too much at church.


Just my point of view on the topic.


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I agree with this to some extent, however it is not always possible. In my church which was closed down last year, we had a number of aged widows and widowers, who could come to mass as they could walk to the church. And some others had parishioners who would give them a lift. That was their only fellowship. Now many of them hear mass over the TV at home. They cannot go to the church which is far away. A few get lifts but some are not able to attend mass any longer.

Our mass was well participated - and it was reverant. At the end of the mass after the last hymn. some people stayed on to say the Rosary. we had fellowship in the foyer and we had tables set where the elderly could sit for a cuppa. One hour after mass, we sometimes had to ask people to leave the church. People felt one as a community. Our children were kids and they did not mind staying over. They did not want to got to mass to any other church.

We had "adopted" an elderly widow who lived on her own. We used to pick her up every Sunday for mass and take her home. We also had her home for a number of our family gatherings. My children looked up to her as a granny. She hardly had family or anyone to be with her. Our church reached out to her and our church members reached out to many others in the same situation. To me that is a church. And it seems to me that Lois has not found that.

scratchchin


May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Ray-566531 said: Yes, and I'm sure many others (probably most) have experienced the same. ---------- ...
(Quote) Ray-566531 said:

Yes, and I'm sure many others (probably most) have experienced the same.

----------

But....in selecting a parish to call "home", there is something more inviting when the people are warm and friendly, and open to greeting one another -- someone known or a visitor. The warmth can be felt. The priest can be "inviting" by showing pleasure to be presiding at the Mass. Someone (usually ushers) to say "Hello" on the way in, and some form of farewell upon leaving adds to it.

While we don't go to Mass to be entertained or become engaged socially, some displays of welcoming certainly are a plus and can add to one's enthusiasm about attending Mass there.

But let's put the shoe on the other foot. Is there a reason why we ourselves can't initiate signs of friendship, taking steps to promote this feeling? What if we would greet an usher first? What if we extended our hands toward those around us during the sign of peace? What if we actually said "Hello" to those nearby before the Mass begins? We rely upon others to do what we want, but aren't always inclined to start the ball rolling. Complaining is a negative reaction. Isn't there a more positive way for us to follow ourselves?

Careful with that -- it could be contagious.

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I agree with you Ray. that we each need to think of what we bring to the table when we go to church. However we too experienced what Lois did. As new migrants, in one church, we felt despised. No one welcomed us. We volunteered to do a number of things (reading, helping at fetes, fundraising, etc. Although we were involved in the church, no one spoke to us. I remember selling lottery tickets for the church fund raising, at a local shopping centre with another woman. She talked with me for those two hours and I thought I had at last found someone. The following Sunday, I noticed her and sat next to her, however when I went to give her the sign of peace, she just looked away. This church was predominately white and we were the only coloured migrants. It is sad that we call ourselves Catholic yet are not universal in accepting people of a different colour.

But we continued attending mass at that parish even when we moved houses. Although we did not experience fellowship, we were fed with the Eucharist. Then a neighbour told us that we were physically located in another parish , and we decided to attend mass there. Here again the people were all white and we were the only coloured migrants. We had no expectations, and so were pleasantly surprised when the parish priest welcomed us and the parishioners all met us and we felt one with them. This was our church till it was closed down last year.

Although every Sunday we attended mass at the first church we were not missed by them. They did not bother to find out why we had left or whether we were dead or alive. Yet a few months later we got a letter. it stated, "you have not been keeping to your pledge.... you owe .... to the thanksgiving. Could you please contact the parish."

Lois do all you can, but if nothing works, find a church where you feel accepted and nurtured. God bless you and lead you to the right church.




May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Meg-920823 said: One young man commented after coming out of a Mass that he found to be less than reverent: Jes...
(Quote) Meg-920823 said: One young man commented after coming out of a Mass that he found to be less than reverent:

Jesus hung on the Cross in a horrible, unfriendly, disrespectful place. He offered Himself to us there on what tradition terms was the trash dump for Jerusalem.

When we find ourselves in a Mass environment that is not at the top of our preference list, we can know we are standing at the foot of the Cross to be with Christ. It may not feel beautiful but it is of the utmost beauty.


Plus, as one author writes, put yourself inside the Tabernacle with Jesus and there is Comfort; any Catholic Church will offer that to us because Jesus is physically there.

Maybe it will be rough for awhile Richard, but it could be a test of your loyalty to Him and His Church.
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Well said, Meg. What you said made me think of the early Christians hiding in the Catacombs, just thankful to be able to receive our Lord in communion. Even today there are Christians in this world who have to be afraid to gather and are so very grateful for the few times they might have a priest to say mass so they can receive the precious Body of Jesus. theheart I don't even want to contemplate what it would be like not being able to attend mass sad I thank God that I live in an area where I have priests to say mass and, in fact, many different times of the day to pick when I feel like going. Dear Jesus, please forgive me when I take You for granted Praying

May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Pauline-931463 said: I agree with you Ray. that we each need to think of what we bring to the table whe...
(Quote) Pauline-931463 said:


I agree with you Ray. that we each need to think of what we bring to the table when we go to church. However we too experienced what Lois did. As new migrants, in one church, we felt despised. No one welcomed us. We volunteered to do a number of things (reading, helping at fetes, fundraising, etc. Although we were involved in the church, no one spoke to us. I remember selling lottery tickets for the church fund raising, at a local shopping centre with another woman. She talked with me for those two hours and I thought I had at last found someone. The following Sunday, I noticed her and sat next to her, however when I went to give her the sign of peace, she just looked away. This church was predominately white and we were the only coloured migrants. It is sad that we call ourselves Catholic yet are not universal in accepting people of a different colour.

But we continued attending mass at that parish even when we moved houses. Although we did not experience fellowship, we were fed with the Eucharist. Then a neighbour told us that we were physically located in another parish , and we decided to attend mass there. Here again the people were all white and we were the only coloured migrants. We had no expectations, and so were pleasantly surprised when the parish priest welcomed us and the parishioners all met us and we felt one with them. This was our church till it was closed down last year.

Although every Sunday we attended mass at the first church we were not missed by them. They did not bother to find out why we had left or whether we were dead or alive. Yet a few months later we got a letter. it stated, "you have not been keeping to your pledge.... you owe .... to the thanksgiving. Could you please contact the parish."

Lois do all you can, but if nothing works, find a church where you feel accepted and nurtured. God bless you and lead you to the right church.




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As Catholics -- members of the one, holy, catholic, apostolic Church -- we should be practicing the message clearly given to us by Jesus: LOVE THY NEIGHBOR!!! Sadly, this is not the practice in all Churches, as you discovered. The warmth that one should feel in a Church just isn't always there for some reason. We're in Church to hear the Good Lord's message. It does not behoove people who seem to listen but fail to live up to expectations.

It does call to mind that we, as humans, do fail at least occasionally, and that's why there's a need for the Church. Ultimately we all have to answer for our shortcomings, which are our own -- nobody else's. There is some consolation in that.

As far as your first parish is concerned, it would have been helpful to notify them of your leaving so they would remove your name(s) from parish records. Most people don't do this, so I'm not picking on you. It's just that I've seen some of the internal workings for Church's to keep membership records up-to-date. But....no real harm done in the end so you shouldn't lose sleep over it.

I am glad you found a parish where you experienced a welcoming atmosphere. That is as it should be.

May 2nd 2013 new
I am in agreement with Pauline that fellowship is just as important. As an Army wife for 20 years and moving every 2-4 years, my faith grew ever stronger when we lived in Germany and hopping in the car to drive to visit family was not an option. So we found fellowship and support from our church family, some of whom became very dear,close and lifelong friends and godparents to our children. Our lives revolved around parish activities because that's where our friends were, my children have always felt at home in our church. Since we changed church locations frequently I stressed the importance that they their faith is not based on the building or the few people that may appear standoffish because they don't greet us, it is the love of our God they carry in their heart which is what keeps them warm and radiates to others. I found the fellowship we shared before and after mass also provided for my children a sort of guideline on making friends with likeminded people, not in a condescending way but a more discerning way.
May 2nd 2013 new

lol, I suppose a comma would have been helpful there embarassed

May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Pauline-931463 said: Richard, It is tough when the church closes down, I know it. It took me and my gir...
(Quote) Pauline-931463 said:


Richard, It is tough when the church closes down, I know it. It took me and my girls months to find a place where I could worship. I go to church to pray but prayer also includes fellowship. I was taught that there are two sides to prayer -vertical with God and horizontal with each other. We need fellowship to grow in our faith. We have finally found a church where we feel welcomed, are able to participate in the mass and get fed with the word and the Eucharist and we also have fellowship with one another. I am praying that you too will find this. With God nothing is impossible and in all things he works for our good if we place our trust in him. God Bless you

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Thank you, Pauline .. I sure hope it works out, but I am worried ...

May 2nd 2013 new

(Quote) Lois-880877 said: Today I went to the local Catholic Church. It was a beautifu l modern church. Everything looked pe...
(Quote) Lois-880877 said:

Today I went to the local Catholic Church. It was a beautifu l modern church. Everything looked perfect. So why did I not feel right here? No one welcomed me to the church. I smiled and tried to strike up conversations but no takers. The service seemed like it had been rehersed down to the letter. The Priest played a very small part in the entire ceremony. He didn't even look happy to be there.

Has anyone else ever felt like this when trying out a church?

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Yes. My current parish. I spent six years attending it and volunteered as a lector, but never felt at ease nor at home in it. So, I distanced myself for over a year, came back to it a few weeks ago, and it still feels the same. Even when I talk to people. Except that now, I was told that the parish priest is leaving to serve elsewhere, the the excellent Vicar is going to have to undergo heart surgery, one out of the 3 parishes they serve has closed, and perhaps another one will as well. And that a priest from a 4th parish will be looking after the remaining ones. Therefore, things are changing but what direction they will take is not something I can guesstimate, although I tend to think that since change is the only constant in the universe, that it is our human calling to change, to adapt, to evolve, to go against or own nature at times or even against everything we hold dear because this is the way life is. Coffee

May 2nd 2013 new
(Quote) Paul-866591 said: Unfortunately, in far too many churches today, the tabernacle is so well hidden that it might be...
(Quote) Paul-866591 said:



Unfortunately, in far too many churches today, the tabernacle is so well hidden that it might be difficulet to place oneself mentally in the tabernacle with Christ.

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Yes, sometimes I wonder at a smaller Sunday or a daily Mass if every one of us attending knelt in the pews that are over at the very far side of the Church in front of the Tabernacle, would it eventually make a difference. Maybe the Tabernacle would go back to be the centerpiece of the Sanctuary, right behind the Altar.
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