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Discussion related to living as a Catholic in the single state of life. As long as a topic is being discussed from the perspective of a single Catholic then it will be on-topic.

Tobias and Sarah's story is from the Book of Tobit, and his journey is guided by Saint Raphael.
Learn More: Tobias & Sarah as led by Saint Raphael

Apr 7th 2013 new

I go for the Mass and the Sacraments, not for the fellowship. Rabid dogs couldn't keep me away.

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Lucy-41785 said: Welcome to the forums, Megan! Speak up and make yourself known. Get involved. Volunteer to l...
(Quote) Lucy-41785 said:

Welcome to the forums, Megan!

Speak up and make yourself known. Get involved. Volunteer to lector, be an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist, join a bible study, sign up for Adoration, help with funeral dinners, be a member of the RCIA team, join the choir, volunteer to help count the collection, help with the CCD program, etc. I would be very surprised that if you walked into the church office and announced that you'd like to get involved/volunteer in some way that they would turn you away.

I've known a few other people who have said the same thing. They go to Mass and leave and no one speaks to them. I'm the first to admit that this is an area where the Catholic Church as a whole could improve. But other than a hello, I hate to say, "I haven't seen you here before. Are you new?" only to find out the person has been a member longer than I have, but I haven't noticed or they go to Mass at a different time.

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I went to one parish as a small child and then to a new one when it was built locally in my home town, and to another Byzantine church as a young child. Before I left home I began to try Santa Clara University Mass at 7:00 and at 10:00 . I left home and tried 3 or 4 parishes. Then I moved to Santa Barbara. That was after college and I made a whole bunch of friends and became active in that parish and in music ministry. I was a canotr there for years and did weddings and funerals there.

It took a while to get things going but I did. Then I have tried many parishes as I have moved. I think one has to be pretty bold and know how you want to help, and then you can make friends. It is not easy and in some parishes no one speaks to others. In others people will talk with you after mass. I provided music ministry at a parish here for 5 years and I really enjoyed it. I am considering going back to it but at a new parish and it depends on where I move. I may move within this town.

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Steven-768791 said: I go for the Mass and the Sacraments, not for the fellowship. Rabid dogs couldn't keep me aw...
(Quote) Steven-768791 said:

I go for the Mass and the Sacraments, not for the fellowship. Rabid dogs couldn't keep me away.

--hide--


I currently don't fellowship at my closest parish a whole lot but since I joined a bible study I attend- I fellowship some. I am used to feeling anonymous there. If I decide to do music, that will change. I attend a different parish in town and I love talking to people there- there is a feeling there that people want to have small conversations, and I love that. There is perpetual adoration there and it feel AT HOME THERE!

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Megan-667121 said: I've moved twice in the past 2.5 years, once from upstate NY to St Louis, MO and then again f...
(Quote) Megan-667121 said:

I've moved twice in the past 2.5 years, once from upstate NY to St Louis, MO and then again from STL to western NY. Both times I've found parishes that I liked ( though it took me longer the second move to find one just right for me and even now, it's still not ideal), but each time I haven't felt that connection that I had with my old parish. Granted, my old parish was the one I grew up in so I had friends and connection for over 30 years there, yet with these new parishs, I just have not been able to find my place within the parish community. It seems like the communities have been set in their ways, with each person having their slot within the community and not feeling like there is a place for me. I'm young, single, with no kids and honestly, it's felt like I was not wanted at either parish.

So I guess the question is the one I posed above. How do I fit in, when I don't seem to be wanted in a new parish because I don't fit their mold of having been there forever, having tons of money or having kids?

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Persist!!! My famiy changed parishes when I went to college (they went Latin on me to boot!!! boggled ) so when I came back I knew no one and all of the folks at the parish at that time were either ancient couples or young families like my own who had young kids...and all anyone ever talks about was homeschooling and clothe vs paper. etc. Not only did I not fit in, but I didn't want to just be "one of the kids" in my family because I felt that at 22 I was an adult. Persist...pray...persist...join the choir, the ladies guild, offer to assist with donuts& coffee after mass or something, show up to parish functions and help out (we have parish work days and cleaning sessions in the fall and spring), and don't just leave right after Mass if everyone else hangs out! Hang out for a few minutes, go grab a coffee...drink it quietly, and if no one talks to you after 5-10 minutes, walk out and go on your merry way. Gives people a chance to say "Hey" without you looking desperate. It took about 2 years, but I became an established member of my parish in my own right. If you are ever down in Southern VA, send me a message!!! wink

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Megan-667121 said: Oh and Joy- what do you mean by a small faith community? PS Sounds like you and I are in ...
(Quote) Megan-667121 said:

Oh and Joy- what do you mean by a small faith community?

PS Sounds like you and I are in the same boat when it comes to 'young adults'. We're not college aged, but we're not in our 40s, married and with kids either. :/ Seems to me there is NOTHING in the church for people like you and I.

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Manyof my dearest single friends are in their thirties and we have tons of fun together. If the "young adults" are in their twenties and busy doing immature things, perhaps they don't deserve to hang out with you. ;-) If there are other parishes in the area, perhaps see if they have any activities that would be more suited to your liking/situation.

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Megan-667121 said: I've moved twice in the past 2.5 years, once from upstate NY to St Louis, MO and then again f...
(Quote) Megan-667121 said:

I've moved twice in the past 2.5 years, once from upstate NY to St Louis, MO and then again from STL to western NY. Both times I've found parishes that I liked ( though it took me longer the second move to find one just right for me and even now, it's still not ideal), but each time I haven't felt that connection that I had with my old parish. Granted, my old parish was the one I grew up in so I had friends and connection for over 30 years there, yet with these new parishs, I just have not been able to find my place within the parish community. It seems like the communities have been set in their ways, with each person having their slot within the community and not feeling like there is a place for me. I'm young, single, with no kids and honestly, it's felt like I was not wanted at either parish.

So I guess the question is the one I posed above. How do I fit in, when I don't seem to be wanted in a new parish because I don't fit their mold of having been there forever, having tons of money or having kids?

--hide--



I don't know. I tried joining a 20-40 group in my parish, thinking I was doing well and that they finally listened...what did I get when I got there? A group of 18 to 25 year olds entertaining the Net Retreat kids..and the new leader, an 18 year old, bless her heart tried to make me feel comfortable. I wasn't. Then one of the Net Retreat kids said when I told her I wasn't married or had kids "Oh that's ok, singlehood is a vocation too," I wanted to smack her! I mean, it's true, but tactless! She was all of 18 years old. Not something you say to a 35 year old woman. Maybe I am wrong, just rude. I just smile and nodded..and never went back. When the oldest person there besides me is 25, it makes you feel a little old, especially when a kid things you must be in menopause. Geez. lol

Apr 7th 2013 new

Thanks for posing this question. I have moved 3 times in the last 2 years and have had the exact same expereince. Although I love my new parish - it has a great spirit, outreach, and liturgy, but I just can't seem to break through the "getting to know people" roadblock. I look forward to discussion and suggestions on this very relevant topic.

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Joy-926099 said: PS - It's been two years since I converted and I still feel like I'm trying to find my nich...
(Quote) Joy-926099 said:

PS - It's been two years since I converted and I still feel like I'm trying to find my niche, so it may not happen overnight.

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Happy anniversary in coming home to the church, Joy! I esp. admire the fact that you aren't giving up. I'm a cradle Catholic, but I've got plenty of Protestant brothers and sisters whom I've gotten to know. The welcoming arms they offer to newbies is something from which Catholics can learn.

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Jay-564527 said: Thanks for posing this question. I have moved 3 times in the last 2 years and have had the exact sa...
(Quote) Jay-564527 said:

Thanks for posing this question. I have moved 3 times in the last 2 years and have had the exact same expereince. Although I love my new parish - it has a great spirit, outreach, and liturgy, but I just can't seem to break through the "getting to know people" roadblock. I look forward to discussion and suggestions on this very relevant topic.

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Smile
Engage
Reach-out
Volunteer
Initiate
Charity
Embrace

Check out the first letter! God bless!

Apr 7th 2013 new

(Quote) Paul-883076 said: Hello Megan,I think "fitting in" to a new parish can always be a challenge. ...
(Quote) Paul-883076 said:

Hello Megan,


I think "fitting in" to a new parish can always be a challenge. When I first enter the front doors of a new parish, I measure them to see if I will "fit in", then I proceed cautiously until I am in! Just kidding, of course.

I have often thought, however, that we are always in search of the proper fit--keep visiting different parishes until you find one with the proper activities, receptiveness, and warmth that you need.

Another approach is to, what I call, "start your own parade" (based on words from Barry Manilow). What I mean is that, if the new parish is lacking in say, a youth group or social group, consider starting one yourself. Plan an agenda of weekend activities incorporating both spiritual and social (outings) events. Try to get the Pastor on board of course. Others will have a chance to get to know you and you will also have further opportunities to connect with others in the parish as well. You may even be perceived as a "God send" who actually invigorated the social life of the church.


Just some other ideas to consider, Megan. I myself always like to visit 2-4 new parishes each year, to see the different offerings, dynamics and environments--even though I have been a parishoner with the same two churches for over 18 years.


Paul

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Welcome to the forums, Paul! I guess what you said was so important that the CM site could see it needed to be posted three times! laughing

You've got some good suggestions about 'starting your own parade.' I think we forget that as part of the Church, it is OUR job to go out into the world and preach the Good News. The Church is a part of our world. Our job is to serve others, not wait and expect them to roll out the red carpet for us.

(Psst...I'm like you - I LOVE to visit other churches on vacation just to see what songs they are singing, what activities are mentioned in their bulletins, etc.)

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