Sunday, 23 November 2008

Sundays are getting weird

Two young children were baptized at church this morning, families were in attendance in the packed house worthy of a rock concert. No empty seats in the house. I'm sure Father's heart rose when he looked out the peep hole prior to mass a the assembled throngs of parishioners. Young and old, black and white, men and women, hundreds in attendance to celebrate, well, nothing really special, except for the baptisms. These of course, are rather routine in our parish. 

Near the end of the service Father asked if there were any medical personnel that could attend an elderly lady who had collapsed. The announcement was made to leave the centre aisle clear for the approaching ambulance, and the recession headed off to the outer aisles. The gathered flock began to disperse as emergency crews arrived to treat the lady. Turns out she was simply suffering from heat stroke and collapsed all bundled up in her coat and scarf. The uncertainty of the situation caused several tense moments. People knelt down immediately to pray for her while others headed in to help. Father, the consomate professional kept the situation calm and the service moving along. 

I'm sure the parents of the two young girls freshly baptized will have stories to tell them years from now. 

The lady is fine, she refused to go the hospital once she was revived. We all headed downstairs for coffee and snacks. 

I started the day addressing the parish council about the new website I'm building for the church. I'd love to post the link, but there's no use, the site is a blank shell at this point - nobody has offered any content! One page actually says "Write something witty here." I spent the first 45 minutes of that meeting listening to how disorganized the parish is and how there is need for fresh ideas and fresh blood. Ironic that I was there trying to fix exactly that. The funny thing about all this - I'm not catholic. Kim likes to point out at any point that I'm a heathen, a pagen of sorts, I'm still protesting. My faith is strong, I am quite involved in the church, I just don't see the need to go to class to be a good Christian. I was born and raised Protestant, and as much as I encourage my children's Catholic upbringing, and the fact that I prefer the Catholic mass, I'm still not convinced that I should convert.  That' another story.  I accept the heathen title, and will gladly write that on my name tag just to get the looks.

I am actively campaigning to bring the church into the 21st century with the website and the facebook page, this is how to attract the youth. This is how to get new blood in the door. This is how is has be in order to grow the parish. However, seeing that crowd today, you wouldn't think it's necessary - more in there today than most Christmas masses I've seen. It'll be standing room only on that day!

The youth group in this parish is struggling because of a lack of involvement from the parish, not the kids. They will participate, but someone has to get to them. Word of mouth just doesn't work anymore. You want to get to the kids? Get online! That's all I'm saying, connect with them. I really don't think the council gets that. At the end of my little presentation I was thanked for my input and promised that I would have support and ideas. Father took me aside and said "That's a side of you I've never seen; passionate and articulate, convincing and determined to get the point across." 

That's a side of me that comes out when I know I'm right! I know  this will work, and they don't quite get it. We'll see, the hardest part of any progress is getting through the politics involved. The people in charge usually have their own agenda they're pushing. They'll come around. The youth will see to that once they get the word. We have a lot of kids in this parish who want to get involved, with any luck they will take the ball and run with it. 

I spend about 4 hours today involved in a church I don't belong to in the general sense. It's time for those who do belong and help govern this parish to do likewise.



  1. I would like to point out that part of the frustration of us working with the youth that there is no Youth. The congregation is either old or younger..and i mean no disrespect when i say that.
    The Youth thing is not going to work right now.....perhaps with time....

  2. Having taught catechism classes in my time, and ultimately having been the Director of Religious Education for a couple of years (part time, no pay), I understand the frustration. It's not restricted to churches, either. Most organizations I've belonged to have had a few people do most of the work and most of the people either are apathetic or are happy to complain but have no time to help or actual solutions to the problems they complain about.


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