I got married in March at the parish we had been going to for about two years. We continued to go to this church after we were married and were active in several organizations in our church. We felt like we were really a part of our church. We moved about ten minutes away from where we were living when we got married in September. We bought a house. Of course we would have like to stay in the same area, but it was really just too expensive for us in that area. Additionally, we felt that apartment living wasn't a good thing for us with the new baby on the way (due in Feb!).
I have had complications with my pregnancy. So my doctor prescribed bed rest. I called my church to ask them if someone could bring me communion at home as I won't be able to attend church. Ever since I have asked for this, I keep hearing, "Don't you want to start going to the church closer to you? This is just too far for us to come to give you communion." It's only ten minutes away!! They have come twice in the last month to give me communion and everytime it's like this huge deal and they keep encouraging us to start going to the church closer to us. I feel so rejected! This is our church! My husband still goes there on Sundays.
Part of me feels like we should just start going to the new church closer to us. I feel horrible though. I really loved our parish and felt like we had made really good friendships and connections in the congregation. I felt like the priests knew us and were responsive to us and we just love the homilies every Sunday. I'm not really sure what we should do now. I certainly don't want to go to a church where we aren't welcome or where we are a burden. I was planning on having my baby baptized in this church!!
Does anyone have any advice or suggestions? Oh and btw: we called the closer church to see if we could at least get them to bring us communion and they said we should get our home parish to do this. I just feel so unwelcome anywhere.
A fine example of Christianity in action. Unfortunately, not practicing what they preach.
Have you tried telling them how this makes you feel? Or how much you love the church? That's awful!
i would just forget all of it for now and focus on important matters at hand, but I realize for some people it's not an option to not attend church Or be involved, by their own choice.
But this is coming from an atheist lol so I really can't give any other advice.
@julies1949: I appreciate your response, but please understand that that's not really my issue right now. I am Catholic/Christian. I don't approve of how they handled it, but my spirituality/faith is very important to me. Again, though, I thank you for taking time to respond.
@crayfish: I have. And in a passive agressive way, when my husband came in the room (this was on one of the home visits), the sister who was administering the communion said, "Well, I guess since your wife doesn't want to consider a new parish..." I don't know if I should maybe talk to one of the priests?
@RockStar33: I appreciate your advice. Unfortunately, I'm going through a very hard time right now being on bed rest and my faith IS an important thing for me, particularly in helping me through this difficult time. That's what makes this so difficult.
Have you tried reaching out to the priest or other leaders in the church?
Hey guys, so perhaps being snarky about the OP's religious beliefs isn't the best way to support her?
OP, your fellow parishioners' actions are deplorable. I would suggest calling the priest and laying out to him very clearly what has been going on.
Also, if your husband goes there every Sunday, he should be able to bring you the eucharist back home. Just have him ask the priest for one of those holder-thingies (that's official terminology, btw) and he should be able to minister it to you himself when he comes home from Mass. I know my grandmother does that for my grandfather who can't make it through Mass anymore.
I'm sorry this has happened. People sometimes get caught up in their own lives and forget to take others into account. It's an unfortunate part of the human condition. Remeber that the church is not a clubhouse for saints, but a hospital for sinners.
@greenviolets: I understand that but If your church isn't willing to cooperate and the closer one wont take you, then really what option do you have?
Did you talk to them already About your feelings?
if I were in your position, pregnant on bed rest, and feeling unwanted by your church, I would just not worry about the whole church thing and focus on being healthy for your baby and not stressing about it. At least till the baby is born, then you can go back to normal. I'm sure there are other ways you can practice your faith at home without them.
just sounds like the church situation Is adding to your stress that's all, and I would try to eliminate any stress till the baby is born.
@greenviolets: I've never had much experience with the church, so I might be missing some complexities about church-going, but maybe they're honestly trying to be helpful? I mean, you've just moved, which is stressful enough, and now you're on bed rest due to a complicated pregnancy... couldn't they just be trying to ease your load, or letting you know they won't be upset if you switch churches?
Either way, if you want to stay at your current church, I'd let them know how much their church means to you and how you want to stay a part of it.
I don't think they're trying to kick you out, persay . I think that with the move and complications, they think it might be better to attend a church that's closer to you, and they're handling it poorly.
I would stand your ground if you really want to continue with this church. Keep asking for communion, and keep telling them how committed you are to this parish. I know how important a good parish is, and if you truly love it, don't let this push you out of it.
I was thinking that your husband could bring it to you, too. Do you have an objection to that?
@RockStar33: That advice is self-centered, insensitive, and unhelpful. She already stated that she is going through a difficult time and her faith and her church are very important to her, especially now.
@AdriannaJean: This is a great thing to remember! And thank you for the suggestion. I had not even considered that option. I will call the priest and ask if this is something they can arrange.
@MrsWishyWashy: No, I hadn't yet, because I was just hoping this wouldn't continue to be a problem. I will probably consider that now.
@RockStar33: But the "whole church thing" is an intergral part of who I am and how I handle stressful times. Again, I appreciate your advice, but I think that maybe you and are on different pages.
@acciotoni: I have let them know that it's important to stay at the parish I am at. Honestly, it's part of the support system, you know? All of the organizations we are a part of continue to call/email/pray for us, and I appreciate it.
But a big part of the Catholic faith is communion.
@abbie017: Thank you! I will definitely stand my ground. It has taken me a long time to find a parish that I'm comfortable with.
@RedAngelDreamer: No, I think this is a great idea! I am going to talk to him about this today and see if we can't get this done. :-)
@MrsWishyWashy: how is it self centred? I I was suggesting she eliminate the stress of the situation by waiting till after the baby is born to go back to church. Can't you still practice your faith from home without going to church?
shes looking to her faith to help get her through a difficult time, yet that part of her faith is causing her some of the difficulty. Kind of contradicting to me. That's why I'm saying what I said.
@RockStar33: For a Catholic, attending mass and receiving the eucharist are very important, even essential parts of practicing your faith. Suggesting that she just stop doing this, while I know you were trying to be helpful, is (as she's stated) not the kind of support she needs. While I don't think it's fair for people of faith to expect you (an atheist) to understand the importance of faith in their lives, it's also kind of unfair for you to assume that it's something she can just stop doing, especially when she has already said how important it is to her.
Just because I don't go to church doesn't mean I can't give rational advice!
Anyways, I hope it works out for OP and she can alleviate the stress that she really doesn't need right now!
@AdriannaJean: Agreed completely.
OP, hope the busband idea works out for you.
@RockStar33: No one was suggesting that just because you don't go to church doesn't mean you can't give rational advice. We were just pointing out that because you don't understand her experience of faith, suggesting she just drop her practice of it is kind of insensitive.
I think the best thing would be to let them know just how much this means to you to continue in your church and feeling like you are a part of that community, even when you can't attend in person. I hope they wouldn't continue to make you feel like a burden when you express your commitment and love for your parish.
Actually, if they're sticklers, they won't give extra communion to your husband.
I was a Eurcharstic Minister when I was younger and one of the side things EMs do is take communion to the hospital and to shut ins. We even had special holders for this...I'm sure you've seen them...they look like large, round pill boxes.
A nun was visiting you? I would try to contact a lay person who is part of the EM team. You might be blowing the nun's mind by making her go across town, but a lay person really shouldn't feel like this is a big deal.
If they keep being jerks about it, do you really want to be part of that congregation?
@RockStar33: No, I can't entirely practice my faith from home w/o the essential part of receiving communion. I appreciate your concern for my well-being. For me, my faith is not just something I "do." It's a part of who I am. Not being able to partake in my faith is stressful, and yes it's contradictory that it is one of my means of dealing with stress, which is why I asked for others' opinions on how to get this very important support BACK into my life. Thank you again for taking time to respond, but I think that it will be hard for you to understand how important this is to me. Your certainly welcome to continue participating in this thread. :-) Maybe let's just keep the focus on how to get communion to me?
Awww, OP, as someone who is studying to be a minister but often is frustrated by the politics and drama in the church, I totally feel for you. I know that religion can bring out people's best and worst sides and that's what I think is happening both in this situation and on this board: people who don't have any personal committments to religion see it as an unnceccessarily stressful situation, which is a valid viewpoint, and those who do see that you may be even more stressed out without religion. Both of these viewpoints are valid, but since you clearly want to remain involved in a faith community...
I would think of a couple options, all listed above. Option 1: have your husband get Eucharist for you and bring it home, and then return to church when you are off bed-rest. If you choose this option, I would still talk to a priest and tell him that you do really want to stay involved in this congragation but you feel like you are being forced out or passive-aggressively told to leave. Hopefully, he will re-assure you and tell you that those who have talked to you are either stressed by other things or being helpful. Or, option 2: decide that talking to your priest really isn't worth it--or talk to your priest and have nothing get better--and do decide to go to a closer church. This needn't be a permenant move: maybe you can just start attending another church now (or your husband can and you can have the Eucharist delivered) and you can see if that parish seems like a more comfortable place for you to worship. If it is, I would go there regularly; if not, you can always return to your other church which will hopefully be greeting you with open arms!
Good luck: I'm sure either way you'll figure something out that allows you to still worship God while feeling like you're not a burden on anyone!
EDT. I just read that they likely won't give your husband extra communion, so I would change my above choice to "find someone (like a layperson given this duty as Mrs. Mik described) that would be more willing to give you communion and not be passive-agressive or complain about it"
@Mrs. Mink: If her husband gets the priest's permission they will. All it takes is for the priest to give him a quick run-through of eucharistic minister training and then he's allowed to minister it himself. I mean, if he just walks up with one of those pill-box things without having cleared it with anyone, yeah they probably wouldn't give it to him.
@AdriannaJean: you are right, I don't understand as its never been part of my life. But she did ask for suggestions and advice, and even though I'm not religious, doesn't mean I can't offer advice based on how I would handle it otherwise. I just suggested she maybe wait till the baby is born and then returning to the church!
@Mrs. Mink: Unfortunately, I think the sister is the only one on the team. I was also very surprised by this. When I lived in Chicago, I was part of a special ministry that made visits to the homebound to give them communion. I was very surprised that this parish doesn't have a bigger team!
Really, it's only been her and one other person that keep pushing that we should move to another parish, but it's still very hurtful, particularly since I've been feeling so isolated from my faith right now (not receiving regular communion). We have had a deacon come out to visit once also, and he also complained a bit about the drive and suggested that we change parishes.
I know that everything is exasperated by the loneliness and isolation I'm feeling being on bed rest. I also know that my hormones are going crazy. Lately, I feel like all I do is cry. This was just one of the things that I didn't know how to address. My faith is so important to me.
@RapunzelRapunzel: I will consider these options. Thank you for taking the time out to write such a compassionate response.
@fvsoccer: I think maybe I'm just talking to the wrong people. I have in fact met many older nuns who have a hard time even considering getting on highways, etc, and perhaps this is how she is feeling. I am trying very hard to not take it personally. I think that's the hard part right now.
@greenviolets: You're welcome. I definitely understand your faith being important to you: mine is important to me too, and if the church I felt that was home to me was making such an important part of my religious experience so difficult for me to acquire I'd definitley feel very lost as well! I really hope it all works out for you--go ahead and PM me if you have any more questions or just want to vent about it! :D
@greenviolets: The bed rest must be really rough on you. If you want to feel more spiritually connected, you could try spending a good part of the day in prayerful meditation. Get your husband to bring you some of the great spiritual works in our tradition. Try out the spiritual exercizes of St Ignatius.
@RapunzelRapunzel: I will! Thank you for this kind offer!
@AdriannaJean: What a wonderful idea! I really appreciate your advice. I'm going to ask my husband if he can get this for me. If you have any other suggestions, I'm definitely open. I also think I'll re-read St. Therese Liseaux's autobiography. I know she struggled with being homebound frequently in her childhood.
@MrsWishyWashy: I just called and left a message for the parish priest. I know that he's much older so his time is more rationed. I'm hoping he will either help me come to a resolution or at least direct me to one of the younger priests for help.
@greenviolets: I know he's not Catholic, but I always find that reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis makes me feel worlds better. Actually all of his spiritual works. The Screwtape Letters is hilarious while very poignant. The Great Divorce makes you really think about your preconceived notions about Heaven (it's actually not a treatise, but a novella). The Problem of Pain is a wonderful take on the problem of evil. I know they make a paperback collection of his 6 best spiritual works. I swear by it. Plus, his language is just so comically "old British man"-esque. Those books always pick me up when I feel blue :)
@AdriannaJean: I actually really like C.S. Lewis as well, but I haven't really read much of his work since college! I think now with all this extra time on my hands, it's certainly a good place to start!
Sometimes people are too quick to throw the word "snarky" around.
I am a Christian so I do feel entitled to comment on the practice of this church. They may want people to attend their church but only if they are capable of getting there on their own. It seems to be too much trouble to take communion to her while she is on bedrest. Nor does it seem like they could be bothered to explore any other options with her.I am not Catholic so I could not comment on those other options.
What this nun might be hung up on - and what many people, Catholics included, don't realize - is that parishes are actually geographic territories. It mattered a lot more back when people weren't as mobile, but where you lived determined your parish just like it determines your voting precinct, etc. Nowadays many Catholics choose to attend one parish or another for a bunch of reasons, but this nun is probably thinking that since you live in a different parish' district, it should be their responsibility to bring you Communion.
OP, I think if you can get through to the priest and explain the situation, he will probably be much more understanding than this nun seems to be. Maybe, like you say, he can get in touch with the priest at the nearby parish and they can work something out to arrange to bring you Communion. Hang in there! Another possibility would be to see if there is a Catholic chaplain at the hospital who can connect you with a ministry for people who are homebound? Even though you're not actually IN the hospital, the priest in charge there will probably be a lot more sensitive to your situation, and a lot better-connected to get you some practical help.
Good luck, and best wishes for a healthy rest of your pregnancy!
sometimes churches get a bit fussy about "boundaries" which sucks. It might not be personal - your home parish may not even be allowed to go into an area which belongs to another parish.
think of it like politics: senator from district A cannot come help you in district B.
Your new home parish is just being silly, but then again until you register with them and they get to know you they probably will not assist you. Maybe get your old parish to call the new parish to explain the situation, so that they know that you went to church before, etc...... Not to sound mean, but they don't even know if you are baptised, had your first communion, etc.....
someone mentioned to ask your husband to take a eucharist home for you. Thats not possible. Firstly, the minister will not give your husband two eucharists, and secondly, even if he takes only one, he is not permitted to take it home! It is a big no no.
@sesame: But if he speaks to the priest and receives the proper training (which can be done pretty quickly and easily), the priest can authorize him to be an Extraordinary Minister and allow him to carry the Eucharist to his wife in a pyx. It CAN be done, he just has to go about it the right way.
@greenviolets: I'm just chiming in to say I'm really glad you left a message for the parish priest. It's best he knows how you're feeling. Also, it sounds like you might benefit from a home visit from him as well. I'm sure it would be nice to talk to him about church, your spiritually, your plans for your child's future and to just have someone to pray with and pray for you.
I'm not Catholic, I'm United, but my job requires me to work Sundays, so I've missed out on church for the last 8 months. I totally miss it...and especially with a child on the way as well, I want nothing more to be back there on Sunday's worshipping with everyone else. So I kind of understand what you're going through. If you need someone to talk to about faith (I have my degree in Theology) or the excitement of a child soon to arrive, PM me :)
You must log in to post.
No tags yet.
Sorry, there are no users yet.
Shop Now »