Thursday, March 22, 2007

from beliefnet.com

I was reading an article entitled I Want to Serve the Lord--But Not Serve on a Parish Committee at Beliefnet.com. I found a couple of paragraphs to be very funny and things that I hear from some students.

"...in trying to get people to be more outreach-y, we also have to remember that the Catholic Church is the universal church. That means, there's room for everybody--sourpusses included.

Conversion doesn't necessarily mean converting from introvert to extrovert. If you're not a glad-handing sort of person in everyday life, why should anyone expect you to turn magically into a glad-hander the second you step through the door of your parish church? And if you do, who's to say that everybody else who comes through that door wants to meet you or get involved with you on any more than a passerby level?"

and

(Regarding holding hands at the Our Father)
"With all those hands, including mine, up in the air, I got immediately distracted from the Mass. I found it a very inward sort of outward gesture. It seemed too unique to that parish and too unfamiliar to anyone who had stopped by simply to be present at the Holy Sacrifice. As an outsider, I felt I was intruding on a very personal moment. I should add, to be fair, that I'm sure the locals didn't think I was."
(emphasis mine)

We don't often think about how changes in the mass can make people feel unwelcome because it makes it overly personal. We don't think that, by making everyone in the parish forced to be involved in some kind of committee, we may be driving out Catholics who want no more than to "pray, pay, and obey." I'm all in favor of people getting involved in church. But, are we starting to put more emphasis on committee involvement than we are on Sunday attendance? If they come on Sunday, do they need to do more for the church? Can't people really just go in peace?

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