Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Stranger in My Own Home

That's how I felt today at Mass.  We've been there 16 years and weathered 11 different priests.  We have a new pastor who started in the spring and immediately made changes that were distressing, but we've been getting used to him and his style.  Now, however, our beloved Choir director has moved on to a better situation, and while we wish him well, he was evidently doing more to maintain the status quo than any of us expected!

There's no word on a new music director yet, but the Lifeteen guy is in charge of making sure the Masses have cantors during August, or until a new director starts.  I have not been contacted about cantoring at all.  Eh, I can deal with that; I'm just waiting to see what happens.

So today, instead of checking out another parish, (I hate the thought of "parish shopping") we went to our usual Mass where there were complete strangers singing and playing the piano.  They sang a song before Mass, and then they sang another song after the recessional hymn, giving the whole thing the air of a concert.  I found it not only disturbing, but also quite strange considering the pastor's words about being "quiet" in the presence of our God before Mass.  He even made us close our eyes before Mass!

Whoever the musicians were, they sang a completely different Mass setting from what we're used to.  Is that because they didn't know ours?  Is the pastor changing to this one for good? (Or until the Mass changes take effect at Advent?)  But they didn't even stick with that setting for the whole Mass.  The Gloria and the Alleluia were one Mass, and the Sanctus and Agnus Dei were from another.

I'm terrible about accepting change of any kind, especially when it isn't my idea!  I'll admit that.  I'm doing a lot of praying these days for my parish, the pastor, and for my family.  We're struggling with what to do.  Stick it out?  He won't be there more than 6 years.  (yikes.)  Move on?  The kids are already ready to go somewhere else.  They hate the changes, too.

What would you do?  If you don't have any suggestions, at least offer up a prayer for us! Thanks!


  1. I've only been Catholic for 6 years, but have already changed parishes once because my mom felt better about entering the Church at the other parish. We now have a new pastor too, but so far he is wonderful.

    Church shopping sounds so "protestant" but it's important to feel at home and to have a desire to go to Mass, which I know is hard in your situation.

    If you have more Catholic parishes close by, I'd try them a few times and see where you and your family are most comfortable.

    Praying for you!!

  2. That must be very upsetting ! I would hang on until the end of September for a few reasons. That will give you a chance to see if you really dislike the changes or if you were simply uncomfortable with change. Secondly, my parish is much different in the summer months than the school year, maybe they haven't found their way yet. Praying for you

  3. We are very much in the same place and considering looking at another parish. Our parish is undergoing renovations that we just don't agree with and with the exception of our pastor we only keep our priests for 2 years tops because our parish is a training ground.

    We can deal with that and have many great priests come through our doors. However, the renovations will make our church very different - they want to put the altar in the middle of the church - which I don't think we would like. Also, the way they are going about it - they want to do 4 million dollars in renovations and we have one of the nicest churches in the area.

    In this economy it doesn't make sense but every week at the end of mass they lecture us about not participating and they take up a second collection for the renovations. If the church needed them fine - but there is nothing wrong with the church. We've been made to feel like a few people made these decisions and we all need to get on board.

    So I can understand your hesitation that it might be the same for you. Although, as Cynthia mentioned you might want to hold on a little to see if you like the changes.


  4. Katy, there's something to be said for having a church you're comfortable in, especially coming into the church. I don't believe in "shopping", but when I'm angry or upset at every Mass, it's time to go. I'll work on changing my attitude first, though!

    Yes, Cynthia, I want to wait to see what happens, but we're also in a "sacramental year". Our son will be receiving Confirmation this year and we need to register him in PSR soon. Somewhere.

    Sandra, I sympathize with your dilemma, too. Renovations are so often unnecessary, and they take some gorgeous churches and practically destroy them in the process.

    Thanks for commenting everyone! I love hearing your opinions and I appreciate the prayers!


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