Saturday, May 2, 2009

You know, I've spent my life questioning the idea of God. I was raised Catholic and felt that good old Catholic guilt for most of my childhood. I walked away from any idea of organized religion for many years because I felt abandoned by this God that everyone talked about. It wasn't until I met my husband and we decided we wanted to start a family that I began thinking about what sort of life I wanted to offer my family. We had just moved to a new apartment and there was a brand new Catholic church up the street. We figured we'd try it out, what did we have to lose?

The connection was immediate for me. The priest was a younger man and the congregation was fairly young, too. Lots of families with young children. We continued going and eventually registered as parishoners. We became active in the community and enjoyed our newly found relationships with the people in the parish. We were regular, contributing members for five years. Then, we had our twins. We continued attending Mass but, at some point along the way, had to stop contributing monetarily. We haven't contributed in two years. I should also say that our favorite priest stepped down as head of the parish and asked to be transferred to a smaller parish because he was feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities of money collection and paying off the new mortgage for the church...

I called the parish office last week to arrange for Meghan's baptism because her Godmother was in town and I figured it would be the perfect time for us to do this. I was not prepared for what I was about to hear. Apparently, they keep a record of the registered members and how much they contribute, monetarily, to the parish. The woman on the phone informed me that we could not have Meghan baptized there. I asked why and she informed me that their records indicated we had not been parish members for two years. I informed her that she was incorrect, that we were regular members but had not contributed because of finances and moving. She was silent for a few moments and then asked where we moved to. I told her. Then, she responded with some deal about how our registration had faltered and that we'd have to re-register but that the new parish priest would not allow it. I asked why. She said that he did not allow young families with children that lived outside of parish boundaries to register because he didn't believe they'd remain active and actually show up for Mass.

I am speechless. It all comes down to money. It doesn't matter that we've been parishoners for well over 5 years, now.

I have to tell you that I am feeling greatly disenchanted with the Catholic faith and all things God right now. The last time I checked, Jesus didn't charge his followers for their baptisms. I've been feeling as though I've been forgotten, lately, and this just seals the deal. :(


Eeyorebabies said...

You should try my church. It doesn't come down to money. All the leaders of our church volunteer. It's 3 hours, but the kids go to nursery for 2 of the 3 hours. Nice break for mommy and daddy :) I love my church and no one judges you for not paying. Anyway, if your interested, you can come with us to church sometime and see what you think :) Hope things are better for you!

Figgy and The Professor said...

I would love to volunteer, Amber! Where do you go?

I sent you an e-mail a while back...I hope you got it and didn't think I was ignoring you or had forgotten. I hope you guys are feeling better.

Eeyorebabies said...

I never got your email :(