Raised Catholic...Now What?
Lately, I have had the nagging feeling about going to church. Currently, Matt and I do not belong to a church or go but now with two littles and another on the way, the feeling to find somewhere for our littles to learn about God and go to bible school has been strong.
But where to go?
I was born and raised Catholic. I have distinct childhood memories of going to church with my mom and brother every Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Most Saturday evenings, we would sit with my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I would sit next to my grandma and play with her jewelry, taking her rings on and off, spray her Bianca spray in my mouth, and hold her soft, yet weathered hand. I love these memories.
Then as a tween and teenager, I was actively engaged in our church. I lead religion groups with my best friend, went to sleep over camps, got confirmed, went on mission trips, and spent almost every Monday with my Compass group (teenage church group). The church was an essential part of my upbringing and I am grateful for all of my experiences.
After graduating and going to college, church was not a priority. It was my time to explore what was important to me and I could make decisions about what my Saturday and Sundays looked like. For a while, I went to church a few Sundays on special occasions or when some of my other Catholic friends were going but eventually I stopped and I started to distance myself from the Catholic religion.
That is an easy and also complicated answer.
While I was at college, The Archdiocese decided to change the wording of Mass to be more of a “literal” translation. They changed simple phrases from “Also with you” to “In your spirit.” Well, this 20 something girl got annoyed REAL quickly when a phrase I had used my entire life was now null and void during the 60 minute Mass. Maybe you’re thinking I’m a little ridiculous and I probably am BUT I had grown up with all of the phrases being ingrained in my brain and now they were all different and useless. It was frustrating and to this day I STILL say “Also with you.” What can I say...some habits are hard to break.
Aside from the annoying word change, as I entered early adulthood, there were a lot of conflicting views between me and the Catholic religion… accepting Gays, acknowledging women, and the many priest scandals to name a few. Now again, this might seem rash but these are very important to me. One of my biggest beliefs is that love is love and the catholic religion and I do not share this in common. And then it became personal. A few months after Matt and I got married (in the Catholic Church), my brother came out to me that he was gay. And that is when it really hit me. It all became much more personal. I believe my brother should have the same right to get married in the church as I do but with the Catholic faith, that currently can’t happen. I know that the current Pope is creating awareness in the Catholic faith with social issues that are becoming more and more important in our society, but to me it isn’t enough.
This Fall, we decided to have Attley baptized (Emmett is also baptized) and we had some challenges with the churches views on who is “allowed” to be Godparents. Long story short, my cousin is not Catholic and because of this he almost was not allowed to stand up with Attley. After working with the Deacon, we were able to get him to be a “witness” and was allowed to be up there during the ceremony. These types of “rules” annoy me. My cousin goes to church more than I do and is spiritual in his own right. He is the perfect person to be there for Attley and while I am grateful the church “bent” the rules, it still annoyed me that it wasn’t inclusive in the first place.
Between all of this, I am no longer a practicing Catholic. I was raised Catholic and it was part of my upbringing, but now as an adult, I find myself searching for a new church. A new place for my littles to learn about God and explore their own faith. We've started to explore churches around us and I am hopeful we will find something that fits with our family soon.