I’ve been so preoccupied with bringing my dogs blog somewhat up to date that I’ve pretty much let every else go. However I made a decision that is huge (for me at least) and even though I’m relieved by it at the same time I feel as if the sword of Damocles is hanging over my head.
I’ve been unhappy with my small Catholic parish for quite some time. Some of the parishioners would openly mimic the former priest if he made a gaffe in speaking during his homily. I’m a creature of habit and always sat on the left in the 8th pew back from the alter. This “influential” family sat in the 6th pew and I’d watch them giggle, talk amongst themselves and shake their heads the few times the priest misspoke. He was at the podium on our side of the church so I know he saw them. Not sure what it is about the elite in my community because a wealthy and highly respected family had my dog before me and suffice it to say they were not good to her. The priest was like me, an outsider, or as the locals call us “flatlanders”. I was quite sad when he announced earlier in the summer that he’d requested to be relieved of his duties at the parish and the diocese had granted it.The parish had an ice cream social for him as a going away gesture and (4) people came. It was sickening considering it was following the more heavily attended Sunday mass and people were already there.
The his replacement came whom I’ve dubbed Father Granola. I think I wrote about him a few posts back. The parishioners fawn over him yet he’s got the personality of a turnip.But, he’s a native Mainer. This is his first parish assignment as he was previously a hospital and college chaplain. He’s not a young priest direct from the seminary as he’s mid 40’s but he’s only been a priest for about 10 years.The first night he offered mass he streamlined it by cutting out announcements and things he felt weren’t necessary, like the names of the recently deceased. He stares at the ceiling most of the time and speaks in such a flat monotone that I personally struggle to stay awake. I could probably tolerate all of that but I simply cannot tolerate the BS that goes on with the members of the parish. The hypocritical behaviors and outright meanness has taken its toll on me. I realize every church has its own unique character, or “flavor.” Some congregations are very traditional, while others are more informal in how they express their beliefs. Some may see themselves as very conservative in theology, while others may be more moderate or even progressive. Having said that, I’ve never been a member of a church where parishioners are so openly repugnant and adults in their 60’s mock a priest for saying the wrong word or mislabeling the name of a town. Who in their right mind behaves like that? Maybe children in second grade but not intelligent adults. It’s not a Catholic thing, a Methodist thing, a Jewish thing ~ it’s an ugly thing. A perfect example of abhorrent behavior. I just cannot sit there every Saturday night listening to a priest talk about organic seeds and watch people gush over it. Yet at the same time I feel disloyal, as if I’m passing judgement on others when I shouldn’t be. I feel guilt for walking away from the only religion I’ve ever known but in all honesty, I don’t know it anymore nor do I understand it. I don’t necessarily believe that the only way you can have God in your life is by entering a building once a week. He doesn’t live there. He doesn’t have a bedroom set up behind the alter. I think God is within us; He makes us who we are and defines our values and guides our moral compass.
This whole thing is causing me more angst than I anticipated. If there was another Catholic church I’d simply go there but the next closest one is 55 miles and I’m not making a 110 mile round trip. I don’t like all the driving I do now and am not adding another weekly trip into the mix.
In time I might have the answer ~ then again I might not.
On a brighter note, some of you might have read my posts during a recent (3) day blog challenge. I focused on Blue, a (6) month old puppy found October 2, 2015, on the outskirts of the woods near Sunday River Ski Resort in the Western Mountains of Maine. His muzzle had been taped shut. The ACO took him to Bethel Animal Hospital where he was treated for an extended period of time.
He was saved by one of my veterinarian’s, Dr. Gary Stuer, who owns BAH. Dr. Stuer said the most remarkable thing about Blue was his ability to love. He was adopted by a wonderful family and on October 8 will be at my veterinarian’s Open House. I’m definitely going and hope to get a lot of pictures of this remarkable boy. We should all have the capacity to forgive and love like this abused yet loving pup. The name of his forever family has remained confidential as Blue’s abuser has not been identified. The HSUS has offered a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of this despicable person.
I’m not a savvy blogger so unsure of menus, icons etc. Please click to see my German Shepherd’s blog, Sasha’s Journey, which I’ve created to chronicle her unique and complicated medical issues which include stem cell therapy. She has a You Tube channel, also called Sasha’s Journey, which covers her journey from onset until present day. Please check both of them out and if you find them interesting, please subscribe and follow. Sasha is a work in progress but most of all, very much loved!