Friday, September 30, 2016

Catholic Churches are Unfriendly

Catholic Churches aren't welcoming.  How many times have Catholics heard that and then tried to give examples of welcoming activities.  But you know what?  I can see why people say that. When you walk into most Catholic Churches, the atmosphere is quiet and if one looks around, he wouldn't see laughing and back slapping conversations.  So the perception would be that Catholics aren't friendly.

It's a misconception.  In the first place, Catholics go to church to pray, not for socialization.  Catholics have parish activities for that.  Also, parishes usually have many members; we don't know everybody.  Catholics go to Mass at different times and again, see different people.  IOW, how do they know you're new to the parish? There should be greeters/ushers/hospitality people to help you.  They're the ones near the doors with smiles on their faces and outstretched hands.

When a Catholic enters, he dips his fingers in holy water and blesses himself.  Hence, he immediately has been placed in an atmosphere of sacredness.  The holy water reminds himself that he was baptized as a child of God.  With that in mind, the Catholic will genuflect towards the tabernacle before he enters his pew.  Catholics are recognizing the presence of God in the Tabernacle.  Do you still wonder why Catholics are there to pray and not socialize?

Before Mass, Catholics prepare for Mass in prayer.  They are talking to God--not each other.

Mass is the worship service for Catholics.  It is not the time for discussion.

When Mass is finished, Catholics should kneel down and pray in thanksgiving.  Others should know that the atmosphere is prayerful and not to disturb people in prayer.  People should go outside to talk.

Therefore, I conclude that people think Catholic Churches are unfriendly because they're full of people praying, and others respect their prayer time and leave people to their prayers.  If a new person wants to talk, go outside and buttonhole somebody.  There are plenty of smiling faces outside.

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