Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Some days, I feel like I am the complaint department for the parish, the diocese, and the entire Catholic Church!

In the last month, I have had complaints about catechists teaching that abortion is murder; complaints that we expect the children AND their families to actually attend mass; complaints that we are rigid (WHAT does that even mean?); complaints that there are too many meetings; complaints that there are not enough meetings; complaints that each class must do an end of the year review; complaints that all I do is defend (again, WHAT does that mean?); and complaints that expecting Confirmation Candidates to fulfill a few requirements (a saint report, 4 service projects, 2 service reports, 10 mass reflection papers, and completion of information and sponsor forms over the course of an entire school year) on the journey, is asking too much...and...that it is not asking enough!

My all-time favorite complaint by far is this: "Exactly WHY does the sponsor have to be CATHOLIC? My sister-in-law is 'born again,' and she's a better Christian than you will ever be!"

(Well, that may be true; but if you want your child to be a baseball player you don't bring him to a basketball coach!! Is that really so difficult to understand?!?)

At times, I think that those complaining really believe that I personally make the rules, and sit up nights trying to come up with new and more tortuous ways to make their life difficult.

When the complaints begin, I usually take a breath and then begin the explanations that unfortunately at times simply fall on deaf ears.

Then I am told, "I don't know why I bother, all you do is defend!"

At times, I ask myself, "Why do I bother?"

And then I remember...

I bother because I care...because I believe that Jesus Christ took on human flesh to walk this earth to show ME the path to salvation.

I bother because I want to help others share in that salvation.

I bother because I believe that even with all the mistakes that have been made throughout the centuries, it is the Catholic Church that has immediate succession from Christ.

I bother because I worry about the immortal souls and the eternal life of us all.

I bother because Christ bothered to die for ME...AND...YOU!!

So then the question becomes: "If YOU say YOU believe, are YOU bothering, too?"


  1. God Bless You!

    I think the adults need catechesis classes just as much as the children.

  2. I think a lot of Catholics have the experience from leaders in the church that being a Catholic is all about rules and things you can not do. I also think you need to look at what you wrote here again. You are complaining that people complain.

    Our parish is lead by a sister. A priest comes in for mass, but that's it. She has changed my life. Mostly, because she approaches things from the positive angle instead of the negative. We go to mass because Jesus as us to "do this in memory of me."

    There is not one person who will come up with the question that's going to take down the Catholic church. Maybe you need to look at these questions as a gift from Jesus. YOU are the one he's asking to answer them for these people. You need to realize that parents today have a hard road - many holding down several jobs while trying to raise their children. They are looking for a soft place to land at church - not a rigid set of rules. Are you here to teach or to defend?

    What I look for from my church is a path of how to lead my life - not a path of how NOT to lead my life.

    I also heard a quote from Mother Theresa in which she said she would not march in a parade that was anti-war, but she would march in a parade that was pro-peace.

    It's understandable that it can be frustrating when everyone doesn't see everything the same way you do. However, is this an opportunity to share the love of Jesus or a set of rules? Whose fault is it when the student doesn't understand - the student or the teacher?

    My mother always told me when you point at someone there are three fingers pointing back at you.

  3. A friend just sent me to read this. So glad she did. I am also a DRE who bothers. God bless you in your work!