Sunday, August 21, 2011

More Church Misadventures

I went to the smaller church today. It's a neighborhood church. Lovely place even though it's in need of repairs. The tabernacle was out in all it's splendor. The people were very friendly and devout. I told Hubby that despite it not having a cry room that I liked this church enough to join. One small tiny problem: I don't speak enough Spanish. That's right it's an all Spanish-speaking church. We were the only three anglos there. So I suppose by default, we shouldn't join. We wouldn't be able to read any of the paper work for the sacraments.

After that Hubby said something that sent me over the edge and so I went home and sobbed. I felt totally unhappy and miserable. All the rest of the available parishes are out of our boundary lines. We live too far away. Although it's not a great distance so theoretically we could go visit them. So after mopping up my face and picking myself back up, I went on the bigger Church's website. And lo and behold God or the Virgin Mary who I've been so ardently praying for guidance on this issue, pointed out to me that the secretary lied to me. She lied. It's upsetting but most promising as I now have more than I need to confront the priest with what's going on.

She told me that she didn't have forms. They're online. She said that they only allowed registration once a month at a certain month. And she said that it was on the website. That's not true either. The website has never said anything to that affect and I started digging harder to double check. That's how I came across the registration forms. There is nothing on the registration forms to indicate that you must go to that particular Mass in order to register. She lied. Not only did she lie or misrepresent the process, she made her parish look bad and she made me feel completely unwanted.

Hubby at this point was about to head over to that Church and try to speak to a priest in person, but I told him that there was no need. As soon as we find or buy some computer paper, I plan on printing out the forms (which are all of two pages) and mailing them along with a letter directly to the priest in charge. I plan on explaining everything in detail without assigning blame only explaining how the whole process made me feel and why it was so important to me to register with the parish as soon as possible. I plan on giving him my contact information so if he wants to, he can speak to me about it. Otherwise, I leave it in God's hands.

I feels somehow better. After all that, I can contact the baptismal coordinator and if this whole registration thing is still an issue, I can explain to him that I've made every effort. To deny a person their baptism because of paper work issues, well then that's definitely a matter to take up with the Bishop's office.

To me this whole registration fiasco is not something that the Bishop's office should have to handle. And I'm sure the parish priests have no idea that this is going on or that this happened to me. Secretaries and office staff, as I have said, are horrible people. Not always, but as has been my experience, they are truly nasty people. They make the parish look bad and the poor priest can only admonish them since these people should be Catholics and have to work for little pay. It's like teachers. There are awesome ones but there are so many terrible ones. Ones who give their students busy work and look forward to the summer break. They make teaching look bad. And so this secretary makes this parish look bad. I wouldn't be surprised if some issue with her hasn't already come up.

Update: Oh, oh. Even better. The priest's e-mail is on the site. Now I can't be avoided or diverted by office staff. I can scan a copy of the forms to him too. How's that for getting in touch directly with the priest.

3 comments:

  1. I am so glad that the priest's email is directly on there because my first thought when reading this was: "Oh no! What if she opens his mail and sees it and throws it out? If she lied about the other stuff it's definitely in the realm of possibility!" But email definitely sidesteps that problem. How frustrating though!

    We thought we'd figured out where we were going to go, but we drove out to the University chapel today and the Latin Mass there was just so beautiful (and there were a ton of little kids) that I think we're going to do the twenty minute commute each week.

    I am a bit worried about the sacrament thing though, because it's a "quasi-parish" so still some figuring out to do (I'm afraid that means we have to get permission for sacraments through a local parish...) . Who knew this could all be so stressful?

    I hope you guys get this all straightened out quickly and are able to make a place for yourself at a parish that you feel welcome! They should really be excited to see a young family! Even if they are a large church!

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  2. My concern about reading the mail made me nervous too. Some priests prefer their secretaries to read stuff addressed to them first and others don't.

    I truly hope that she didn't know what was on the website and simply lied through no fault of her own. I try to think the best of people. But you never know which is why when I typed up the letter I only pointed out the discrepancies and wasn't accusatory.

    As for the quasi-parish thing or Newman Center, some will Baptize children. The parish that I worked at had a few children who were baptized at the Newman Center. Problem was these places don't keep records. Not sure if you know this but every sacrament that you receive gets recorded both where you received it and then sent to be recorded at the place you were Baptized at. So if you ever need to obtain records for your girls's sacraments you only really need to contact the parish they were baptized at.

    This, of course, posed a problem with this one girl's 1st communion since there was no record keeping at the Newman Center. So to show that she was indeed Baptized, the mother brought in pictures. You only need some sort of evidence like photos and/or certificate. Her records are now being kept at the place of her 1st communion.

    So I guess this is my long winded way of saying if you choose the chapel, document. You may be thanking me later.

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  3. Oh, we aren't the only young family. The thing about living in a University area is that most everyone is young. Which probably explains why the woman could care less. People come and go when they graduate.

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