Lately, I’ve been struggling with two problems about parishes, intra- and inter-parish relationships. These things bug me more than I think they should because none of the things are personal to me. However, I just can’t get over them, and one got dragged up recently by an unwitting co-worker.
The first one is about people in the parish who think that they are doing good in an underhanded or even just unorthodox way, but who are causing division and confusion. Sometimes the problem is with the actions or even the personalities of the parishioners involved. My biggest concern is actually with the possible sin of other well-meaning people who disparage them behind their backs. I have even sadly been the person to criticize on many occasions, but I’m not sure what the appropriate thing to do would be.
The second problem is parish and/or school preference. Until moving to the city in 2008, I always lived somewhere where I found choosing a parish to be impractical because of distance. Where I live now, people often belong to a parish other than their own geographical parish, and send their children to different parochial schools. I happen to belong to a parish that is not my geographical parish myself, since my husband didn’t know the location of the geographical parish church when he began attending Mass again after a time away. The thing is, I try not to disparage the parish I should belong to, although I now know I wouldn’t choose it. What about when people disparage my parish or parish school–to my face, no less?
It kind of feels like they insulted my mom.
I think the only thing I can do is keep Christian charity and remember that everyone has their opinion. If I must share mine, I need to do it charitably.