July 07, 2008

Why I Didn't Want to Merge with the "Other Parish"

I thought of about twenty other titles that I could have chosen for this post, but I wanted to maintain my "G" rating. But as you can surmise from the title, I am continuing to be unhappy about our merger. And this was only the first weekend as a new parish.

My girlfriend attended the 5:00 PM mass at the other church. She was sitting in her pew and over heard people behind her commenting that "the cabbage eating Pollocks" were in church. She was totally offended and she isn't even Polish. In addition, she attended a meeting for "Ushers and Greeters" (their ministry name as opposed to ours which was "Hospitality Ministers" - of course the name for the ministry had to be theirs) and during the meeting, a woman from the other parish leaned over to her, put her hand on my friend's arm, and told her that our parish members would get used to doing things "their" (parish) way. Apparently, the merger of two equal parishes is turning into the corporate takeover that the people at my parish anticipated it would be.

Another change that people from my parish must adjust to is that now, Lectors and Eucharistic Ministers must now sign in before mass. Apparently at the other parish, these ministers frequently did not show up when scheduled, so they had to sign in. We never had that problem at my parish - when people were scheduled, they showed up or they got a substitute. If they didn't show up, it was because they threw up on the way to church.

In addition, we now have "Communion Police" - at the other church, people didn't know that you need to consume the Body of Christ before walking back to their seats, a problem we never had, so now "Ushers or Greeters" stand at the end of the communion rail to check and make sure that people have consumed the consecrated host. Again, we must do things their way.

I really dislike these two changes. I feel like I am being treated like a child because members of the other parish were not responsible.

As you can tell, I am not happy with this merger. I plan to speak to the new pastor this week, if he ever gets around to letting me know what the status of CCD is. And if he chooses to ignore me, I will have no problem resigning and changing parishes. I dislike being "pushed out of my parish," but I am certainly not going to remain in a place where I don't feel welcome.


abb said...

Good Morning, Ellen!

Glad you stopped by my little old corner of cyberspace! I had a BLAST working with that school nurse my first year, and really feel like I have a new nephew in that incredible little guy or hers.

It sounds like your two families know how to have fun what with all the tales that SN has told me!

I'm not Catholic, but my husband and children are. They were educated in Catholic schools from the beginning to the end of high school. Our parishes didn't merge, but one of the most heart-breaking times in all of our lives was when the powers that be decided the thing to do was to "regionalize" all our schools. It was horrible and devastating. And I remember being made promises that weren't kept, being absorbed into another school - who had their own "ways". Blech! Since the 20 years ago that the regionalization happened, we seem to slowly but surely be going back to parish schools, but that could be wishful thinking on my part as well.
Well, that was certainly long-winded!

Glad to "meet" you, Ellen, and may our blog paths cross again! Hope your family finds a new welcoming and warm parish home without much ado.

BTW - that cabbage eating Pollock remark? Why were those folks in church. I seem to remember something along the lines of "Let not you judge..." or how about "He who is perfect..."? Some people! (sigh)

EC Gefroh said...

Ellen, our parish merged with another parish about a mile down the road. As far as I know, things have gone relatively smoothly. It saddens me to read that it is not always so. That comment was very offensive, especially since it was uttered in God's house. Maybe Perpetual Adoration would help your parishes...Praying.