Monday, April 16, 2007

Breaking News: Catholics Happy With Parish Life

Clearview, IL: In groundbreaking news, an alarming number of Catholics report that they are happy with their parishes.

Investigative reporter Luke Arownferstuf posted himself outside a Clearview Catholic church when masses were letting out, posing the question: "What do you think of the Catholic Church, esp. this parish?"

"Great, really. You know, Fr. Whiting often preaches a homily that makes me think. And the Sunday Eucharist is the center of my week. Plus I kind of like the variety of songs, and the people aren't perfect, but who is? We're all there because we need help, right? " observed Marcilla Buntz, a 70 year old member of Resurrection Parish in Clearview.

Another member, 25 year old Jon Ryan, added "I think it's great, the support I get trying to be a spiritual man in this society, and a single father to boot. This is the only place I know where my life is accepted like this. Sure isn't at work."

His four year son, Jason, smiled and added, "I really like learning about Jesus."

Arownferstuf finally shouted into the exiting crowd, "Doesn't anyone here have gripes with one another?" and people just looked at him blankly. One finally said, "Look, man, we're the Body of Christ." And they smiled and walked away, whistling.

Finding little shocking news, Arownferstuf drove to the downtown parish, Our Lady of Angels, and interviewed people leaving the 11:00 am Mass.

"Well, I attend because I need a place to worship God, and this church has always felt the most right to me. I mean, why else would you go to church? If you want to just do good stuff, go find your local Lions Club," said 40 year old Denise Rousseau.

Her husband, Gerard, interjected. "That's true, but I like the way this church encourages good works flowing out of our faith. I appreciate it that we work as a community with projects like Habitat and Birthright. We're called to serve others in humility and love, and this church encourages that. What can we say? We like being Catholic."

Valerie Brown, 55, responded "Sure, I'm happy with the parish. I mean, I'm worshiping with the communion of saints and see God's grace made visible every week. It helps me pray and be who God wants me to be. OK, so I don't like a song or two. I like others. Big deal."

In desperation, Arownferstuf interviewed the homeless man begging next to the doors. "Yep, they're a right nice bunch," he said. "Most of them ask me how I'm doing, and the sisters invite me in to Mass too. I get some change and people offer to drive me to the nearest Catholic Worker house. I must admit, one person looked at me strange two weeks ago; but then he apologized the next week after those confession hours. It's been nicer than begging at the Starbucks down the street; it's like they think I'm a human being here."

An exasperated Arownferstuf admitted that his investigation must be flawed. "We all know Catholics can't be this happy with their lot. Geez, they make more headlines than all the other churches combined for a year in one week! I must be running into some kind of theological conspiracy, all this dignity-God-love weirdness. I'm going to keep tapping on this conspiracy until something breaks. More next week."


p.s. or is it not-so-fake news?


Mr. Disgruntled said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hee hee hee hee hee ha ha hee ha ha hee ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha hooooo.

Diane said...

I got as far as "Fr. Whiting often preaches a homily that makes me think" and knew it had to be fake! Great piece. It makes me think, "If not, why not??"

John B. said...

I have generally been happy with parish life for my entire parish is perfect, but then again neither am I. Sure, maybe the music gets on my nerves for a few weeks, or whatever, but the Church is not perfect as are not its members.

Here is a novel thought...if parish life doesn't make you happy, get involved, try to change things, help out a bit.

There is so much negativity concerning parishes, negativity on the internet amongst Catholic bloggers , much less so than in parish life.

Ray from MN said...

Did the Second Coming happen when I wasn't paying attention?

Did I make it? And I didn't see anybody I recognized!

The Ironic Catholic said...

The Kingdom of God is among you, Ray...!

Right, y'all... I read these blogs (and talk at work) and would suspect that Catholic parishes are flushing down a deep tube fast...but my experience (and most "not in the churchy loop" experiences of others) is that my parishes have been great!

Just a reality check. I hope. And a dig at the media's harping on what's wrong with Catholics?

Jen said...

I would say "not-so-fake news." I DO have a pastor who's homilies make me think AND feel AND want to follow Christ more closely. As John B. said, the people in my parish appear happy. I don't see that in the blogs I read. I also get frustrated at the negativity I see about Catholics on the internet, but it is mostly frustration at how Catholics will attack other Catholics. We all have our own weaknesses and struggles in our efforts to be good Christians. Our infighting does more harm than good to the Body of Christ.

Rufus McCain said...

Even though I bitch and moan a lot (often inwardly, occasionally to my wife, very occasionally in a blog entry) I've had many wonderful albeit fleeting experiences of the reality behind the irony of this piece. And yes I'm ashamed of my bitching and moaning and the consumerist attitude towards the faith that it reveals and the fact that I'm not doing anything to try to improve matters. In a way the worse things get, though, the more wonderful Christ's presence among us. Alleluah, alleuah! Great post, IC.

Anna said...

Of course it's a lot easier to vent frustrations on blogs than it is face-to-face. And I think that's what a lot of people intend to use their blogs for: venting. Either we have to say this is ok and accept the resulting negativity or we have to say that we shouldn't vent our frustrations. Are we willing to go that far, particularly in regard to actually stopping any venting we ourselves want to do? Would that principle mean that we can't negatively vent about other people's negativity?