I've been teaching in the CCD program for our parish the past 2 years and began this year co-teaching the confirmation students. Due to my emergency room visits and surgery I missed mass at my parish for two weeks. I e-mailed our priest and asked for him to pray for me. No response whatsoever. So continue on with class, then I took the kids to Disneyland one Sunday to celebrate Ruben and my 6th wedding anniversary. The next week I am back and Father is handing out 'Thank You' certificates to all of the teachers then having a parent say some kind words about each. Mind you there are only 7 of us. He doesn't recognize me at all. He doesn't say anything to me after mass. He comes to my classroom looks in, snarls, and leaves. Now I am well aware that priests are people too, but he has gone off the deep end with so many of our parishioners and so many have left. I hung on and said I can do this. This is the parish my grandparents, great-uncles & aunts put their blood sweat & tears into. All of my sacraments were performed there. My parish is more than just a Roman Catholic Church it has been my family. We are small. You know everyone. There are people that emigrated from Mexico alongside my grandmother back in the 1920's. Because of the location of our parish in the diocese we always are provided with priests who are at the end of their vocation or life for that matter. Well my priests silence toward me has allowed me to let go.
I go to confession in the city where I worked that is a 30 minute drive from home. I had recently asked for counseling from their priest because of this and he asked me to find spiritual comfort by leaving my St. Francis of Assisi and join his Sacred Heart. With the heaviest heart I walked away from my parish for now. I walked away from those 15 & 16 year old's in the midst of their confirmation classes. I was able to ensure they were in capable hands, but I did abandon them. My soul had been starving. The first time I was at my new parish calling it my parish I ran into a young man and his wife who had left the year prior due to a move north. That very evening they were turning their registration in for Sacred Heart because they moved south. My cousins attend this parish and so do some other friends. I am hopeful of things to come, but sad to have taken a step back. I was also a Lector and for now have decided to stay off the ambo and focus on my family. Marcos needs work on his prayer life and I need to teach him. So this has been heavy on my heart, I have not shared this with any of you till now almost two months later.
A few Sundays ago I was able to attend a special memorial mass in honor of the deceased Knights of Columbus council that my grandfather chartered which has not moved to another parish. So many old friends, so many happy memories and unfortunately so many people aware of the downward spiral of my home parish. There is so much more, but I will not bother you with heavy details.
I ask for your prayers and to pray for my parish. Thank you.