A scenario that happens almost daily in this country. You listen to a Catholic radio station or a good TV show about the real one true Catholic Church and they begin to speak terms that you aren’t familiar with and you find out that the earliest Christians were Catholic, that Catholic dogma is not unscriptural. You become convinced that Jesus Christ himself set up a Church, that He did so upon the rock of St. Peter, and that the gates of Hell will never prevail against it. You are willing to learn more about the eternal teaching of the Catholic Church and truly desire to become a serious, committed Catholic who serves and worships Our Lord Jesus Christ.
You do what most people do in a case like this; you call your local parish and speak with the priest. Weather you are a fallen away Catholic or a non-Catholic wanting to become Catholic you enroll in either RCIA or into a parish sponsored Bible study to better understand your faith. Once class begins you don’t hear much about Mary, the other Saints, sin, Purgatory or Hell and some of the other terms you heard from the radio show. You hear little about the Mass as a propitiatory Sacrifice, but instead hear it described only as a “celebratory meal.” Depending on the parish you find, you may hear and see things that seem totally contradictory to what you would expect to find or what you thought you would hear at the Catholic Church. Your instructor may say things like, “The Church doesn’t teach that anymore since Vatican II” and may come off as religiously indifferent, not insistent enough that the Church is Christ’s Church and that outside of Her there is no salvation.
The Masses offered seem not too unlike what you would see at a Lutheran, “low church” Anglican, or maybe even a Pentecostal faith community. You have always associated “Catholic” with things like eating fish on Fridays, nuns in black and white habits, confessionals, and lots of stained glass. A Church that is ancient, mysterious, beautiful and grand. You take a close look around your parish and are left wondering why nothing you see there seems to match up to what you had expected or that you remembered as a child. Things are not right in your mind.
You were expecting to see something like these:
But you got this:
You expected to see this:
You seen this:
Sincere, reverent Catholics believe in the absolute sacredness of Communion, so you thought you would see this:
You seen nothing about reverence, just disrespect, like this:
Something is wrong. This is keeping you up late at night. You are amazed at what your are seeing and hearing, it seems too “Protestant.” Whatever it is, just doesn’t add up. All sense of Mystery, of Holiness and ancientness, all beauty is missing completely. It’s not Catholic enough for what you at looking for. It isn’t reverent or respectful enough. It isn’t holy like you thought it was supposed to be. What is this you ask? Have I been taught the true Catholic Church teachings? You are more lost now then ever before.
At this point is where people make the decision to move on. You will stay where you are and continue because everyone else is. You may seek additional training from a truly reverent Catholic Church, perhaps attend a Latin Mass. You may walk away from Christianity altogether or seek out a Protestant church that will tell you how bad the Catholic Church is and you should be glad you got out of that cult. Only a few will go onto learn the truth, most will give up or become Protestant. This is too bad and not the way it should be.
If you are at this point, where you want to increase the reverence you have for our Lord and gain some badly needed knowledge of the one true Catholic Church, I strongly encourage you to not give up the search. Continue to look. I know how you feel, I was once there myself but I found the truth and the reverence. My story in a short version.
My wife and I have spent many years growing deeper in love with each other but more importantly deeper in love with our Lord. She did some research and found that women are to wear a veil upon entrance to the Church. She began to veil while going to our Novus Ordo (English speaking Mass), where she and my daughter were the only two vailed at Mass. We began to kneel while receiving Jesus, as if kneeling at the gates of Heaven. My family has always dressed nicely to attend Mass, seems like the appropriate and most respectful thing to do when going to see Jesus. Kneeling at our Church at that time was frowned upon and not welcomed. We don’t want to be a part of taking attention away from our Lord by wearing indecent and degrading clothing. At the English speaking Mass we attended, modest attire was never addressed. We felt the need for more reverence.
We looked around and found all that we were missing at a traditional Latin Mass. We now attend Saint Philippine Duchesne in the Kansas City, Kansas Archdiocese. It is our real home for true teaching of the Catholic Church. Please read about it below.
Saint Philippine Duchesne
Pastoral care of our community is provided by the priests of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, using the traditional Latin liturgy, with the permission of His Excellency The Most Reverend Joseph Naumann, D.D., Archbishop of Kansas City in Kansas.
The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) is a Clerical Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical right, that is, a community of Roman Catholic priests who do not take religious vows, but who work together for a common mission in the world. Fraternity priests provide pastoral care for members of the Catholic Faithful using the traditional liturgy of the Roman Rite according to the liturgical books of 1962. At present, there are FSSP chaplaincies in Europe, the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Australia, Great Britain, Nigeria and Benin. Additionally, the Fraternity operates two major seminaries: the original formation house in Wigratzbad, Germany (Diocese of Augsburg), and the other in Denton, Nebraska, U.S.A. (Diocese of Lincoln).