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Lapsed catholic, want to go back

(24 Posts)
Hagothehills Wed 13-Apr-16 12:16:38

...but not really sure where to begin. I was sort of raised catholic, c of e mum (lapsed) Irish catholic dad. Went to mass a few times as a kid and quite liked it, requested communion etc andwas quite happy to identify as catholic. Then got packed off to catholic secondary school and it put me right off. I had never met such an unchristian bunch of people in my life, five years of belittlement, dry preachy mass in the chapel in school and strict rules and severe punishment for breaking them with little consideration or leeway given (worst example was the head of middle school confiscating from a boy in my year, his dead mother's wedding ring, after she died a quite prolonged death and had sought special permission from the head/ Monseigneur etc with the condition that it be kept under his shirt to keep it concealed, it had slipped out while he was playing football at lunch time, I didn't know him that well but i saw her take it from him and he just looked broken).
My parents divorced and I lived primarily with my mum who is quite spiritual but not religious (now training to be a yoga teacher with much of the crunchiness that come with that)

So for a long time I denounced my faith, wanted nothing to do with the church and thought it was all just crusty old men and twee or cantankerous old women. But lately I don't know what exactly has changed, but I want very much to go to confession and maybe just talk to a priest about my faith, (I think part of it .might be because I've been in touch recently with an old teacher from college not school who I now count as a friend and who is also catholic and has much the same reservations as me,) I want to live a good life and be a good person, but I feel like I have this constant low level guilt always going on. Sorry for the long ramble, I guess I'm just a bit confused atm
TL:Dr- was raised catholic, went to catholic school and hated it, it put me right off, now I want to go back but don't know where to begin

HelpfulChap Wed 13-Apr-16 12:18:46

I'm sure if you just went to a service at your local church they would be pleased to see a new face.

Just pop along and play it by ear?

Hagothehills Wed 13-Apr-16 12:49:54

I had intentions to go to mass this morning but I missed it, tricky to get there for 9 with a 2.5 year old sad do you think I could knock at priests house and have a little talk with him? Maybe arrange a time for confession? ( normally it's on a Saturday evening but I can't go then)

QofF Wed 13-Apr-16 16:10:39

Hag don't know how it works at other churches but at mine the priests offices are open in the morning and late pm/early evening - are there any notices outside the church saying when is open? Anyway first step is to find a priest - ideally when he is not about to start or finish mass as will be busier then and arrange a time to talk. I hadn't been to confession (or reconciliation - prefer this term personally) for a good while and went a month or so ago and I loved it! The priest was fantastic and really managed to convey to me the feeling of God's love and mercy. There wasn't any of the stereotypical reciting a list of sins or any feeling of guilt involved. Just a chat and some unburdening and good advice and a message of love and reconciliation.
Makes me so sad (and angry) to read about experiences like yours and the boy at your school. My DH is very anti the church and religion in general, largely because of experiences growing up and I totally get why. I get so much from my faith that I am so grateful that all of my personal experiences have been good.

sunnyspot Wed 13-Apr-16 20:55:57

I too had a rubbish time at my catholic secondary school and lost my faith as a result.
Over time I felt a gap in my life which I just couldn't t fill. I realised that I had abandoned my faith because of a few unpleasant people. I should have separated faith from human failings. I have now regained my faith, am part of a wonderful church community and my life is complete again
I wish you luck on your journey Hagothehills.

DitheringSJ Wed 13-Apr-16 22:09:47

I didn't go to confession for 23 years. It was good to go back and I now go about twice a year. First time back was not at all how I thought it would be (wasn't dark and dismal - the priest was nonjudgmental and gave good reassuring advice before absolution) and I chose a church outside of my parish as I don't have much faith or respect for my own parish priest unfortunately.

If you are comfortable with arranging an appointment explaining your desire to return I'm sure they'll welcome you gladly. The priest will probably advise you not to take communion until you have been to confession as they would with anyone that has missed mass for a long time.

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 12:23:20

Going to confession today at two, spoken to the priest and he said he could see me then (it's normally on a Saturday evening when I can't go). I'm really nervous but also quite excited, perhaps the weight of conscience will feel a little lighter. I don't know this priest but im hopeful that I soon will smile maybe. Say a prayer for me x

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 12:57:24

And thank you all for your support

TomHaverford Thu 14-Apr-16 13:08:14

Praying for you! Let us know how it goes smile

QofF Thu 14-Apr-16 14:58:55

Hope it goes well smile

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 15:09:56

Well that was cathartic. Not exactly pleasant, had a good cry and a good chat with the (very lovely and reassuring) priest. He said he couldn't give me any penance more than living every day with what I've done, and I agree (I've done some pretty terrible things and there's nothing I can do to undo them) but the heavy burden of guilt is eased a little. Knowing what I've done was wrong but I'm forgiven means a lot. I think it went well smile

TomHaverford Thu 14-Apr-16 16:12:32

Aw that's good. Taking the first step in anything is always hard so well done!

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 17:13:44

Thank you smile just to convince dp that I want to go to mass on Sunday. I've been lapsed since before he met me so he's probably going to be quite confused as to where this new found faith has come from. (Even I'm.not sure tbh, it's very out of the blue but I had the most overwhelming urge to just be in a church, and not just any old church but a catholic one, and I thought no I need absoltion before I can do that, I feel like such a terrible hypocrite going to church with one mortal sin never mind more than one. I'm very glad I went thought. My parish priest is a really lovely man and had some great words of wisdom

QofF Thu 14-Apr-16 17:51:15

So glad it went well hag. And remember that there is not one person walking around who also hasn't done things they wish they hadn't. The beauty of reconciliation is that feeling of a clean slate afterwards. How is your dp likely to take this change in you?

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 18:22:41

QofF probably not very well tbh he's very much a man of science (is in fact a scientist). His grandad was religious and he wears his cross but it's in memory of him and not anything to do with having faith. He's also CofE and I don't think he's all that keen on the Catholic church. He would probably think I wanted to go to church to look good rather than because I really want to

QofF Thu 14-Apr-16 19:31:09

I sympathise with you. My DH is very anti religion as mentioned up thread. I went through years of our relationship with him knowing I had faith and identified as a catholic but rarely seeing me go to mass. Mainly because I drifted away from practising. Then a couple of years ago I rediscovered it with a bang and it is now incredibly important to me. He is bemused by this change, sees me going to morning mass on a Sunday morning as being an odd use of a Sunday but to be fair accepts it and we rarely talk about it. Feel free to join us on the prayer thread if you want - it's very supportive and there are a few regular posters who also have atheist OH's.

Hagothehills Thu 14-Apr-16 19:45:49

Thank QofE that means a lot smile [toddles off to have a look at the prayer boards]

DitheringSJ Thu 14-Apr-16 19:56:29

Sounds like it went well and you have a decent priest there. I go to mass every Sunday with my family so I am fortunate. Occasionally I go during the week to another parish - it's nice to be able to go now and then not having to keep all three kids in order! I'm sure many non Catholics would find it strange, it's a commitment of your time but I'm sure you'll find it even more uplifting. Be proud that you've done it right by going to Confession first, your priest will respect you even more for that.

sunnyspot Thu 14-Apr-16 20:41:38

So pleased you found it helpful. I am another one with an atheist OH. Lots of us around! After a few turbulent years he now realises how important my faith is to me and is much more tolerant. He even likes the Pope!
I hope it all turns out well for you.

QofF Thu 14-Apr-16 20:53:38

Yes the current Pope has done me some favours regarding my faith with my OH as well smile.
Dithering I love going to mass during the week on my own every so often as well. The calm is a welcome contrast every so often from the hustle and bustle of the family mass I take ds to on Sundays.
Hag the hope is that when your OH sees you are not suddenly going to morph into someone else with completely different values and if he realises you are not on a mission to convert him then he will accept it if not understand it.

defunctedusername Sat 16-Apr-16 01:13:34

What is it you have done that is so bad?

Hagothehills Sat 16-Apr-16 15:35:09

That is private.

ArundelTomb Tue 19-Apr-16 20:15:29

What is it you have done that is so bad?

I think she voted Tory in the '97 election. <faints>

Hagothehills Fri 22-Apr-16 08:33:16

Yep. When I was six. I've been outed! grin

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