Thursday, November 29, 2018


 The National Chismatic Reporter (NCR) has an interest article. Below the photograph I copy an excerpt. You can read the entire article by pressing their title below. My comments follow the excerpt.


Ikea insight for Catholics: When home doesn't feel like home

With romanticized nostalgia, the holiday troubadours tell us, "There's no place like home for the holidays." With blunt but slick marketing, the international furniture store Ikea tells us, "For a third of us, home doesn't even feel like home anymore."
According to Ikea's surprisingly existential annual Life at Home Report:

  • 29 percent of people don't feel at home where they live;
  • 45 percent of Americans go to their car – not their home – to have a private moment;
  • 53 percent of young families don't get a sense of belonging from their residential space;
  • 33 percent of respondents don't feel their residence provides a sense of security;
  • The five core needs identified for feeling at home are privacy, security, comfort, ownership and belonging.

And so, as I hold this information, I wonder: What if, instead of Ikea, it said the Catholic Church? What if, instead of a residential space and a sense of belonging, it was the parish church and a sense of belonging? I suspect that it's not just a growing number of Americans who don't feel at home in their home, but a growing number of Catholics who don't feel at home in their church; after all, we continue to bleed more adherents annually than any other Christian denomination. With these results, I also wonder if Ikea should sell some Dante inspired merchandise. A circular "All hope abandon, ye who enter here," door mat seems appropriate.

My comments: 

Is the premise of Mark Piper true as it concerns Catholics not feeling at home in their parish church?

I would suspect yes, because Catholics are no longer united on what it means to be a Catholic. We have become so polarized, so Balkanized you will get no real answers to the question what makes a good Catholic, what makes a lukewarm, tepid Catholic and what makes a bad Catholic.

In pre-Vatican II times, like it or not, there were rigid guidelines about what constituted good, medium and bad Catholics.

Good Catholics did not divorce, commit adultery or fornicate.  

Good Catholics knew that charity began at home, the family was the Church in miniature and that one had to follow the laws of God and of the Church. 

Good Catholics knew that they were to pray, support the Church and be obedient to the Magisterium in the realm of faith, morals and canon law. They were to carry out the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

Good Catholics fulfilled their Sunday Mass obligation not expecting to be entertained at Mass but simply to be present and worthily receive Holy Communion. For those who wanted  noble simplicity in the Mass prior to the Council, the Low Mass was the go to Mass! Extravagance in the style of Mass meant one with chants and some as high as the Empire State building, but these weren't for rank and file good Catholics but for super Catholics who also went to daily Mass.

Good Catholics knew they had to go to Confession regularly, sometimes weekly, get married in the Church, stay marry and raise their kids in the Church and instill in them that the Catholic Church is the true Church and to leave her, even partially, is a mortal sin condensing their immortal soul to hell.  

Because of all of the above and clear expectations but also the Sacrament of Mercy, Confession, I ahve always felt at home in whatever parish I belonged or visited, unless things were over the top super creative or out of sync   with what I consider orthodoxy and traditional styles of the Mass.

But today, Catholics don't feel at home in the parish if the priest preaches the truth, calls people to live by the truth and to name mortal sin what it is mortal. They want their disorders recognized as intrinsic to who they are and thus of God not opposed to Him.  

So if a priest preaches that all people are called to chastity and explains what that means in concrete situations of being married or single and that marriage and the marital act are only for those who are male and female and committed to a life long Sacrament through the Church, they will get up and leave feeling insulted.

Interesting, nop? 


Victor said...

Yep! And the question that derivatively follows is that if people leave when truth is preached, is there a Catholic Church there in the first place.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I think we feel "at home" at home because it is where we are welcomed and loved despite our shortcomings and failings.

We feel at home because know the inside jokes and we know which subjects will engender discussion and which will lead to World War III at the dinner table.

We feel at home because we have shared the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties with the people who live there.

We feel at home because they know our silly secrets and we know theirs.

And we feel at home because the folks there don't overlook or countenance our bad behavior; rather, they, starting with our parents, call us to become the better selves (the Saints) that we are called to be at Baptism.

Henry said...

"Good Catholics did/knew/fulfilled . . . "

The good Catholics I know today are the same as they were then. But now there are a lot more Catholics (if in name only) who are not good Catholics.

Carol H. said...

Traditions make us feel at home. The sense of knowing what to expect makes us feel secure. Young people like to chase after new and exciting things, but they eventually feel lost. They always feel comforted when they return home to what they know, and learn to cherish the traditions that they once thought mundane.

When traditions are discarded, one's sense of home is lost.