Thursday and Friday of last week, I went to downtown Paducah to the library to work on some things. And while I was there, it kind of got me to thinking about something completely unrelated to the library.
I know this is weird, but hear me out.
Across the street from said library is a Catholic church. And this church happens to be the one where I started going to Mass on a regular basis and started becoming more involved in my faith.
But why did it stike a chord?
I have a lot of memories at this church: learning how to serve, youth group, one of my favorite priests, Confirmation, and probably several more memories.
That same summer, we had a priest reassignment at the church and Newman House I went to during college. And with these reassignments, I found that I didn’t like the new priest at my home parish as much as I did the previous priest or the new priests at my college parish and Newman House. I started to drift away from my home parish not just because of that, but also because I started going to Mass more at my college parish than I did at my home parish.
I began feeling disconnected from the parish that I had gone to before college.
I just feel like I didn’t and don’t quite fit in there as much as I used to.
There used to be people I knew fairly well, that I went to school with. But now, we’ve grown up and gone our separate ways.
Not only that, but the people there still associate me with my mom, which of course isn’t a bad thing at all. And they might still see me as the person I was before I went to college, went to church in Murray, and grew up.
I’ve grown up and I’ve become more myself than I was then. I feel like the parish I went to in college sees me more for who I am now and sees me as an individual instead of just belonging to a parent.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents and am glad to have them as my parents. But I also want to be my own person and am glad that a parish sees me as my own person and has seen me grow into the person that I am.
So that’s why I decided to change parishes this fall.
I had known previously that when I graduated, I would need to decide where I wanted my home parish to be. But it was at the beginning of September that I finally took the leap and made the decision.
The parish in Murray had seen me grow up and grow as an individual. And over the course of my college years, it had come to feel like home.
So I asked the parish priest via email and in person what I needed to do to change parishes. And he and one of the deacons helped guide me along the way to making that parish my home. I took the registration form home and my mom helped me find the right documents to fill it out. I turned it in later that week and it became official.
And here’s what my mindset has been.
It took me some time (and is still taking me time) to get used to the fact that this parish is now my home parish. I love the parish and the people there.
I had a hectic summer, one full of travelling and trying to figure things out. So it feels nice to have a home base of sorts. To have a place where I know that I’m always welcome and where I can continue to grow as an adult and as an individual.
But part of my heart will always remain at my previous parish. And part of my heart will always call it home because of how special it is to me. But my new parish is also home. Home to the adult me.
And that’s something that I like about the Roman Catholic Church:
Wherever you are in the world, if there’s a Roman Catholic Church, you’re always going to have a home.
Until next time, I hope you have a great day!