Why are Catholics so notoriously bad at fellowship?
#11
Part of this in trad circles is due to private devotionalism, low Mass culture and more of a focus on silent Adoration of the reserved Eucharist than on corporate recitation of the Office. I think the Radtrad blog had a great series touching on this. I get this feeling at a Low Mass and at an Adoration service of whatever variety. It's not really communal other than in the abstract, it's all about the priest and Jesus,or the congregation and their individual thoughts, prayers and devotions. Of course this doesn't have to lead to a very private faith,but it often does.

While I'm a loner in many respects it's a beautiful thing at the local Novus Ordo parish when the small congregation prays tyke LOTH together. That does foster more community even in the abstract than silent adoration or low Mass. Just my two cents for what they are worth.
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#12

                                              Without those coffee hours after mass, I'd have trouble finding out who has upcoming medical tests, who's being layed off from  work, and who needs a ride to church.  Not to mention that it's one of the few times I can sit and talk with people who actually think the way Catholics use to think 60 years ago.
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#13
Interesting answers. Like some of you, I'm a bit of a loner and there's nothing I detest more than being "tackled" at Mass by people wanting to talk to me, shake my hand, etc.

But at the same time, we are very isolated. We had a group of women that we did a bible study with for a few years, and I did make some friends there. But as time passes, and they had their allotted 2 babies who have now aged into the school system (and so they returned to work), and my husband and I kept having babies + we homeschool, I don't work, etc... it's hard to find common ground with these women. Even though we're all Catholic, we all have at least some children around the same age, we're around the same ages ourselves... I find we often have completely different value systems and as a result we have very different priorities and lifestyles. 

(Never had this "different value system" been so clear in a recent diocesean synod listening session I participated in. Oy vey!)

I wonder if some of the stand-offishness among Trads isn't necessarily between Trads, but the perceived tension between "regular" NO folks and Trads because we're just in different places. Not a value judgement (although sometimes it's perceived as such), but just a statement of fact that our lives revolved around very different core values and functions.
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#14
(09-20-2016, 07:34 PM)Eric F Wrote:                                             I have ties to the Latin Mass community and to a very traditional minded Eastern Catholic parish in my general area, and this hasn't been my experience at all.

The more traditional the parish, the greater the community, in my experience. The very typical neighborhood novus ordo parishes I grew up in were cold and there was no "community" I can recall at all (I don't count the couple next to me grabbing my hand and lifting it over my hand after the "Our Father".  In the conservative neo catholic parish and in the TLM parishes I have visited people were very friendly, reached out to newcomers, and were there for our family when we needed help of any kind.
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#15
(09-21-2016, 06:33 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Part of this in trad circles is due to private devotionalism, low Mass culture and more of a focus on silent Adoration of the reserved Eucharist than on corporate recitation of the Office. I think the Radtrad blog had a great series touching on this. I get this feeling at a Low Mass and at an Adoration service of whatever variety. It's not really communal other than in the abstract, it's all about the priest and Jesus,or the congregation and their individual thoughts, prayers and devotions. Of course this doesn't have to lead to a very private faith,but it often does.

While I'm a loner in many respects it's a beautiful thing at the local Novus Ordo parish when the small congregation prays tyke LOTH together. That does foster more community even in the abstract than silent adoration or low Mass. Just my two cents for what they are worth.

Unfortunately, this tends to also extend to sung masses. For whatever reason people don't feel that they can join in with singing the prayers with the choir.  Of course I don't expect people to sing the propers, but the unless the choir is doing a complex setting, then the Asperges, Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Agnus Dei plus the other responses (e.g., et cum spiritu tuo, habemus ad Dominum/dignum et justum est, deo gratias) can easily be sung by the laity... I have seen some parishes that this exists, but I feel like it's more of the exception rather than the rule.

It's also a shame that many places do so much prior to Mass and so little after Mass. I know a lot of traditional churches like to do coffee and sweets after Mass, which is nice, but how about praying the Rosary after Mass? Many do it beforehand, but many people don't get to church until minutes before Mass. It'd be easier to pull off right after Mass ends to get people to stay around a bit after.

These may not necessarily lead to fellowship, but it can help with people praying together. Of course I do think more men's and women's groups could also help. Getting people together (it's much easier to get people of the same gender together) for casual types of events where we eat and drink (in moderation of course) and BS as well as discuss current events and of course the Faith.
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#16
I think it's true for NO Catholics who don't have their kids going through the parochial school. They are alienated. I remember how awkward it could be to go to those pancake breakfasts where you hoped there'd be somebody you knew besides your spouse and children.

At my traditional chapel I know almost everybody and we hang out for coffee after Mass, as others have said. There's generally a church party or other social event about once a month  from September through May.
"Not only are we all in the same boat, but we are all seasick.” --G.K. Chesterton
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#17
Sadly this has been my experience almost everywhere after RCIA, except my home parish.  It took about 4 years of volunteering with book sales, Prison Mass, and a few other things for people to begin to interact with me at one parish in grad school.  It's never happened since at any other while I've moved around.Back in my Baptist days,  there was a tremendous amount of things people there did together, everyone knew one another, etc.
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#18
I think it depends entirely on the parish, the demographics, and the location (A rural vs. an urban parish, for EX).

Even though I have a strong introverted personality, I am craving for some sort of "fellowship" at my current parish. Unfortunately, people seem to be only interested in you if you are married or have children; this is probably true in other (smaller) parishes. Most parishioners don't know for example,  about the fine-quality rosaries, chaplets, etc. that I make; about my artistic abilities; writing religious poetry; or my interest in relics.

Some families have many grown children who help out at the parish, and I am a single whose family are not practicing Catholics. I hate to say it, but parishioners who take prominent places (such as being a cantor, helping out in the kitchen, etc.) become part of a hierarchy where they draw the most influence and attention. We also need to be careful not to draw unnecessary attention to ourselves to the point where we are committing sin either; this is something that I struggle with. Most of me wants to remain unknown and not draw attention to myself, but the human aspect means I want to also finally have some Catholic friends of my age group.

Being able to make rosaries or writing religious poetry are not things I would think most Catholics would treasure or appreciate; but if  you can sing and play instruments, you are suddenly the most popular person in the room.
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#19
(09-25-2016, 10:13 AM)Sequentia Wrote: Being able to make rosaries or writing religious poetry are not things I would think most Catholics would treasure or appreciate; but if  you can sing and play instruments, you are suddenly the most popular person in the room.

I think you would find more appreciation for those talents in a TLM parish vs. a NO because there's more interest in sacramentals in general. But in the NO crowd, not so much.

Also, they're almost "invisible" talents - someone who sings and plays gets up there and does it. But the person who toils away in obscurity.... how do we know?
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