For sometime I had been debating if I wanted to return to my parish. I wrote out a long heartfelt note to my parish priest letting him know my desires to no longer be a member at his church. In the end I decided it would have been too prideful on my part to send... that and I doubt he'd much care. I've sort of been a heel in his side I suppose. My redesign for the church interior was 'too traditional' and my remarks about the music director sounding like a tortured cat didn't play over well either. It's been other things too.
Over the course of 6 months I watched as contemporary style worship dominated each mass, guitars at the ambo, applause after mass and the out right mocking of a very devout cassock clad seminarian. Some 2 months prior I ended my fight for the mass in the extraordinary form, even though we have a priest that knows the Latin. The only shining ray of hope was the installation of the new schola choir... which was abruptly replaced by previously mentioned tortured cat lady.
Slowly I began to notice the dwindling numbers of parishioners each week. It was painfully obvious Christmas morning when the church was only half full. My parish is losing it's congregants. Many of the more devout Catholics, those heavily involved in parish functions, have begun scaling back their ties to the church. All the while, the little Ukrainian Catholic mission church continues to grow each Liturgy.
It was a painful final decision, but one I couldn't drag out. My last Sunday at said parish my son wanted to hold my hand during the Lord's Prayer. When I tried to instruct him otherwise, he said 'every one else is doing it'. That was my cue that it was time to move on.
The promise for Charlotte was access to the TLM in 2008. It will be interesting to note it's affect on the liberal and contemporary churches in this diocese. I wonder if it will finish the job that my priest has started... the death of a parish.