The cost of gas keeps me from making the weekly trip to Belmont Abbey anymore and St. Basil's Ukrainian Catholic Church is also an hour away and only meets every three weeks.
So for practicality reasons, my only option is my current parish.
But I am going to be honest here, it's more then the practical commute that has me back there. It's the parish I converted in and received the sacraments, it's where my son was baptized, it's where I volunteered for many years. It is my home.
That is why I get so defensive about the liturgical terrorism that is currently taking place. That's why I feel like it is worth fighting for.
I have many friends at this parish and these friends hold the same view about the direction the church has taken that I hold. Some have left for good and some, like me, leave for periods of time and come back. When we get together we bemoan the horrible music and lack of leadership. They will say they have made several phone calls to father and then finally admit it's pointless. However, every Sunday we're back there again.
I can't speak for why my friends keep returning, but I can guess it's much for the same reasons I end up back in her pews. The other options in this diocese are just as abysmal and it's not practical to drive all over the city... and it's home.
I stay because I am also not of the "throw away" mindset this culture has adapted. If somethings broke, fix it. The parish is mine, my home, and I have pride in that... pride enough to want to stay and make her as beautiful as I know she can be.
You can also think of it a relationship, or a marriage. When things go wrong you stay and work them out, not leave and shack up with some newer hotter church down the road.
Finally, I stay because I am not a quitter and I am still young enough to have the appropriate amount of naivety to think one person can make a difference.
So if you've read this far you understand why I haven't made an official exit from said parish. Now let's weigh that with the reasons I think I should pack it up and move on.
The number reason I have for leaving would be my son. He is five and next year will begin CCD in preparation for the first Holy Communion. I know for a fact that there have been instances when a teacher will to tell a child having a tough time grasping transubstantiation that Communion is a SYMBOL. This is just evil and diabolical.
I also don't want my son to think that all the tradition the Church has to offer are these awful hand holding sing-a-longs. For the sake of his salvation he deserves to be properly formed in his faith.
Then, of course, there's my sanity at stake every time I walk into mass and see an acoustic guitar at the ambo and hear the caterwauling of the music director.
And lastly, Mary Alexander said it perfectly:
"Putting up with this embattlement isn't good for your Faith. You need all your energy to fight the world, the flesh and the devil. You can't illuminate people who delight persisting in their self interest and ignorance. This discussion with the music director isn't about the Mass, it's about her and how she feels, and how much attention she gets.She's right. This state of mind is not a good place to be. Every Sunday when I leave my church I am in a state of unrest that consumes me all week.
I can't engage these types of battles anymore. I'm too old, too busy and far too cynical. It's a good place to be."
In fact, reading over some of the other posts under the "parish hall" label shows me the history of how on going these problems have been and how futile my efforts are. Only a fool doesn't learn from past mistakes. Maybe I am fool for staying and trying to make a difference. Maybe I suffer from delusions of sainthood. There is a reason there is no patron saint for quitters, but a heaven full of holy men and women who have fought and died defending what they love from heresy. If I follow the examples of the saints, I should stay at fight right?