EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part 2 of the article that ran on Tuesday. The author wanted to remain anonymous because they “believe firmly in ‘keeping family business as family business’, and [I] want to protect the reputations of my coworkers while being honest and vulnerable.”
On Tuesday, I talked about the benefits of registering at a different parish than what I work at. And as with everything, there are 2 sides to a coin. Today, let’s look at some of the drawbacks of registering at a different parish.
The Drawbacks of Registering at a Different Parish
Your Work Schedule will Inevitably Create Obstacles to Your Involvement at Your own Parish’s Activities
Dimes to dollars, your youth ministry events will collide with your own parish’s events. The solution to this problem is twofold: 1) reserve time slots for family/parish events and don’t waver on them! 2) Make peace with the fact that the perfect balance doesn’t exist. If you’re married, this is important to discuss with your spouse.
Your Fellow Staff Members May Not See it the Same Way
Here’s where this gets super personal for me! At my workplace, some staff gossiped about this very thing about me. All sorts of things were presumed about me (“Does she think she’s too good for us? …Clearly she isn’t fully committed to this job…Did you see that she didn’t go to Sunday Mass here again?” or the passive-aggressive jokes “Do you even work here?”) Two of my coworkers also weren’t registered at our workplace. Because we weren’t on the parish list and calendar, our birthdays were ignored while registered staff had parties thrown for them. We were told we weren’t permitted to assist at Mass. Now, these are struggles specific to my own story, and all have been resolved, but I tell this to illustrate that this choice was not without its drawbacks.
You Will Likely Feel Torn
I often would (and I still catch myself occasionally) feel guilty abandoning my work parish when at my home parish. When I was at my work parish too much (not because God was asking me to be there, but because I caved into the silent pressure from my coworkers of “not being there enough”), I would feel resentful and uncared for. When this happens, I encourage you first to turn to prayer, then to your pastor to discuss it. Often we feel guilty for not doing enough or resentful for doing too much because we are doing what others expect of us, instead of what the Lord and our superiors ask of us.
A Pretty Sweet Home: Wherever Jesus is!
At the end of the day, Jesus desires your good. More than that, He desires your fruitfulness in ministry. Even more than that, He desires you to save souls for Him, He wants your heart. It’s ultimately not about finding the perfect parish, but about finding Him. Go where you find Him, and that’s where you will find your peace. That is certainly where I’ve found mine.