Sunday, June 27, 2004

Wickey wickey wahoo

Blah. I feel kind of...blah lately. Of course, that doesn't deviate much from how I've felt for the last year and a half or so. My experience at St. Al's Church and Country Club did a real number on me, moreso than any other negative work experiences I've ever had. Maybe because the Church isn't supposed to be just like any other business. Maybe because things like how much money a person has shouldn't matter there. Maybe because I just don't see how not being in a sorority makes a difference to how I do my job as a youth minister.

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but I honestly believe that this whole scenario has been brewing for a while. The person they hired in my stead is the son of dentist and an heiress, the grandson of founding parishioners, and a founding member of the currrent incarnation of their youth group. He started e-mailing me in the fall making all these suggestions about our youth ministry, and now that I look back on it, there were certain implications that he was going to be more involved than a "regular" volunteer come this fall (of course, at St Al's CCC, "regular" volunteers pretty much run the show anyhow, at least if they have enough money). I should have suspected something when I asked the DPM for advice about how to handle something she said and she basically ignored me.

I just hate the hypocritical way all of this has gone down. If they wanted to hire this kid (he's 11 years younger than me - I can call him a kid) after they graduated, they could have at least had the decency to just say so. They didn't have to humiliate me by making me basically impotent in my job. I would have less hard feelings if they just told me the truth.

But instead, I get 30 minutes to clean out my office and update whoever needed to be updated about my projects, I get told that I can't be on campus without an escort, even to attend mass, and I still get sent multiple appeals for stewardship of offering and building fund. It just plain sucks.

So you may be wondering why I call it St. Al's Church and Country Club. There are too many parallels to list. First, the parish is lily-white, second, they only want you if you are wealthy, third, they all but kick you out if you don't pay your dues (also known as offertory).

You know, I was getting really tired of your place in society being more important than who you are and what your gifts are anyhow. I did have a letter of resignation written. But that 's not the point. The point is that this experience has just given me one more reason to resent the Catholic Church.

I mentioned before that I'm in the midst of a spiritual crisis right not. The crux (Monn! I used crux!) of that crisis is whether or not I can remain a Catholic Christian. I honestly don't know if I can. I've given the Church a lot of second chances over the years. I stayed even though I had a priest in elementary school who lived to humiliate me and make me cry. I stayed even though I was at best ignored and at worst made to feel unwelcomed in high school. I stayed even though my parish didn't have the decency to make sure my dad received Eucharist on the weeks I couldn't get home to take him to Mass. I stayed when no one from my parish even came to the funeral home when my dad died. I stayed when I felt abandoned when my mom died. How many second chances am I supposed to give them? And I haven't even mentioned the global issues.

But you know, I think that the my issues may go deeper than that. I was thinking last night - scary, I know. Anyhow, I was thinking about the way we always use the metaphor of a journey to talk about spirituality. The winding path, and obstacles, and all that stuff. Well, more and more, it seems to me like it's more of a scavenger hunt. Everything you need is out there, but you have to search for it. You may get what you need and you may not. And what is God's role in all this? Well, I'm not sure. Maybe he's a benevolent clue giver, maybe he's the mastermind behind the game, laughing as we stumble along. Maybe he is the good samaritain helping along the way. Maybe it's something else. Sometimes, I just don't know.

Well, my monitor is having it's nightly fit. I guess that's my cue to go. I promise I won't be this depressing all the time. Probably. Maybe. OK, it all depends.

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