“I’m Leaving the Church; I Surrender”

That was the subject line on an e-mail I received tonight.

The author: the woman who initiated the lively discussion we had a few weeks back about children crying in church. (You can read about it here and here.)

Her e-mail:

Hi Deacon Greg,

I thought I should let you & your readers know that I’ve been forced by my hearing problem to leave the Church. After talking with a priest yesterday, I told him that I realize that the Catholic Church’s exists primarily for screaming–& yes, I do mean SCREAMING, not making little babbling sounds–babies & their apparently-deaf parents.

As for the person who answered my question by saying these parents get Holy Communion from being at Mass–well, who needs the Eucharist more, a baby or an adult who is suffering immensely every moment of every day due to multiple illnesses & death of all family & friends (I’m only 55.)? Now, I’m forced, literally forced, out of the Catholic Church.

At least I know why parents lack the charity towards their fellow adult Catholics. I hope they realize it is matter for Confession. Thank you.

My sense is that there has to be more than just noise that is driving this woman away, and that there may be more layers to her story. There’s pain there, along with anger and frustration.  I suspect what she needs more than silence is time—and prayer, and someone who will listen. I hope she finds all of that.

And I hope, too, that she finds the inner quietude and peace that will lead her, by whatever winding path, back to a place of sanctuary and sacraments and grace. Whatever may be sending her out, I hope she will always consider this Church her home.

She may not feel it now, but she is always welcome. Always. The same door she walked through to leave remains unlocked and open, awaiting her return.

Please keep her in your prayers.