Frida Berrigan at the Huffington Post tells us what it was like growing up in a groovy Catholic Church:
For starters, there was no rosary involved. Eucharist of watered down wine and old bread was shared around a circle in the living room, consecrated by whoever was “up” that week and shared by agnostics, atheists, Jews and even some Catholics (but it had been a long time since their last confession). It was pretty informal, but I recall that our father, Philip Berrigan, gritted his teeth when one woman shared the Eucharist with her dog, and would get mad at us for picking our feet or playing with our fingernails as the host was coming around the circle. We had nothing to compare this ceremony to, and so did not show the proper reverence (or even basics of hygiene) that he thought of as baseline.
In short, our church did not look like a church with stained glass windows, remote and ornately clad priests, or strangely hard and mealy wafers. It looked like belief and life integrated, and in constant tension. So, no, we did not learn the rosary. On the rare occasion we went to church, we mumbled along with the prayers and tried to stand and sit when everyone else did.
So Frida bounced along being nice to people and doing her own thing. Now she goes elsewhere with her husband and son…
Now, my husband and I belong to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Congregation in New London and our son Seamus is being brought up within this incredible community…Patrick is an atheist. He doesn’t believe there is a higher power who watches or cares about us. He says that he doesn’t need to believe in God to be a good person; he doesn’t need an ancient book to tell him what is moral. Patrick believes that we can find all the guidance and moral leadership we need in always asking the question, “How can I help?” The rite and ritual of the Catholic mass is off-putting to him. It would be hard to get him to go to church with me, but we both find comfort, fellowship and food for thought within All Souls’ vibrant, progressive and genuinely welcoming congregation. There is room there for what we each believe.
Groovy Man! Frida and Patrick and Seamus have found their true spiritual home!
May the sifting continue.