The Beautiful Mess of the Catholic Journey

The Beautiful Mess of the Catholic Journey July 17, 2010

Over at Patheos, they’re getting ready to launch the Future of Catholicism week, part of their summer series on the Future of Religion.

Since some feel I’ve been a little hard on the Curia, these last two days, let me offer this poignant little piece.

When I think of the future of the Church, I think of — me.

A few years ago I was a humble parish secretary. That might seem like a surprising choice for an Ivy League-educated woman who had worked in politics and journalism. My mother certainly couldn’t understand it.

But some perspective-building in India, coupled with a nagging restlessness and my recent conversion to Catholicism actually made the job seem like a pretty rational choice. I belonged to the parish, after all, and as a parishioner I was all too aware of what was wrong with the rectory; I’d experienced the office’s seeming indifference and what I perceived to be unprofessionalism. Sensitive to all of that, I was sure I could make a positive difference in a neighborhood known for its skyrocketing HIV-AIDS rate, its poverty, and numerous other social ills. I could show the rectory how to be the humane face of the church, to its neighbors.

If I brought change to the inept rectory office, it paled in comparison to the change the office wrought in me.

Read it all.

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