How Catholic parishes can help an under-served community: The jerks

Our pastor recently distributed pencils and slips of paper, and humbly asked us to write down what the parish could do to help bring us closer to God. He promised to read them all and pray over them, and do what he could.

I can only imagine that he got a wide range of answers, depending on who was responding. Parents of small children probably wanted crayons, changing tables, and an ally in the pulpit. College students almost certainly asked for a late Mass so they could sleep off whatever wretched thing they did on Saturday night. Singles probably wanted to feel like they weren’t forgotten; people with special needs surely asked for more accessibility. And these are all reasonable requests, and things the Church ought to be able to supply.

But you know which community is grievously under-served? You know which group of laymen is consistently overlooked, neglected, silenced, and marginalized?

The Jerk Community. Yeah, that’s right. We jerks are children of God, just like the rest of youse, and we have our needs. My jerk children stole all my slips of paper and I think they may have eaten the pencil, but if I had another chance, here is what I would tell my pastor that jerks like me really need . . .

Read the rest of my latest for The Catholic Weekly

Image from The expression of the emotions in man and animals by Charles Darwin via Flickr (no known copyright restrictions)

Liked it? Take a second to support simchajfisher on Patreon!

5 thoughts on “How Catholic parishes can help an under-served community: The jerks”

  1. This Catholic Jerk is tired: oh so very, very tired (let’s face it, I’m pooped!) of arriving with my posse of children three minutes before mass begins to find every. single. one. of the first six pews almost empty EXCEPT for the immovable bookends of parishioners neatly blocking each end. My mother taught me to move to the center (of any kind of row seating: auditoriums, bleachers, pews, etc.) to make room for people arriving after you but I guess that is just too crazily logical.

    1. Sometimes these are people with weak bladders who need to sit near the aisle to get to a lavatory in good time. Sometimes these are menopausal women who try to position themselves near a window or door draft so that they can avoid alarming anyone with the sight of their bright red, dripping faces. Both types will usually get up and let you in if you stand beside them with a patient expression on your face. What they won’t do is scoot over to sit in the middle, because they feel, rightly or wrongly, that they need their aisle seats and they got their first. If it’s really important to you to get a particular seat, could you not arrive earlier?

  2. A parking rating next to Mass times would be nice, too! All of the parishes in our collaborative have teeny tiny parking lots so if you’re running late, you’ll be even later because you had to park three blocks away. Egad.

  3. This Catholic Jerk would just like to be able to find your church’s location when I travel and God-forbid want to go to Mass on a Sunday or a Holy Day. Was in a New England state this summer where several parishes had merged but the actual church location of most couldn’t be found on the parish websites for love or money. Apparently we really are supposed to be a best kept secret.

Leave a Reply to Bethany Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *