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The Busted Halo Question Box
Ask our spiritual experts virtually anything!
This is the place where you can ask all of those burning questions that you wouldn't dare ask in person. We will post questions here (using your byline only with permission); we guarantee an answer to everyone.

Have your own question? Then pitch it to us!

Caitlin Kennell Kim
Mary
Fr. Rick Malloy, SJ
General Questions
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP
Ecumenical, Interfaith
Neela Kale
Culture, Moral Theology
Ann Naffziger, M.A., M.Div.
Bible
Mike Hayes
Swingman/Editor
 
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Our readers asked:

If I don’t like my Catholic Church on Campus how might I find a new one?

Thomas Ryan, CSP Answers:

Here are three possibilities:

1) You could simply ask someone on the parish staff what other Catholic churches are in your area.

2) Look up Catholic churches with a simple google search and then visit ones nearby.

3) Or you could call the diocesan chancery office (number obtainable from secretary at your campus ministry office) and ask for the names and telephone numbers of Catholic parishes in the area where you live. Your diocese’s youth and young adult office might also know the parishes that particularly cater to young adults as well.

A final thought: You may wish to inform your local campus ministry director of your feelings and allow him or her to hear what it is that makes you uncomfortable. Often directors like to engage students in making sometimes necessary changes at Campus Churches, especially when local traditions sometimes become route and need to be refreshed. Do this with kindness and with a desire to want to stay on campus but also with an open heart to hearing the director’s side of the story. I would also be specific as to what isn’t speaking to your experience. Is it the style of the presider? Is it the preaching? The Music? Do you not feel welcome? Is it too much unlike your church experience elsewhere? I’d also ask your friends how they feel about mass, perhaps they have similar thoughts and you are raising something that needs to be heard by the staff. All are good for the conversation and if changes are unable to take place, ask to be directed to another local parish nearby.

Editor’s Note: Mike Hayes contributed to this answer.

 
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The Author : Thomas Ryan, CSP
Fr. Tom Ryan, CSP, directs the Paulist North American Office for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations in Washington, D.C.
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Please note that the editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be inappropriate and/or malicious in nature, as well as edit comments for length, clarity and fairness.
  • Bob Faser

    This is an important issue for many students (particularly first-year students living away from home) from a wide range of faith backgrounds. The feeling of not fitting in with a worshipping community of one’s own tradition is an issue that leads many to drop out of practicing one’s faith. In my first year as an undergraduate, it took me most of the year to find a church where I felt able to worship well. As Fr. Ryan indicated, assume that somewhere in the area (even if not on campus or at the closest church to campus) is a parish where you will find a good worshipping community. Enjoy the process of finding it.

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