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O'Dea... O'Dear...

I have some really good friends from Zimbabwe. I wonder what they're thinking about the election tonight.

Our music group is breaking up. By email. How sad is that? We're maybe not going to do the Masses on Sunday any more. It's really sad. We've put so much work into that. But hardly anyone wants to do Mass for Father O'Dear. It is not easy to listen to him. In fact, it's painful. Even when he gives a good sermon, his inability to speak directly to us, his yelling at the space above our heads while he rolls the whites of his eyes, makes me feel physically ill. His unwillingness to greet us, to share fellowship or even to have a cup of tea with us, is depressing. He is often frighteningly abrupt. He brings no joy to any ceremony. And it seems kind of childish but some of us are going to walk away, I think. No one feels any spiritual or human or even kindly connection with him and everyone seems very depressed by his presence. Our last priest (you all know JCjnr now!) was phenomenal in his humanity and thoughtfulness, his humour and his inclusiveness, his sense of justice for people of all walks of life and his solid awareness of the world in which we live. He trusted us to do what was best for our parish, not always even what was correct by the high moral insensitivity of the Church but what was best for us as people, alive and breathing in the Church right there in front of him. The man before him, seven years ago, was a deeply spiritual man who could quote most Psalms off by heart, who had a gentle and kind manner with everyone. He wanted us to know and trust God, and to learn and grow, and he kept us striving for greater faith. He was always gracious and thoughtful, a quiet Irish humour evident in the twinkle of his eye or the slight twitch of his mouth. He was beautiful on the inside and I am glad he baptised Asher and Finn. Both men would come into our home at any random time and be happy to just sit amidst the chaos to chat. We've been so very lucky. It seems wrong to leave just because we're no longer lucky. But perhaps we all feel things so strongly, so deeply, it's hard to just kick back and say, 'hey, whatever, let's just get through the Mass and get along home'. We just don't seem to work like that. We need to love and we need joy. Me? I have no idea what I am going to do. My children, my job, my friends, they're all wrapped up in some way in that damn church. It's the family I don't have anywhere else. Where do I go from here? I just don't know. I am very sad.


( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 2nd, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
Hey, I'm really sad to think about it - church is like an extended family and this is like a family breakdown, so I can only imagine how painful it must be. Thoughts and prayers...
Apr. 3rd, 2008 09:05 am (UTC)
Hey, thanks. And nice to have you over here at my place *g*
That's kind of you. You know, I used to think I could just go to church and come home again, but it has enveloped me and my life! Funny how that can happen.

(Deleted comment)
Apr. 3rd, 2008 09:08 am (UTC)
-I really hope that you are able to find what you and your family need.
Oh, thanks Elly. You're so kind. I worry that the family will follow my lead but *shrug* they're always very supportive of whatever I do, which is nice. I'm sure we'll sort something out.

*hugs you back* I've been thinking of you.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 12:39 am (UTC)
You know, it's such a tough situation. We had a pastor several years ago, when I was still very young, that brought about the same situation. The pastor was horrible, our church was falling apart. Some of the main pillars in the church left. Eventually, it got so bad that the pastor just had to be removed.

And after that, it came back together. Because, like you said, we're a family. We get through things.

But in the meantime, sending you hugs and prayers. Hopefully it all works out soon!!
Apr. 3rd, 2008 09:10 am (UTC)
-And after that, it came back together. Because, like you said, we're a family. We get through things.
Thanks. It's nice to think there is hope. That is what we want to do, but it seems like the team can't stand not having what we had before. And without the team, it seems harder to carry on. Maybe if I just sit at the back... right at the back *g*
Apr. 3rd, 2008 08:44 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry that you find yourself in such a ghastly situation....
It is unfortunate indeed that you should end up with a priest so lacking in humanity and compassion, but a shame too if people abandon a loving community because of the inadequacy of one man! There are no easy answers, to stay will be a painful path.. but to leave would be painful too. I will pray for you and your community there, for strength and wisdom and a return of joy. I will pray for the codfish too... for transformation and understanding (or else for a hasty departure!!!!)
Apr. 3rd, 2008 09:12 am (UTC)
Thanks so much, Viv, for praying for us and for the codfish *g*

He has really bad blood pressure so maybe things will force him to retire early or something? He fainted three times at the early Mass last Sunday.
-but a shame too if people abandon a loving community because of the inadequacy of one man!
Oh, I know. We didn't want to let anything go, and our parish council is working so hard to try to keep things flowing smoothly, it's so wrong to walk away. But maybe it's because we've been entwined in the whole process for some years, it's hard to let go and let the codfish have full control again. Damn Catholics LOL!
Apr. 3rd, 2008 11:17 am (UTC)
That is very sad, that one person, especially a priest, can do so much damage to a congregation. I hope things work out for you all. Thinking of you.
Apr. 5th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
Some of our music group are kind of resigned, and just willing to walk away. I just didn't want to do that. We should show what we're made of!! But then again, I don't feel secure enough as a musician to do that so... I think I'll just vanish!
Apr. 5th, 2008 12:30 am (UTC)
That's a real shame! It's horrible when someone spoils something you enjoy so much. Hopefully the opportunity will come to start up again.
Apr. 3rd, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I'm really sorry to hear about your music group, and about all the other related problems you've been having. I can't think of anything useful to say, but I am keeping you in my thoughts and hoping that things work out for you.
Apr. 5th, 2008 12:14 am (UTC)
Thanks, Hannah, and of course I am thinking a LOT about how you are doing. Keep us posted, when you can.

As for our music group, I'm leaning towards the 'non-visible' status. I just don't want to be around there for a while.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )



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