*In the olden days lay people who wanted to experience the beauty of monastic life simply moved as close as they could to the monks and nuns. Whole villages grew up around the monasteries and young families are making the same move today. I love going to the Franciscan monastery in DC and Rocky is fond of going to the early morning Mass at the Poor Clare monastery in Alexandria on his way to work.
*One of the biggest things a convert or new parishioner can do to make themselves unpopular is to tell everybody how great the ----was at your old parish or denomination and why you wish your new church would do the same. The first normal reaction is to respond, "Oh yeah, then why don't you go back?" I'm not saying that's kind, it's not but it's a normal reaction.
Plain talk from the Early Church Fathers: The first statement of a Church council on homosexual practices was
issued by the Council of Elvira (305-306). The decree excludes from communion,
even in articulo mortis (at the moment of death), the stupratores
puerorum (corrupters of boys).
*After Sunday Mass, Rocky and I witnessed a wedding. It was beautiful. There were less than ten people in the church counting us, and the three other people who were also saying their prayers after Mass. You don't need a huge production and frankly, instead of a Princess fantasy you can use that money to start your home and be just as happy as woman who was married in a Cathedral with a 1000 guests.
*I was at Mass in DC when Father Hurley prayed for all women who has lost children. Thank you, Father! Women who suffer failed pregnancies get forgotten much of the time. I remember when I returned to work after recuperating from surgery for an ectopic rupture and one of my co-workers turned away from me in the hall and fled. She was pregnant herself and she just didn't know what to say and perhaps she just didn't want to be around me because I represented what could go wrong.
*Since it's Advent that crummy little Nativity movie is probably going to be aired again and someone might even get the idea to show it at the parish hall. Here's a plucky young priest who explains why the movie was blasphemous.