Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I am a church loser

I feel so bad right now. I feel SO GUILTY!

Here's the situation.

Last summer after my last niece was born, my brother and sister in law contacted P and asked him to be the baby's godfather. My sister in law was going to ask a cousin to be the godmother.

At Christmas, they asked me to be the godmother since the cousin had declined. I happily accepted.

Here's the thing. I am Catholic. My husband was raised Catholic along with all of his brothers and sisters, but none of them have been practicing Catholics for many years. P and I were married in the Catholic church, but we haven't been to Mass in quite a while, so we're on the inactive list at my church.

It never even occurred to me that my brother and sister in law were going to raise my niece, S, in the Catholic church. They never mentioned anything about it. I've never known them to go to Mass. We weren't invited to either of the other two girls' baptisms.

So, about a month ago, I get these godparent verification forms in the mail from my sister in law. I asked her about them and told her that we haven't been to Mass in a while. She said that they hadn't been either, and that it wasn't a big deal...our pastor would probably sign them and then we could return them to the church. We're supposed to go to baptismal preparation class on Saturday with them.

Like the true procrastinators that we are, we waited until this weekend to call our church. I didn't want to (I feel guilty) and neither did my husband. Finally we called. The priest that married us is out of town until Thursday, but the secretary in the office told P that since we were on the inactive list, they would be unable to sign the forms for us. We then called a church near us that we have been thinking about joining for a few years. They said that we could take the baptismal preparation class at their church, but that until we had been members for 90 days, they wouldn't sign the forms for us either. Out of desperation, P called his church where he received his first Communion as a kid and they didn't answer, so he sent an email, and I called the church in Massachusetts where I was baptized last night and left a message, but considering that neither of those churches has seen us in thirty years, I'm not optimistic that they are going to sign the forms either.

I emailed my sister in law with abject apologies and explained the situation, and she hasn't responded yet. I feel SO BAD about this, even though she didn't tell us in December that we were going to have to have these forms signed. (I doubt that would have changed anything though...we are procrastinators.) She really wanted to baptize her daughter before she turned one, and that's in May. If we start going to Mass this weekend, we won't be able to turn in those forms until at least the end of June. But we've had so much going on the last few years. I know that's not an excuse for not going to Mass, but it really has been busy. Since we last went to Mass, we've both changed jobs, bought a house further away from the church where we belonged, lost weight, gotten pregnant twice, had a baby, my mother in law died, etcetera. Excuses, excuses, excuses.

I suspect that she may ask someone else to be the godmother, which really depresses me. I don't get along with my sister and all of my brothers and sisters in law are finished having children. This is probably my one and only chance to be someone's godparent. I compare this feeling to the same feeling I had when I heard my sister was my one and only chance to be a bridesmaid in someone's wedding. But this does feel worse because I know M (sister in law) really wanted to do this soon and now she's either going to have to wait or ask someone else.

Regardless of what happens, we're going to join this new church and start going so we can set a good example for our daughter. This new church is really close and seems really nice, so we'll see what happens.

I'm a church loser.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! I can't believe that about the churches. Don't let it get you too down. Something will work out. Times must have changed from when we got our baby baptised. I don't remember any form that the godparents had to sign. I know that the parents did, and we knew that if anything happened to us that the godparents would raise the kid(s) in the faith that we had chosen, and like your SIL we used a family member and spouse.

Check with your SIL and verify if you have to have these forms signed? If so, why? To prove that you are of the same faith or what? I say to call the church that your SIL is having the baptism done, and see if they will sign the forms for you. Explain to them what has been going on in your life, and what you are planning on doing and how you now realize that it is important to you since you have a child of your own, and that you know excuses are excuses and you will do better (I mean... isn't God suppose to be forgiven and welcome you back into His arms? ;) ).... the church performing the baptism may be more relenting than the other churches. Good luck and keep us posted.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous sara said...

I feel your pain. I was asked to be a godparent to my niece in October and waited until the last minute to try and get the paperwork done. I also haven't been to church in at least a year or two and apparently there is a new priest (that doesn't know me) at my church. I'm afraid that he won't sign the papers but am willing to do whatever it takes to proof that I am a good candidate. =(

6:25 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home