I was born and raised by Italians. The end.
No seriously. We were raised as very strict Catholics. Though dad hated going to church (as much as the rest of us) he went. Not very often. But he did begrudgingly go. Then he got a hate on for the priest and he was done.
Now my sisters and I were dragged kicking and screaming. Literally. Mom would come downstairs to our bedroom, rip the blankets off of us and shout “It’s Sunday, get up, you’re going to church”.
I didn’t like church. I, like my father, especially didn’t like the priest. He was always yelling at us and calling us sinners and we needed to give more money and bla bla bla. Oh please just stop.
I thought he was rude and greedy. Certainly not how a priest should behave, amirite? 🤷♀️
He eventually died and a new fresh young priest showed up. Dad liked him. He was funny and full of life. He was also African American and dad used to call him ‘snowball’. Don’t ask. No clue.
He came over to the house for Sunday dinners often. He was just a sweet fun man.
The church suddenly seemed happier and the pews were slowly filling up again. There was hope for this church.
Everyone seemed to really like this priest until he ran off with the church secretary in the brand new car the congregation bought for him. I shit you not.
So much for that guy.
As the years went on, slowly the news was starting to fill up with stories of sexual abuse by, you guessed it, Catholic priests. I was done. Where was God? Where was the peace, faith and love I was supposed to feel that the Catholic church promised to deliver?
There was no God here. I didn’t feel Him at all. I felt betrayed and sad. The foundation of hope and love that my mom advocated for for so many years was crumbling.
When I finally moved out on my own, I rarely went to church. You know, the usual, Christmas and Easter. That was enough for me. And it really was only to make mom happy. I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I felt a sense that I simply didn’t belong there.