Monday, November 13, 2006

First Mass

Originally posted in my personal journal on October 17, 2006 regarding Mass on October 15, 2006:

I attended my first official Mass Sunday morning. Overall, it went well. I was a little confused with a few rituals, but Tom explained them afterward, so I think I'll be okay next week. But, really, isn't there a manual for this? hehe... Anyway, I felt quite comfortable. I did feel a bit like a huge blinking "Newbie" sign during Communion (since, as a non-Catholic, I cannot participate), but I'm sure that was due more to my nerves than anything else. Anyway, I think we'll go back to Holy Rosary next week. I'm not sure it'll be the parish I ultimately choose for path to conversion, but I seem to be comfortable enough getting my bearings there.

One of the advantages Holy Rosary seems to have is the possibility of year-round RCIA (or at least an RCIA program starting very soon). In smaller parishes, RCIA often begins only at particularly times of the year, to be timed with baptism at the end of the Easter season (if I'm remembering what I've read correctly). Personally, I'd like to get started -- not because I feel the need to rush but simply because I don't feel the need to waste time. RCIA is a one year process (I think); that gives me plenty of time to know if it's the right path for me. I don't really want to wait five months or so to even get started. However, if the possibility of starting RCIA now isn't open, I might seriously consider attending a Mass or two at Nativity or Resurrection -- two smaller parishes that seem very warm, welcoming, and active. Still, I sent an e-mail to both Father Bernie and to Carol Ann, the parish's Director of Religious Education, regarding starting RCIA. A few moments ago, I received a call on my cell phone (which I couldn't take because I'm in the office) from a number at Holy Rosary. I'm guessing when I check my voicemail, I'll have a message from Carol Ann. Hopefully, she'll have good news for me, and hopefully, once I begin RCIA, I can get a better idea of how difficult my annulment will be to obtain.

I spoke with my former boss regarding annulment since I knew she had been through the process. As it turns out, she is very resentful of the Catholic church because it was, apparently, a very arduous process for her. However both she and Tom don't seem to think it will be so difficult for me since I was not married in the Catholic church. Still, I'd rather hear that from Father Bernie, and I'm anxious to understand what, exactly, I'm going to have to do and how much it will cost because I did read something that indicated an annulment through the Catholic church can take a year to obtain and cost the petitioner nearly $1000. That's money I don't have, and while there isn't a huge emergency to have my annulment granted, I'd like to get it taken care of as expediently as possible because, frankly, I don't want to be in the position of having to wait for it if I do decide to get married.

So, we'll see what happens. I'll return the phone call on my lunch hour.


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