Thursday, December 3, 2015

What are some problems with the Eastern Christian faith community you frequent? survey results

Hard to find confession times.

drive home sometimes can take up to 3 hours.

fasting rules

Parts of the liturgy are not done in the vulgar and I do not know how to read Cyrillic text!


It is very small and in danger of closing. We don't have our own priest.

Deacon preaches a bit fast, but other than that just the usual problems. Not enough families, not enough young people.

Geographic seperateness due to closings of parishes more proximate; still focused on ethnicity at times; many are Latinized

They don't walk their own faith path. They don't know their liturgy, they're lazy.

very Romanized!!!!!!!!!

Though my ethnicity is similar, most of the congregation are new immigrants. I have yet to talk to the priests about my desired reception to Orthodoxy.

lack of organization

All the parishes are aging and dying.

Too few children; not enough young families

not enough attend

We need to work on growing if we want to survive long term.

They are bit too ethnic and not overly welcoming to newcomers.

older priest in poor health, limited liturgical services not active community life

They are a little bit introverted. I only know and speak with a handful of the parishioners even though we have been attending that church for 6 years. And not enough community activity.

Lack of participation

It is very new, 14 months old. We do not have a priest as yet, and that limits what we can do.

A lot , a lot , of different cultures and ethnicities everyone wanting their own tradition observed and not just the traditions of the Maronite Church. Which is actually good because it exposes people to the other traditions and cultures.

pastor attempting to build a hybrid liturgical outlook, that is de-emphasis on Byzantine tradition; lack of clear financial accounting

Language barrier...priest is Ukrainian and is a bit hard to understand some time. Also, and this may sound weird, but sometimes a parishioner or two maybe a little "too religious" and can scare newer folks away....

Some people are territorial about their role in the community. This can make people feel unwelcome when they want to contribute.

They are not really a Community

There aren't enough parishioners! A couple of ladies also loudly pray the Rosary before Divine Liturgy

The Orthodox church nearest me (1.5-2+ hours away) is not very welcoming, and they only cater to Russians. We (Asians) may attend, but little is done to welcome us.

Latinizations, people stuck in small t traditions, aging population, liberal Catholics, people leaving the church.

The familial environment can be so intimate to the point of comfort, which may drive a complacency, when it comes to growth. This was brought into the discussion, when the Pew Research Study came out, during the summer.

Clericalism, minimalism in externals, being satisfied with mediocrity.

Small community, not enough extra things to be involved in. No education programs.

Need teenage / young adult group

The parish is still small, so it is difficult to have a large number of groups and ministries (Men's Group, Women's Group, Pro-Life/Social Justice Group, etc.). The parish covers a very large area (the next-closest Byzantine Catholic parish is 4 hours away), so drives can be long, which makes it more difficult to have additional events. Despite the welcomeness to visitors, the parish still does little to pro-actively evangelize.

Irregularity of liturgy makes it hard to attract people.

I think we don't always make it easy for new people to come into the community.


People argue about the use of English vs. the native tongue Getting to know prople on a more than purely superficial level is sometimes hard

Mostly older congregation (few men, as well), our 6 children are literally half the children in the parish.

It is too far away.

Priest shortage and the community size is too small.

It's small and fragile. It depends on one priest and a few families to keep it going. Looks of people pass through or visit rather than stay.

Lack of leadership, stagnation.

Lack of evangelization; less feeling of community for those who are not Arabic; most non-Arabic members are "refugees" from Roman Catholicism, even us converts, in a way

Non-ethnics can feel isolated.

Not enough growth in new parishioners not enough kids to have an effective 'next generation' to learn and appreciate the beauty of the Eastern Church.

Insider-outsider No evangelization No services (religious ed, etc.)

Less than perfect communications among members (no newsletter, web site out of date)

We are a commuter parish, so there is little "parish life" outside of Sundays. Religious education for the kids is sporadic, and the kids are grouped in wide age ranges. Our priest works a full-time job, in addition to his parish duties. We love him, but it is clear that he, his family and the parish all suffer from the reality that he must have a second job.

Set in their ways. Not a lot of young families w/children.

Not being in full Communion.

Dwindling enrollment. Loss of our Slavic heritage. Not enough parishoner envolvement. They must think that Father waves a magic wand & the money appears so the bills can get paid. People are resistant to try new things. In the past if people didn't like the priest they moved to a Latin Rite church instead of staying & fighting for their Church.

I left, the church was gravitating with rose colored glasses to try and act like an Orthodox church and discount being Catholic with the excuses of "latinizations" which is nonsense.

Not enough celebration of the full Byzantine liturgical traditions (i.e. no matins or vespers)

Growth and as with a small community, trying to meet so many parishioner's needs.

Sometimes many strong personalities clash and there can be some infighting that I wish wasn't there. Tight-knit community also means that there can be gossip at times. Lack of things for young adults. There is ECF and a youth group that is not active right now but has new leaders trying to get it going. But once the kids hit 18, there really is nothing that encourages them to stay involved.

Dwindled community--will we be around in ten years? Lack of youth programming.

They don't know their faith very well.

Church attendance down dramatically over last 25 years. Not many young families or children attend. Liturgy is only 50% in English. Almost all who attend speak English (but for some it is their second language).

We are really small, and most of the parishioners are not of the culture of our church origin, so some of the language and prayer is lost.

That it does not have a good book situation.

People being people. Some disagreements with the way things are done, the way things are, some negativity.

In our city, in particular, the congregations are quickly dying. We have children, but in the many area Byzantine parishes we have visited, there are often no other families with children. No ECF, no activity other than fundraisers. There is a sense of apathy here and I fear it may not be long before the Byzantine Church in this area is no more.

Not very big of a parish.

Lack of young people in the parish. Although there are some children and teenagers, there are almost no adults age 20-35. It would be nice to have some peers. (Tho I love spending time with the older folks and hearing their stories). There are also few opportunists to get involved because I work. For example, the ladies organization generally has there activities during the day (most members are retired) and bible study is also help in mid-afternoon.

Lack of leadership, lack of organization, lack of communication, poor financial management, lack of spiritual growth, focus on the needs of priest versus growing the parish, everyone waits for someone else to do things

Our home parish (Byz Cath) lacks community involvement, does not possess a missionary spirit, and does not desire to "share the Gospel" with others, which has gradually pushed us toward Orthodoxy as an alternative to our Byzantine parish. Because our family was not Roman Catholic prior to entering the church, we have very little - if anything - in common with the majority of Romans that attend our parish. Additionally, two-thirds of our parish attendees are "Roman refugees", that is - Roman Catholics who are disillusioned with their own liturgies but primarily desire to fulfill their Sunday obligation without becoming fully-committed parishioners.

Ethnic ideas: the older parishioners treat it like the Ukrainian club at prayer

people are too ethnic

resistance to change unwillingness to try new things

We experienced a drop in numbers this year due to death and families moving away. In a small community, that has a big impact. It makes those that are left responsible for much more, but it also makes us a tight-knit family.

The priest is wanting to retire, Bishop refuses to grant the retirement, therefore the priest just "puts in the minimum" and there is no Sunday school, socials, liturgy is often shortened in parts, many traditions are ignored.. It's sad, there has been much interest in newcomers that are just turned off and never return.

Because there's no permanent Eastern community here, we can only meet once a month, and if for some reason our priest can't get there, there's no liturgy that month.

very small group, and the church where we celebrate the Divine Liturgy is being sold, and no longer has a parish of it's own.

None of my family understand, difficult to follow alone at home.

Many parish members very insular, not open to assimilating Church into American society/English language; lackadaisical attitudes yielding lack of participation; very small parish, weekly deficits almost $1K

that those born into the Melkite Church do not always know exactly what our traditions are.

Poor education/catechism.

not entirely sure if they are Catholic or Orthodox..crisis of self-identification

The primary ethnicity is too inward-looking. They welcome visitors somewhat, but they are indifferent to evangelism. My perception is that culture comes before Christ sometimes. Right up to the bishop. The name of the sui iuris church of my parish scares people away. Potential converts assume it's an ethnic ghetto, or feel weird identifying with a church where the sui iuris church name is a different ethnicity. (As if all Romans were Italian. Pfft.) The local Maronites don't have this problem, they make converts. But I bet they would if they were "Lebanese Catholic."

Evangelization, to few liturgies at convenient times, and a lack of anything like an organized RCIA.
Too few people and not growing

Ethnicity takes priority over the Faith.

Most of us live a considerable distance from the church, so weekday services are difficult, as is outreach to the local community. No choir practice, and people in the choir who don't know their parts and make up their own harmony, so the music sounds pretty bad.

Small size (relative to other communities), limited resources, people spread over whole metropolitan area.

Priest inaccessible