Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Diary of Elaine: Lonely Catholicism in North Carolina

Getting to a Catholic Church is a lot more complicated in the Bible Belt

By Elaine Payne

he weather is getting colder, it's getting darker much earlier.  Recent bad storms in the Northeast, plus a presidential election that didn't go quite as some had hoped for life.  So often I wonder what kind of world we're preparing for our children.

I live in an area of North Carolina that while lovely, can feel very lonely if you're a Catholic. It's a long way to any Catholic church among an abundance of evangelical churches. Then if you want to go to daily Mass, you might be out of luck if the priest is out of town, which can be as long as two weeks. So sometimes I travel to Belmont Abbey, home of the "One Minute Monk" ads that appear on Sirius XM's The Catholic Channel, to attend Mass among the college students at 17:00.

So yes, there are glimmers of hope for me and my family. I am a constant listener of The Catholic Channel, EWTN TV and Radio, Radio Maria, and some others sometime. So I always have company to keep me faithful and educated, as well as entertained! We have a wonderful outreach community through social media, which for me started when Lino Rulli put up a public Myspace page. I was like No. 13 of his first friends!

About 30 miles away from me, miracle of miracles, we will someday have a Monastery of Cloistered Nuns! A few years ago, I wouldn't have thought that remotely possible. They are now located in Charlotte, NC, and will be building a new monastery near Boiling Springs, NC. A diocesan seminary is planned as well! While it most likely will be years before the monastery or seminary are built, hopefully it will be in the next few years. In God's time. The property actually falls into the geographical area of my parish, St Mary Help of Christians!

So when things get dark, I remember the coming blessings. God always ha


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