Well... yes I do lol.
I live right down the street from the church I went to as a child. This place was my favorit. With fun hallways, beautiful crystals that hung over a pretty blue fountain, pebble tact everywhere so on hot Az nights you can bet my face was on that stone to cool down before mass. We sang along with the band leader, Tom Booth to amazing songs that I still remember to this day.
I used to volunteer with my moms best friend/my babysitter/adopted Aunt Mary at a homeless shelter that the church started called Pas De Cristo. I was a mini cook, in charge of stirring Giant pots of chili I could have very well fit in, and later handing out the condiments in the food line.
I watched my oldest brother and sister sway on the alter. Linked arms and shoulders with all the teens at the mass.. the "big kids". They moved as one group side to side and I would cry listening to the prayers they would request of the congregation. In return the congregation extended a playful hand over the teens while they were up on the alter. This is the alter that started Life Teen.
Our priest was amazing. He spoke with conviction, and managed to make eye contact with me no matter were I sat or how far down I slumped in my seat! The true sign of a sheppard knowing even the smallest of his sheep, and caring.
I loved all the priests there. Father Marcell was possibly one of the sweetest, kindest, and most gentle people I have still met today. A chapel was added to the church in remembrance of him. Its beautiful. Quiet. Dim.
But This Sunday was different. No more crystals ("They" thought it was too new age and didn't belong.. I think we all just thought they were beautiful when they caught the light). The fountain was turned off, and stones were luke warm at best. They did have a song by Tom Booth on the nights list... but a young girl sang it on his microphone. The teens were still asked to come forward, but are no longer allowed on the alter. Nor do they speak out their prayer requests. No hands were extended over them. And I wanted to cry for totally different reasons watching them. What happened to the big kids?
I stayed for the homily, which was decent... But wasn't given that eye contact that kept me so engaged. A difficult task for a little girl at 6pm at an adult mass.
I promised I'd be back again next week. And I will keep going until I can not only sit through the entire mass, but until I can give this new church, still all dressed up as the church from my childhood, a decent chance to be my church as an adult.