Why I Stay

Lately I’ve seen a spate of blogosphere posts from Catholics responding to the question, “Why do you stay?”

Rarely am I asked this question. My younger brother, who had some negative experiences with the institution (namely, high school) drifted away from being a fairly dedicated (daily 6:30 AM Mass) altar server (which I was not) to being a professed “recovering Catholic.” When I was being bounced from a parish fifteen years ago, he grilled me on it all: the crazy pastors, the unappreciative parishioners, the low pay, the lack of recognition, the heaps of expectations, the sabotaged relationships. (I actually had one pastor who actively undermined two of my relationships with women friends, and another who expressed surprise when I didn’t trust to share details of my love life with him.) Why did I put up with it? Granted, most of these impacted my chosen vocation, but the undercurrent was the nonsense (as my brother saw it) of Catholicism. Being a fellow 12-Stepper, he suggested there’s no shame in bailing on a sick system.

And perhaps there’s not.

I don’t need to write a substantial essay to convince you (and/or myself) why I stay. I remain a Catholic for one main reason: God invited.

Everything else is just peripheral.

And needless to say, any attempts at crowbarring me out will come to nought.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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14 Responses to Why I Stay

  1. Mike E. says:

    Thank you.

  2. Fran says:

    I recall reading your earlier post before… It moved me then, it moves me even more today.

    Thank you. It doesn’t have to be a big proclamation of staying or going. It is just to be.

  3. crystal says:

    Thanks, Todd. I don’t remember reading that before.

    That’s kind of why I stay too, but for me it was as an adult and with a retreat.

  4. claire says:

    You’re so right. Thank you.

  5. Michael says:

    I’m glad you can, Todd. I can’t. I’m done with it.

  6. Pamela says:

    Michael, please reconsider. Please don’t let the failings of mere humans lead you away from Christ, present in the Holy Eucharist, and the church that He founded.

    In the prayer for priests from Saint Faustina, it says, “Lord, give us holy Priests; You yourself maintain them in holiness. O Divine and Great High Priest, may the power of Your mercy accompany them everywhere and protect them from the devil’s traps and snares which are continually being set for the soul of Priests.” What could make the devil happier than causing a priest to fall? The only thing I can think of would be the people who leave Christ’s church because of the scandal of the fallen. Don’t give Satan reason to rejoice, and more importantly, don’t give Jesus cause for even more sadness than He surely must feel over the mess that fallen man has made in His church.


  7. Sr. Nancy says:

    AMEN! Thanks for sharing, Todd.

  8. Michael says:

    Pamela, I am missing nothing, and find Christ everywhere but the Catholic Church. It was a necessary step on my journey, but no more than that.

    • Dr. K,, D.A. says:

      I was a priest who was asked to withdraw for the ” Good of the Church” and was quite innocent, and the charges were thrown out by the courts. I thought I should withdraw since I would never have another position within the church. I was treated badly by Bishop and assistants – but I still love the Church. She is my Mother. I do feel sorry when one compares Christ and the Pope ( Ratzinger is a good man) is a good man – but he was too quick to laicize and let nuts out on the street and let innocent go just because they were accused. John Paul II said we never threw out mentally ill priests – and now you are doing it for money?

      • Dr. K,, D.A. says:

        I didn’t mention – I stay because I love the Church – not because of Petrology, or the sciences. I love the Church because of what Chesterton, said – how can something be so screwed up that one person says it it the holiest, the most sinful, the most, stupid, the most intellectual, by intelligent people in the same breath.

    • Marc says:


      The Catholic Church is the only church where you will find Christ. You not only find Christ there, but you consume him – body, blood, soul and divinity! Without, you have no life in you.

      I cannot know your reasoning, but I know what mine was. My avoidance of the Church was due solely to my ignorance. I invite you to get to know the faith and you will fall, once again, in love with your mother, the Catholic Church.

      Find audio of Bishop Sheen’s show or try Bible Christian Society’s MP3s. They are a great source to help you understand the faith.

      Vivat Jesu!

  9. gb says:

    “I am missing nothing.”
    I said those words myself years ago…
    After many years wandering, I realized that, in fact, I was indeed “missing nothing”, I was missing Someone.
    At that point, I did whatever was necessary to receive Him again in the Eucharist. No place else to find Him like that. Peace at last!

  10. Michael says:

    And yet, gb, billions of people are doing just fine without being Catholic. Who knows? You may be missing what they have.

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