Hi Chana! It is very good to hear from you.
May I ask: How does one learn to ‘fit in’ within a Catholic parish? I stick out like a sore thumb.
The parishioners are kind but I get the impression that the priests and prelates are trying to pretend that I am not Jewish, that I never studied in yeshiva for the rabbinate. So things get pretty awkward.
When I first arrived at my current parish, the pastor was thrilled and often asked me to informally expound a little bit on topics during his homilies. But then, after he found out about my yeshiva background, all of that stopped. Sometimes I wonder whether the priests worry that I am some sort of Jewish Pied Piper.
I do not know how to fit in. It is not a matter of knowing their culture – I’ve become pretty good at that – but rather that they seem ‘afraid’ to allow me to participate. I mean, I can attend mass, receive the elements, etc., but nothing else.