What do single people need from the Church?

I still don’t buy the argument that married people have no right to complain, because at least they’re not alone.  There’s always someone lower on the totem pole, and I consider kvetching to be a basic human right.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t do better by our single brothers and sisters.  So if you’re a discontented single Catholic, speak now.


  1. I am writing a sex education course for my eldest at the moment as we aren’t happy with the ‘functional’ approach taken by the school. I have discovered this rich, vibrant and life giving theology (I am a new Catholic) on the human person and sexuality. Our state in life is a gift from God. Single or married our state is a vocation through which we can find God’s love in a unique way. St John of the Cross, St Teresa, Lady Julian of Norwich, St Augustine all shine a unique light on their encounter with the God who loved them and it changed everything.

    Maybe what is hard is being a Christian in a western culture that has warped and twisted singleness, married life, sexuality and split it off from spirutality and made it about the individual. Maybe what we all need is for the church (ie all of us) to teach and live out our state of life as a vocation and one that brings life to those around us.

    Oh and serve cake after mass. And go to the pub on Sunday evening. Seems to work for our singles.

  2. *posting this here since NCR thinks my comment might be spam LOL!
    I was single until two years ago at 33 years of age. I live in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Here’s the thing. There are a few good things happening. Yet, the Los Angeles Archdiocese is THE LARGEST diocese in the United States. It’s just not practical to drive two hours for a Theology on Tap or the like. Then there is all the fluff stuff. IF one can find a young adult group in a nearby parish, my experience has shown that it tends to be more just hangin out and gossiping. Most don’t want to have Adoration, service activities, retreats, attend good, morally acceptable talks on our faith, etc. I know there are those out there who do but it seems like the minority. The lack of proper catechesis, faithful to the Teachings of our Holy Mother the Church, has and is severely lacking (in this archdiocese). I know. I colored pictures and watched to many film strips. I was taught Mary was an option, the Eucharist was only a symbol, etc. I have rarely, if ever heard the Truths of our Faith preached about. I have yet to here anything from our priests on the scandal of insurance/contraception. It is by grace alone that I was set apart. If Jesus had not called me to be close to him, if He had not given me such joy and peace, I wonder where I would be now. Thank God we have Archbishop Gomez, now. Still, that’s not going to change much. There is so much damage that has been done. At my parish, there is ONE HOUR A WEEK (3:30- 4:30 PM SATURDAY) WHEN CONFESSION IS AVAILABLE, unless one makes an appointment. Who makes an appointment for confession? I’m probably the only one in my parish. There is NO SATURDAY MORNING MASS because the pastor says there is usually a funeral or wedding one can atttend. I’m all for celebrating our Faith together but that’s just not practical. It’s just such a sad state of affairs. No wonder so many of our young people do not attend Mass. I can hardly stand going to Mass, myself. We have music ministers who think Mass is an opportunity to play as in a jazz club, do not use hymns proper to the liturgical seasons, do not use hymns that have anything to do with the Mass readings or feast day, etc. I am thankful for their contribution but sometimes I would rather have nothing than the above. Then there are all the people at Mass who blatantly ignore any respect for the God we are worshipping and/or those who wish to enter into prayer. Old and young alike, chat and talk whenever thy want, wherever. The Sign of Peace becomes a chance to catch up. Even our priests talk in church before and after Mass. For God sakes! We live in SUNNY CALIFORNIA. Let me say this, young people would feel more welcome and a part of the BODY OF CHRIST if we had better catechesis and clergy who lived the WORD not just read it. Young people want to be challenged. Young people want to be expected to live holy lives-even they do not say it. Our laity need to realize that going to Mass and being in church is not just another thing to do. The Eucharist is, “the source and summit of our faith.”. We should act like it. Me included. I’m still a young adult. I would so enjoy having support and a group we could be in. Everyone at our parish just loves our little baby but never stops to wonder if we need help. Okay, there are two or three. Our pastor could care less that we could be homeless anytime now. There is no support with respect to couples using Natural Family Planning. In fact, if we tell people we want more than 3 or four children, there mouths drop and the wheels start turning about how we should be “responsible” and there are ways to prevent “that”. Not one person asked if we needed help after our baby was born. We told our pastor how hard everything was for us. He just said something like, well, I will.pray for you. Great. Prayers are great, really. Still, that doesn’t help us buy groceries or diapers. Yes, we have food stamps, etc. Really, I wonder how people can be so blind and unaffected. Our pastor gave a homily last Sunday for a special collection. It was a half hour guilt trip. “I know we are in tough times but everyone is. So you know you are better off than those inner city people.”. And on and on. Never once has there been a collection for the poor of the parish. There are so many in our parish who are almost homeless or worse. I am happy to give my widow’s mite and we do. I just wish we put our faith into action. Sorry, Simcha, for my rant. Thank you for letting me do so. Praying for little Benedicta and you.

  3. I’m a single male, catholic, age 34. I came to my faith when I was 20 so I have run the gambit. I live outside of Baltimore, MD. We’re luck there are a lot of things going on here. I find that I have to go to the city in order to do most things, but I don’t mind. Not everyone feels that way though. I run Theology on Tap in the city. Everyone wants it in their own back yard though. Believe me when I say, “It’s hard to satisfy anyone, let alone the singles crowd.”

    Sadly a friend of mine just left the church. She’s my age and converted about two years ago. One of her complaints was that our church isn’t organized like other churches. she had surgery over the summer and no one really came out to help her. I visited her in the hospital, but I didn’t do much more. I live a considerable distance from her, so I didn’t feel like I could do it. I’m very sad for her. In the end she just feels that God is mean and she formally left the church.

    I understand being hurt. I’ve been hurt myself by clergy and others. I never thought of leaving Jesus though. I never thought the church should do more. If you see a need that need to be fulfilled you might consider filling it. I hope that’s not mean. If it is please say so. i just don’t see how any need not being met justifies leaving Jesus altogether. If we see something we don’t like shouldn’t we do something about it? Set up the NFP meeting’s, make sure people have the help they need, organize the young adults and so on.

    Strong leaders attract strong people around them and a community will be built around them. We need strong priest who will attract strong leaders in the community to help him in his mission.

  4. Where do I fit in a single woman who is over 40? I am not young and flirty. Nor am I old and shriveled. Hey, I like to have fun too. The ministries geared toward women are for those who are young and dating (yeah, I wish I had more of a dating life), married, or have children. There was a ministry to help MARRIED women who were mothers or women struggling with infertility. In other words that was for women of childbearing age who get to have sex. Yeah, I once had dreams for a big family.

    I did the route of Catholic young adults activities, but grow out of them due to age and changing interests. While some of my friends married other people in the group. I did NOT. Now what? Do women talk about other things besides marriage and motherhood?

    Yes, families are great, but what if you don’t have one????

    No, I’m not called to be a nun.

    Why are chastity talks geared toward teens and young adults. Hello!!! I have a warm body, and I get lonely. I’m not dead, people.

    Thanks for letting me vent.

  5. The Register isn’t accepting my comment for some reason, so I’ll post here:

    Late jumping into this thread, but oh well. Two thoughts, one for the Church and one for Catholic men:

    For the Church: Encourage matchmaking as a vocation, much as is done in Jewish circles, and I don’t mean giving an episcopal nod toward matchmaking web sites. I mean real-life matchmakers who live in the local community, know single Catholics, and have a gift for proposing matches. Person-to-person matchmaking is far more dignified (not to mention safer) than Catholic singles sites, on which single Catholics must flounder on their own.

    For Catholic men: You’ve sown your wild oats and you’re now in your late-30s or early-40s. God doesn’t owe you a devout and nubile 20-something who can punch out your babies. Give serious consideration to the single women in their late-30s or early-40s, who have been waiting a long time for their male peers to get serious. These women aren’t “chaff” or “leftovers.” They’re serious Catholic women who would make wonderful Catholic wives, even if their childbearing years are almost (or completely) over. The purpose of the sacrament of matrimony is sanctity, not posterity, and if you really wanted to populate the land with your mini-mes, then you should have married a 20-something when you were 20-something!

    Not that I’m bitter or anything. 😉

  6. I think traddier is betterer for single Catholics because it’s clearer that the things that really matter (sacraments, devotions) are available to you. A parish that’s more built on a social/small-groups vibe is harder, because “being single” is such a diverse and difficult set of conditions. But that’s just me…

    I feel pretty darn good about being single and about how I fit into the church. Sure, some days it seems like a crappy thing not to have a clear and obvious “vocation” or to come and go from mass alone, alone, alone. But most of the time — and all of the time if I exercise my rational brain — I deeply appreciate having the freedom to organize this event or help make that project a success.

    My only minor complaints, setting aside individual and personal little inconsiderateness which is unavoidable whatever your state in life, are as follows: (1) I hate “young adult” groups that don’t have a strong and structured devotional focus. I hate the sense that someone has come up with a CCD workbook of Discussion Questions for the losers. And I hate “social” events where the only thing everyone has in common is not currently being married. Bleh. But as I hinted above, I am somewhat of a trad so I admit I have my biases. (2) Far too often, especially in homilies, “how does this apply to daily life” begins and ends with “how you treat your spouse and children”. This is just a lack of imagination. I’m not suggesting that every homily needs to make a point to include “and here’s for the single folks!” – just that this is a really common and unfortunate elision.

  7. im all the way here in Brazil, and I am not big fan of singles groups either. Neither when i lived in gringo land. Now here in Brazil we are copying american style of parish…ugh.

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