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Author Topic: Where to go from here?  (Read 1631 times) Average Rating: 0
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Jeff M.
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I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught.


« on: August 29, 2008, 10:08:39 PM »

Hello, first let me take a second to apologize for my first post being so long.  Once I got started, I had to just let things out.

About 7 years ago, I became a  catechumen at an Eastern Orthodox church.  I am a bilateral amputee from birth, and have no legs from the knee down.  The church was very old and no part of it was wheelchair accessible, from the entrance to the sanctuary, bathrooms etc...  After about a  year of having to carry my chair up the stairs on my knees, then crawl around on my knees inside the church, it just became to difficult to continue attending there.

I left and fell out of church altogether, and have drifted around since, even falling into Buddhism for a few years. 

I have recently felt the call back to the faith, and have found a Greek Orthodox Church about 2 hours away, that I plan to visit soon for Divine Liturgy.  Since it's that far, I will not be able to go every Sunday.

I'm not sure what to do at this point, I'm not sure where I stand as a “former” catechumen, do I need to start all over?

And can I be a member of the Church if I can't attend every Sunday?

I'm not sure what to do to even begin returning???

Sorry this was so long, I would like to ask for our prayers for guidance.

Jeff
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« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2008, 10:25:31 PM »

Welcome Jeff M!
And welcome back to the Church!
I certainly hope that the Church you plan to visit has wheelchair access!
The first step would be to talk to the Priest- perhaps you can call him?
I think that the question of whether you will need to start the catechumenate again is not as important as the question of your spiritual state, which hopefully a Priest will be able to help you to discern.
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« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2008, 11:00:52 PM »




I'm not sure what to do to even begin returning???


I'm sure an Orthodox priest will show greater compassion to your situation. I suggest you contact him.
Welcome back. May the Lord have mercy on you.
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« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2008, 11:06:57 PM »

Welcome to the forum and welcome back.  A newer Orthodox Church (e.g. built in the last 10 years) is going to be ADA compliant if there is one in your area.
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« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008, 11:20:46 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Jeff.

Lord have mercy on you and all of us who have long distances to travel to attend Liturgy; compounded by the added problem of infirmity. I'm sure that not being able to attend every Sunday will not serve as a hindrance to your conversion, but I agree with the others in that the best place to begin renew your journey is by talking to the priest; to discuss your physical needs as much as your spiritual. I'm surprised that someone wasn't "appointed" to help you with your wheelchair at your previous parish; but perhaps people felt that help was the last thing you wanted.

God be with you and grant you strength to continue.
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Jeff M.
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« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2008, 11:48:11 PM »

Thank you all for you kind words, I should have said that the Greek Orthodox Church I plan to visit, is indeed wheelchair accessible, I called and spoke to a member to make sure before planning my trip.

It is the closest church that is accessible.  The church I used to go to, really had no way to become accessible, it is a VERY small rural church that was built in 1914 and just did not have the resources to remodel.  I have encountered places like that before, in certain bygone eras, buildings just did not take that kind of stuff into account and it is practically impossible to renovate them.

Hopefully I will be able to visit the other church in a few weeks and see how things go.

Thanks again for the warm welcome, may the peace of Christ be upon you all!
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Jeff M.
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« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2008, 09:46:13 AM »

I got some good news this week, there is a mission church that has started up, just under 60 miles from me, that is in a newer building!!!! 
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Holy Father Patrick, thank you for your help!


« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2008, 09:54:52 AM »

I got some good news this week, there is a mission church that has started up, just under 60 miles from me, that is in a newer building!!!! 

Wonderful news!

And, let me just state as a priest: it is wonderful that you wish to keep trying!

Please keep us informed of your progress and efforts...you are an inspiration to many!
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2008, 09:57:59 AM »

I got some good news this week, there is a mission church that has started up, just under 60 miles from me, that is in a newer building!!!! 
Glory to God!
Please keep us posted on your journey into the Faith.  By the prayers of the saints, may all your obstacles, physical or spiritual, be removed. (btw, my stepfather is confined largely to a wheelchair, so I see the problems that you must persever with.  God bless your perseverance!).
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Jeff M.
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I am Patrick, yes a sinner and indeed untaught.


« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2008, 09:59:51 AM »

Thank you both for your kind words!

And FrChris....


That is to funny!!!!!!!!!!!
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« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2008, 10:24:45 AM »

May God bless your struggles and perseverance in joining His church!  Welcome to OC.net!  I hope that you will find this site a support and source of camaraderie !!

Juliana
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« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2008, 12:53:37 PM »

Dear Jeff,

Welcome to the forum! Yes, by all means, please stay with the Church and be in touch with your priest. Things can be worked out. ("Yes. We. Can!" Smiley)

George
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