Losing my Religion


Saint Joseph’s Oratory, Mount royal

Some people just hear the word religion and become almost rabid, it is like a call to arms for them. This isn’t going to be like that, so take a deep breath and count to ten if you are one of those people. This is going to be more of a self observation that I hope someone can identify with.

Not that long ago I took my son to St-Joseph’s Oratory, which is a huge Catholic Oratory built on the side of Mount Royal in the beautiful city of Montreal. The building is breathtaking, I remember my father taking me there when I was a kid and being awestruck, so I have brought all my kids there to share this experience with them too (by the way, we are not Catholic but it really is something to see). While we were touring the building we happened to come across a man on his knees praying to one of the many statues of St-Joseph. My son looks at him and whispers to me “What is that guy doing!” At first I am not sure what he is asking, but then I realise that my son has no idea that this guy is praying. In fact I do not think my son has been to church since he was baptised as a baby. It floored me, how can this be!! Am I am bad parent or what? WTF!

I grew up going to church, protestant United. As kids my brother and I were dragged there pretty much every Sunday by my mother. I can remember it like it was yesterday. But it wasn’t just us, it was our whole family, I am talking Aunts, Uncles, cousins, Grandmother. The only one who could take a pass on it was my Grandfather, I was never sure why he got to stay home.

Back then going to church was more than just going to church, it was a whole Sunday event. There was the getting ready for church, then the actual going to the service, this was followed my standing around outside the church and gossiping with everyone you only saw once a week (getting the news, as my Grandmother would call it). Then everyone would go back to my grandparents house for lunch. That is how the weeks ended in my childhood, and lets face it there wasn’t much else to do on a Sunday, everything was closed!!

I am not sure when it happened but somewhere along the way I stopped going to church and then I just kind of stopped believing. It was never a conscious action. At one point in my life I lost a lot of people whom I loved in a very short span of time, that might have something to do with it. Perhaps losing the people that I used to go to church with was what kept me away. For better or for worst my religion just sort of slipped away. I do not know if that is something you can get back. I know many people find religion in their later years, dying seems to bring that on. I do know people who are very religious and I have to say I envy then. They are so secure in their belief, it is like they know something that I don’t know. I do remember feeling peaceful in church, maybe it is that peace they carry around with them all the time.

Who knows if I will find religion again at the end of the road, it’s not something that I worry about, but man I have to bring my boy to church a time of two.