It is said that the second largest ”church” in the United States is disengaged Catholics. As a child, I remember that we called such people “unchurched.” Others called them”fallen away.” I was part of that church on and off for years. But I was still Catholic in my bones. I was “on” when my children were growing up and going to Catholic schools. “Off” was after my sons left for college, stopped practicing their faith and also became disengaged Catholics.
Attending Sunday mass had been a habit for me, an occasion to look after my own spiritual needs. But one day I walked out of the service feeling sad, just generally disappointed and empty, asking myself, for the last time, “Why do you do this to yourself?” It was years before I attended another traditional Catholic Mass. But many times I sat around a dinner table with close, mostly female, friends, held hands and prayed. We ended by saying, “We are church.” We shared a meal prepared and blessed by all of us, our Eucharist. We loved one another, we were part of one another's lives, we listened to the spiritual longings in our hearts, we lit candles to represent Christ in our midst. Some may call that being on the “margins” of the Catholic church – perhaps so, it's not important. I call it “finding divinity in the midst of humanity.” I'm starting to see that I'm no longer on the margins of anything. – KD