Home Page Home Page Events Events Photos Photos Diocese of Ogdensburg Home Page  
Follow Us on Facebook

Archives Editor's Note

Let's be more like the 'Massena Ladies'

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

January 16, 2019

Because of my profession, I frequently get invited to events – presentations, rallies, celebrations, luncheons and dinners.

When I attend such events, I may not know anyone. While I’m an extrovert, I still experience the apprehension and nervousness that comes with attending a luncheon or dinner, where I’ll be expected to socialize with those around me, and not knowing if I’m imposing by sitting with an unfamiliar group of people.

That brings me to the Diocese of Ogdensburg Vocations Society (DOVS) luncheon I attended last week (see the full story click here).

I walked in and saw a group of tables set for lunch. Most tables had several attendees seated around them and several vacant seats.

“Is there assigned seating,” I asked.

“Sit wherever you’d like,” I was told.

Almost immediately, a woman standing nearby – someone I’d met before, but don’t know well – invited me to join her table. I was sitting with a group I’ve come to know as “the Massena ladies.”

The Massena ladies welcomed me, a relative stranger. We had wonderful conversations. We enjoyed our lunch together. Some of the women at that table have extended similar kindnesses to me at other events.

The kindness of those women means more to me than they could possibly imagine. To be completely honest, my experience of Catholicism has not always been one of welcoming.

Like a lot of young adults, I was away from the church for a significant amount of time. When God helped me find my way back, I walked into my chosen parish (which shall remain nameless) feeling very self-conscious. I know it was only in my head, but I felt like others knew I should’ve been there and wasn’t. I felt awkward not knowing some of the responses/prayers had changed. I felt uncomfortable.

It took almost six months before someone other than the pastor spoke to me and welcomed me. In the parish’s defense, I didn’t go out of my way to meet others, either. But if I hadn’t been completely convinced of the truth of Catholicism, I likely wouldn’t have gone back after those first few nervous Masses.

We can do better.

May we work to be a welcoming church. May we recognize strangers, and greet them.

I pray we become like the Massena ladies.

North Country Catholic North Country Catholic is
honored by Catholic Press
Association of US & Canada

Copyright © Roman Catholic Diocese of Ogdensburg. All rights reserved.