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Not a #BadCatholic

By Darcy L. Fargo

Darcy Fargo

March 30, 2022

The text said only, “#BadCatholic.”

As I stepped out of my car in the office parking lot on Friday morning, one of my favorite colleagues reminded me that it was a solemnity, and we could eat meat on a Lenten Friday.

“I knew that at one time, but I had completely forgotten,” I said.

Then, as I discussed it with this colleague, it became apparent that I could not come up with the name of the solemnity we were celebrating.

Immediately following this conversation, I sent my husband a text message reminding him he could eat meat and acknowledging that I couldn’t explain why at that moment, because I couldn’t remember the solemnity we were celebrating.

I ended my text with “#BadCatholic.”

My loving husband then replied with a text reminding me of a time I messed up a name related to a solemnity in a very public way.

He concluded the text thread repeating, “#BadCatholic.”

I once thought I knew a lot about Catholicism. Then I started working for the Church. Now, barely a week goes by when I’m not asking someone to explain a teaching or a tradition with which I’m not familiar.

While I don’t really think I’m a “#BadCatholic,” I know I have a lot to learn. I’m pretty confident one could learn about the teachings of Jesus and His Church every day of life and still not know even a fraction of everything there is to learn.

That’s part of the beauty of our faith, isn’t it?

As I interviewed an instructor from one of the amazing Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) programs in the diocese for this week’s edition (see the story here), she said she and her fellow instructors refer to RCIA as “a ‘process’ not a ‘program’” because “a program has an end.” Learning our faith and growing in our relationships with the Lord doesn’t end. It’s a life-long journey.

Luckily, our God and our Church gives us lots of opportunities to grow and learn. Our parishes and diocese sponsor outstanding workshops and events. There are books, articles, podcasts and videos on nearly every topic imaginable. And, of course, we learn and grow as we participate in Mass, hear the Scripture readings and hear the reflections and explanations from our priests and deacons in their homilies. That’s before I even think about those moments in conversation – even parking lot conversations – when I learn something new or realize there’s something I don’t know.

There’s lots of opportunity to develop and learn.

I may need to rethink my hashtag comment. “#GrowingCatholic” would’ve been better.

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