Location: "ROMAN Catholic Church" in Manchester, NH
The Catholic Church that I visited was Ste. Marie Parish. This is a colorful church that was built in the olden days. The building is ancient, and built in a beautiful design which presents the olden architectural beauty. It is a stone building and represents Rome in its structure. The structures are similar to those used by the Roman Emperors. Outside the building, there is no much decoration but the inside is full of pictures of Jesus, Mary mother of Jesus and several saints. All this art work is on the inside walls. Other than drawn pictures, there are sculptures of the same on the walls. The paintings are beautifully done and they seem to be a modification of Leonardo Da Vinci. These historic art works are quite impressing.
There are some elect structures representing Jesus, Mary, and Joseph among others. They have been well designed bringing a feel of holiness in the compound. These sculptures are beautiful representative of the Catholic faith. Watching from far I could see the staunch believers doing the sign of cross once they passed by them meaning they had deeper representation of their faith. Some believers were even kneeling in front of the sculptures acknowledging the presence of some holy divine. This art work is great and it has been there since the church was built up, though renovations are always done to keep them looking good.
I observed that most of these followers were mainly from the Latin world. History teaches us that the Romans penetrated in to the Latin American regions mostly the South America in the early days. That is why Catholic is the dominant religion in Mexico and the adjust areas. I also learnt that the Catholic Church had for a long time conducted its church service in Latin until early nineties. This is enough prove that the Romans or the Catholic Church settled in Latin America first. The Church was known to offer medical and educational assistance in those areas because they were lagging in development. In the process they preached their faith to these people who received it with open arms. These same people who had adapted the faith migrated to United States some legally while majority were illegal immigrants. The areas where these immigrants settled first like Chicago have a strong Catholic faith.
In this case, I can say that the predominant group in this church as I saw it was Asian from the Latin America. They carried themselves with humbleness and humility. They have a lot of respect for their church which was very encouraging. In the compound there were nuns walking around and as much I could not see their covered faces, the few I talked to gave me the impression that they were Latin. This was because of their accents and also the skin color.
The Catholic Church has a very different approach in the way they conduct their church service as compared to the other denominations. They have a routine which is hard to follow especially if you are new. There are times when they will stand, then suddenly kneel down. They seemed to be praying through Mary mother of Jesus something I did not understand. They also asked the saints to pray for us which were foreign to my faith.
It was difficult for me to understand why they were praying through Mary. I was against that because Mary was just another human being who was lucky to be chosen by God to give birth to Christ. I felt they should have directed their prayers to the Holy Trinity as directed by the bible through the Lord's Prayer. The catholic faith seems to have given unnecessary attention to Mary. When they asked the saints to pray for us, I felt confused because I knew that whoever they considered saints were people of this earth who had died knowing Christ just like the rest of us. I was made to understand that it was the pope who decided who to be honored as a saint or not. To me, this did not make a lot of sense because every human is a sinner and so they would not be representing me in heaven. The other amazing thing was the way they knelt in front of the sculptures. I felt like they were idolizing them and that is against my belief.
This is a faith that I would not follow. First, I have been brought up in the non-Catholic Church and it would be difficult for me to change. Secondly, their doctrine seems to be so confusing. From the way they direct their prayers through intermediaries to the many processes in church. I had enough time to learn that they even belief in purgatory, a location where the spirit remains until the resurrection. These are things I haven't read in the bible. They have so much respect for the sculptures elected both in church and in the compound and to me these are idols. They even kneel in front
Catholic faith believes in confessing to the priest which I found absurd. The bible tells us to pray direct to God and he will have the prayers answered. The way they kneel in front of these sculptures is not right to me. None should be worshipped other than God and so I will not kneel in front of them. Inside the church they have elected the sculpture of Jesus on the cross to which they bow. Again this is idol worshipping to me. The pope is so powerful over this people to a point one would think he is holy. This is not true because of the many cases of molestation that I have read in the media coming from the catholic priests. These priests should be allowed to marry because they are human with earthly desires.
The Catholic priests perform some rituals which made me afraid. At one time he came round with a smoking pot and did signs of the cross with it. I was made to understand that the smoke was holy burning and was being used to bless us. This was peculiar to me. Others had some ash painted on their face and it scared me more. Bottom line these catholic rituals are strange to a person from a different faith. During the service there were several reciting which would need one to go and learn. I felt that this was so much of routine and that it was disconnecting me from the spiritual mood.
Since this visit, I only got more confused and driven further from the Catholic Church. I thought by attending their church I would clear the bad images that had been planted in my mind through rumors. Unfortunately I only confirmed that these rituals are there. As much as they are holy, they are worrying to a new person in the church. I loved their songs because they were enjoyable to listen to and they also had good Christian messages. They had some routine dance in church which was fun too. Their service is precise and takes a short time. God's presence is felt because of the many pictures of Jesus' suffering and it reminded me of his suffering over and over. However I do not think I can become a follower of the Catholic Church mostly because of the sculptures and the many confusing rituals. Confessing to a priest would be hard for me because I feel I should do it directly to God.
The Protestants have changed the way of worship and have made it more entertaining. They dance in church making the place very lively. The Catholic Church has stack to its old routine which is quite boring. They do not consider the youth who…