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Hire a babysitter to watch your single friends’ children when they come.

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If perhaps no, go back and go with others to prospecting.

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Normal manners would require them to listen and at least feign sympathy, but they don’t. It’s why some Sundays I can barely drag myself there just to sit in the pew alone. In terms of service, I feel as a single parent I literally have nothing of myself to offer the Church, therefore I’m not even a blip on Her radar.

The day after my friend posted her note, the Catholic blogger Katrina Fernandez wrote a poignant piece on the loneliness of being a single mother. Insignificant, unimportant, non-contributer, single-parent me.” Listening to sermons, reading Christians writing on the web, and hearing others talk about single Catholics (when they do), I often feel the only single people of interest to other Christians are homosexual ones and they are only because they’re seen as a threat.

A single friend who recently moved posted a note on her Facebook page: “Was trying out a new church on Sunday when the pastor announced that his November sermon series would be about marriage. People surrounded by their lovely families will immediately counter with some statement about the trials of marriage and sometimes a lecture on the blessings of being single. So many families and couples.” A single working mother in her late thirties, she noted: “I’m too old for Young Adult Ministries, too divorced for Married Ministries, too employed to meet during the day for Mommy Groups, and I have no free time available to volunteer.

‘Well, Scripture says “Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled.”’ Not the most welcoming way of putting it. I’ve been in conversations when a single friend mentioned the difficulties of being single and people who were normally caring blew them off or even laughed at them, as if they were teenagers fretting over an almost invisible blemish.The dynamics of parish life tend towards an imbalance between the married and the single.The neglect of single people is a problem that needs a more systematic answer directed by our pastors.That’s the great thing about becoming friends: they’ll be to you not “these unmarried people,” but John and Jennifer and Wesley.Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Aleteia and is reprinted here with kind permission.How many of those sermons on marriage really challenge married people at the point it will hurt?

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