I am not loving the Catholic Church.
For the most part, I agree with you that the Catholic Church should do more to promote fellowship. Particularly when people aren't strong in their faith, the community aspect of church is what appeals to them, and many Catholic Churches focus on theology to the exclusion of fellowship.
But if I may play devil's advocate, I think there is a reason that is so. We have doctrine, and belief in that doctrine is what makes us Catholic. Churches without doctrine (or with weak doctrine) tend to rely on making people feel like they belong, which builds membership but doesn't necessarily strengthen faith. As for your priest, it could be that he doesn't want to get the church in a situation where it becomes host to all sorts of social clubs that have nothing to do with its mission. Say yes to one, say yes to all.
Maybe he's o.k. with you putting a message in the bulletin for some get-togethers at parks or homes, as long as the group isn't church-sponsored. Our pastor also tends to believe that if the church is sponsoring something (either through funds, providing meeting space, or using its name) it should have something to do with the Catholic Church.
I had to laugh at your "hidden agenda" comment,
Our parish has a moms group with three sessions... is started with one morning session, expanded to night for homeschool and working mom.. and then had to split to two day sessions because there were so many....
we are a Catholic church so I agree our groups should be Catholic focused or why call it a church group...kwim?
Wife to Scott
Mom to: Madeleine, James,
First of all, no, the Catholic church may not be as good at some things as other churches.
I don't feel that MOPS is very religion based.