San Diego parish seeks to curb incidents of after-Mass road rage

Bad parking lot reviews on Yelp prompt Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish to erect placards listing the fruits of the Holy Spirit, among them patience, kindness and self-control

Parking lot sign at Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish. (Courtesy of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish)

Hoping to curb incidents of after-Mass road rage, a Catholic church in San Diego has posted signs throughout the parking lot reminding parishioners of the graces they have received during Mass.

On Thursday, Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church erected nine placards listing the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Each sign lists a different fruit, taken from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The parish’s pastor, Father Anthony Saroki, told CNA that the goal is to help parishioners focus on a life with Christ and the acquisition of spiritual fruits.

The idea arose following a number of bad reviews about the church parking lot on Yelp. Although the parish is vibrant, said Saroki, the parking can leave people feeling bitter, due to its constricted traffic outlet.

The parish has implemented traffic directors to keep cars moving along smoothly, but the parking situation still leaves parishioners feeling frustrated.

Saroki hopes the new placards will lead parishioners to reflect on sacramental grace and opportunities to live out this grace in practical and immediate ways.

For example, he said, the signs should prompt thoughts such as, “I can be patient, have self-control, exhibit gentleness and love, and have joy in my heart, even while I wait in a parking lot.”

Full story at Catholic News Agency.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    solution: leave before everyone else or stay later than everyone else.

  2. David Drewelow says

    How could the parking lot have been so poorly designed? The full angelus article has the pastor saying he hopes the graces of the. Mass extend to the parking lot. A few words on fixing the problem would have helped

  3. It’s not the design of the parking lot but the attitude of the people using it. When one looks at every other driver as an obstacle to one’s plans to get outa Dodge as fast as possible then it wouldn’t matter if it were the most brilliantly designed parking lot in the world. IOW it’s not a parking lot problem but a selfishness problem. The Pastor has the right idea.

  4. At my parish (and I think many others) there is always a coffee and pastry social after Mass. Lots of folks attend and then leave piecemeal. It would be an opportunity not only to relieve the parking lot congestion right after Mass, but also for parishioners to get to know one another better.

    Parishioners each bring something if they want: cookies, cupcakes, juice for the kids (and me, I don’t drink coffee)… so it doesn’t cost the parish anything.

  5. KC, what is the design of the lot?

  6. Probably not much different traffic-wise than many other Catholic churches. My parish and the next parish over have standing room only at many Masses. After Mass, it takes a while to exit the parking lot, especially in the other parish. That being said, just about all drivers are courteous and give other drivers a break. We have been attending Mass at both parishes for 15 years, and I cannot recall any anger or road rage incidents in all that time.

    • Anonymous says

      please understand that this parish is in California, where everyone despises each other but pretends not to. There’s no genuine community in that state, just people who see others as obstacles to their convenience and their life pursuits. In such a crowded and narcissistic state where people waste large portions of their lives in traffic, waiting in line, etc., there’s no patience for other people who get in their way.

  7. “RIGHT TURN ONLY” signs are the sine qua non of church lot etiquette.

  8. MAndretti says

    Perhaps the name of the parish should be changed to Our Lady of the Freeway!

  9. I have seen parishes where it is off to the races as soon as the mass ends. A NASCAR referee would be a good addition to the parking lot.

  10. Many parishes, perhaps most, have back to back Masses mid Morning Sunday. So the parking lot has to empty out fairly quickly to provide space for those attending the later Mass.

  11. Anonymous says

    How about putting signs in the Church parking lot that say: “Please do not kill or beat up fellow Church goers after you leave mass.”

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