The sense of community in the parish I attend is very different than what I'm used to. Of course, since I am new there, and I have not yet gone through RCIA, I haven't had much opportunity to get involved or to dig and find out what they offer. I am hoping to find that sense of community within RCIA... I figure, since I'll be with others who have something in common with me, it will be a great opportunity to connect with people and build on that fellowship that I'll be missing from my former Protestant church.
It has always been a bit important to me to feel welcome in a church... and in fact, I think that some churches do better than others in understanding and carrying out ways of making new people feel welcome. One church I attended used to bring baked goods to the doorstep of all newcomers... This can be a huge task for a large church but it's one of many ways that help people to feel welcomed into the church community.
As a Catholic-to-be in a Catholic Church, you are automatically a bit of an outsider, I think... since you are not able to fully participate. Sometimes, especially when I am there without Damion, I wish that just one person would recognize that I am "new" and say something. But after Mass, most people just rush out the doors and to their cars...
I find that I want to linger around, like I always have... but for what? I'm out of place if I do such a thing. I think it's a little sad. I would think that more people would want to build relationships within the Church they attend since our spiritual life should be the biggest part of who we are.
Once RCIA begins and I am regularly attending the same Mass every week, I think things will be a bit better in this regard. I will then be acquainted with a few people and I won't feel so alone in the Catholic-to-be world.