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  #1  
Old Feb 9, '11, 1:46 pm
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is online now
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Default Parish registration

I recently relocated. I attend Eucharistic adoration at one church, daily mass at another, Sunday service and a men's group at a third. I am within the parish boundary of a fourth Charismatic Catholic type of church.

All of the churches promote registration and have a monthly meeting to welcome new members with coffee and doughnuts. I like both coffee and doughnuts

Other than receiving a pack of pre-dated donation envelopes, what are the advantages to registering? Why is it important to a parish? How does one choose?
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  #2  
Old Feb 9, '11, 3:45 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
I recently relocated. I attend Eucharistic adoration at one church, daily mass at another, Sunday service and a men's group at a third. I am within the parish boundary of a fourth Charismatic Catholic type of church.

All of the churches promote registration and have a monthly meeting to welcome new members with coffee and doughnuts. I like both coffee and doughnuts

Other than receiving a pack of pre-dated donation envelopes, what are the advantages to registering? Why is it important to a parish? How does one choose?
One doesn't choose a parish. Parishes are geographical locations. Every Catholic is automatically a member of whatever parish boundaries he has a residence, and likewise not a member of any other parish.

Personal parishes are different. These are parishes that are determined by some characteristic that people share in common--usually ethnic background; and they (almost) always overlap with geographic parishes.

The bottom line though is that you don't choose a parish any more than you "choose" what state you live in--if you live within the boundaries, you're a member of that parish, and the only way to choose a different one is to move (just like a state).
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  #3  
Old Feb 9, '11, 3:49 pm
ConstantineTG ConstantineTG is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
I recently relocated. I attend Eucharistic adoration at one church, daily mass at another, Sunday service and a men's group at a third. I am within the parish boundary of a fourth Charismatic Catholic type of church.

All of the churches promote registration and have a monthly meeting to welcome new members with coffee and doughnuts. I like both coffee and doughnuts

Other than receiving a pack of pre-dated donation envelopes, what are the advantages to registering? Why is it important to a parish? How does one choose?
Registration usually is for donation tracking. They know you and therefore can send you tax receipts. Also, you being an active Catholic can be tracked by the priest. This will be important for receiving Sacraments. Some priests are strict that they will not allow those who do not attend Mass every Sunday to get Confirmed or Married in the Church.

Also access to Sacraments. While its not a full restriction, the parish you belong to would be the parish where you will seek the one-time Sacraments, such as marriage, confirmation, and even baptism for your children. Of course most other parishes will accomodate you if you wish to receive those Sacraments there but for many reasons, its preferred its done at a parish where you are a regular, and it follows that you are registered. But again, its not a restriction.
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  #4  
Old Feb 9, '11, 4:41 pm
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joandarc2008 joandarc2008 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Send coffee and doughnuts - I like the French crullers. I really the Boston creme but they only make 'em right around Boston
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  #5  
Old Feb 9, '11, 7:14 pm
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Belle10 Belle10 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
Other than receiving a pack of pre-dated donation envelopes, what are the advantages to registering? Why is it important to a parish? How does one choose?
I believe the number of people registered within a specific parish relates to how much that parish is assessed for the diocesean appeals each year. What the other posters said about one-time sacraments also makes sense.
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  #6  
Old Feb 9, '11, 7:37 pm
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is online now
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Default Re: Parish registration

Thanks for the responses.

Hmmm. The information so far inclines me not to register.

If I am only allowed to register with one church, whose geographic boundary includes my home, and I do not attend that church, and I don't donate at that church, and I do not foresee needing any one time sacraments, then........ No coffee and doughnuts for me

There are at least four Catholic churches within four miles of my home. Decisions, decisions.
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  #7  
Old Feb 9, '11, 8:22 pm
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Belle10 Belle10 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
There are at least four Catholic churches within four miles of my home. Decisions, decisions.
Wow, what a blessing!

I think joining a church is a good thing -- you can get to know people, get involved in the choir or become a lector or get on parish council or whatever. I think it's nice to know people who are around you at Mass.

I grew up going to the same church until I moved away for college, and I really missed having that parish family. I've been attending one church for 9 1/2 years now, but since my DH now attends with us (though he is not Catholic) we've been alternating between 2 others because he likes the priests at those 2 others more than the one I've gone to for so long. It's hard for me because I'm shy and I was finally getting to know some people, and that church was where all our children were baptized. I'm concerned because we'll be enrolling our oldest child in religious education in the fall and I want to figure out which one we'll attend and stick with it. It's just tough for me because I want to go to the one I've been going to since moving out here, but since DH prefers one of the others I'm willing to do that. I figure since I know Jesus is present at all of them, I can deal with going to one that doesn't quite feel like "home" the way that other one does. If it helps DH to feel more comfortable, I'll do it in the hopes that he'll convert one day.

Sorry for hijacking your thread!
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  #8  
Old Feb 9, '11, 8:33 pm
EasterJoy EasterJoy is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Hmmm. The information so far inclines me not to register.

If I am only allowed to register with one church, whose geographic boundary includes my home, and I do not attend that church, and I don't donate at that church, and I do not foresee needing any one time sacraments, then........ No coffee and doughnuts for me

There are at least four Catholic churches within four miles of my home. Decisions, decisions.
It is not currently required by canon law to be registered in your geographic parish. Generally speaking, people register in their Sunday parish, not their daily Mass parish or the one that happens to have Eucharistic adoration, because that is where they make their regular donations. Certainly you want to be registered at the church that you would want to be married in, since it is generally easier for everyone involved to arrange a wedding in that church. (Presumably, that's the church where the most other parishioners know you, where your funeral Mass would be held, and so on, as well.)

These are rules particular to the Archdiocese of Portland, as an example:
Quote:
1. Parish Clergy must honor the right of those Catholics living within their parish to
marry and may not add restrictions or requirements to those already defined in Canon
Law.

2. For the purpose of celebrating weddings, Catholics who live outside the parish
boundaries, but regularly worship at that particular parish, should be regarded as
having “domicile” in the parish.

3. Parish clergy should make a reasonable effort to accept the request of a couple living
outside their parish to marry unless this would make it impossible to provide adequate
opportunities for their own parishioners to marry in their proper parish. He may
request the permission of the proper pastor of either party. When it is not possible to
accommodate a couple’s request to marry in his parish, the priest/deacon should refer
them to their proper parish or to a priest or church able to accommodate their request

4. In the Archdiocese of Portland, Catholic clergy must request the permission of the
archbishop whenever they witness a marriage outside a church, chapel, or oratory even
when one party is not baptized.. A Parish priest may celebrate a wedding in a church
or chapel other than his parish church provided it is located within his parish
boundaries or after having secured the permission and delegation of the proper pastor of
the location where the wedding takes place.
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  #9  
Old Feb 9, '11, 8:36 pm
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FrDavid96 FrDavid96 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnDwellar View Post
Thanks for the responses.

Hmmm. The information so far inclines me not to register.

If I am only allowed to register with one church, whose geographic boundary includes my home, and I do not attend that church, and I don't donate at that church, and I do not foresee needing any one time sacraments, then........ No coffee and doughnuts for me

There are at least four Catholic churches within four miles of my home. Decisions, decisions.
Parish registration and parish membership are not the same thing; although there's a common misunderstanding out there that they are.

You can only be a member of the parish in which territory you reside. So, the only parish (and the only pastor) which applies to you is your own parish.

Parish registration does nothing to make someone a member of the parish. Nothing at all. Registration is nothing more than an administrative tool for the parish staff, but it has no bearing on your actual membership. You might be able to "register" in another parish (in theory, you could even register with some parish 1,000 miles away that you've never even visited), but that doesn't make you a member.

You can attend Mass, confession, etc. at ANY Catholic church of your choice. You can donate to any of them. You can eat anyone's donuts and drink anyone's coffee. If you make regular donations, they will likely "register" you so they can keep track and give you an annual statement in January.

There are certain times when going to your own proper parish is either essential, or very important. In matters of marriage and baptism, it can be essential (it can even mean the difference between a valid marriage and an invalid attempt at one, because witnessing a marriage requires that the priest have jurisdiction.) It can also be important for other things as well. Funerals are an example. A pastor has an obligation to provide a funeral for his own parishioners (those who live in the parish) but it's only a courtesy for one who did not live in the parish.

The point is what I said at the beginning: a Catholic is only a member of the parish in which he has a residence (personal parishes aside here). Registration does nothing to make someone a parishioner, and absence of registration does not mean that you-are-not a parishioner.
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  #10  
Old Feb 9, '11, 10:14 pm
CMatt25 CMatt25 is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
Parish registration and parish membership are not the same thing; although there's a common misunderstanding out there that they are.

You can only be a member of the parish in which territory you reside. So, the only parish (and the only pastor) which applies to you is your own parish.

Parish registration does nothing to make someone a member of the parish. Nothing at all. Registration is nothing more than an administrative tool for the parish staff, but it has no bearing on your actual membership. You might be able to "register" in another parish (in theory, you could even register with some parish 1,000 miles away that you've never even visited), but that doesn't make you a member.

You can attend Mass, confession, etc. at ANY Catholic church of your choice. You can donate to any of them. You can eat anyone's donuts and drink anyone's coffee. If you make regular donations, they will likely "register" you so they can keep track and give you an annual statement in January.

There are certain times when going to your own proper parish is either essential, or very important. In matters of marriage and baptism, it can be essential (it can even mean the difference between a valid marriage and an invalid attempt at one, because witnessing a marriage requires that the priest have jurisdiction.) It can also be important for other things as well. Funerals are an example. A pastor has an obligation to provide a funeral for his own parishioners (those who live in the parish) but it's only a courtesy for one who did not live in the parish.

The point is what I said at the beginning: a Catholic is only a member of the parish in which he has a residence (personal parishes aside here). Registration does nothing to make someone a parishioner, and absence of registration does not mean that you-are-not a parishioner.
If registration does not make one a member and there are essential or very important times to go to your geographical parish, but you like another parish or its priests better, you're just stuck with a parish and priest you don't like as well in those essential or very important times?
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  #11  
Old Feb 10, '11, 3:39 am
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is online now
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belle10 View Post
Wow, what a blessing!

I think joining a church is a good thing -- you can get to know people, get involved in the choir or become a lector or get on parish council or whatever. I think it's nice to know people who are around you at Mass.
Sorry for hijacking your thread!
You are right! I consider it a huge blessing. I was excited to find just one church so close to home, but four
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  #12  
Old Feb 10, '11, 3:46 am
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is online now
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by EasterJoy View Post
Certainly you want to be registered at the church that you would want to be married in, since it is generally easier for everyone involved to arrange a wedding in that church.
Marriage?
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  #13  
Old Feb 10, '11, 4:00 am
MtnDwellar MtnDwellar is online now
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Default Re: Parish registration

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrDavid96 View Post
Parish registration and parish membership are not the same thing; although there's a common misunderstanding out there that they are.

You can eat anyone's donuts and drink anyone's coffee. If you make regular donations, they will likely "register" you so they can keep track and give you an annual statement in January.
I can understand why others and I misunderstand. We usually think of registration as a precursor to membership. Thanks for clarifying.

Since registration is an administrative tool mainly used to track donations, registration at multiple parishes is acceptable? So, more coffee and doughnuts than I thought?

Thanks
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  #14  
Old Feb 10, '11, 4:50 am
White_Tree White_Tree is offline
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Default Re: Parish registration

In my diocese, you can be officially registered at only one Parish. Registering at a second parish automatically removes your registration from all other parishes in the diocese (the diocese uses a synchronized computer network).

That said, at least in my diocese, the parish that you register in does not have to be the parish that is assigned to your particular geographical region.

Also in my diocese, they use the registration system for more than just tracking donations. The diocese keeps a census of all Catholics within its borders, and you need to be registered in one of the diocesan parishes to appear on this. You also receive discounted tuition at any diocesan schools if you are registered in a diocesan parish (even if you technically live outside the geographical boundaries of the diocese). Similarly, if you are within the geographical boundaries, but are not registered in a diocesan parish, then you pay a higher rate (and it's a difference of several thousand dollars).

In my parish in particular, you need to be registered there in order for your kids to participate in the religious education program. If you ever get asked to be a Confirmation sponsor and you need a letter of recommendation from the parish that affirms that you are a practicing Catholic and you attend Mass, you better be registered there. If not, then go to the parish where you are registered, and depending on the circumstances, they may look at your donation records.

The parish and the diocese also use the registration records for mailings. My diocese has a free Catholic newspaper that it sends weekly to all registered Catholics within the diocese. The parish sends letters periodically to all its registered members about different things going on in the church, or new groups or events that may be of interest to particular members.

Registration also helps if you ever need to go back and get confirmation that you received a Sacrament, like a Baptismal certificate. If you are registered at a parish within my diocese, they can look you up on the diocesan database and print you out a certificate within a matter of minutes. If you're not registered, the parish of your Baptism will still have your record, but it will be in a big book that's poorly indexed. It will take a long time to look up your record. There's a some probability that they won't be able to find it (maybe you were misalphabetized; maybe they put you on the wrong page; maybe they added your record to the book, but forgot to put your name in the index; maybe they lost the book).

My diocese happens to be especially sophisticated, so registration here probably carries more benefits than what would be considered "typical." But in general, I think registration is probably a good idea if you intend to be a practicing Catholic within your diocese.
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  #15  
Old Feb 10, '11, 5:14 am
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Default Re: Parish registration

Just be sure you don't live in a diocese that will give you grief for not registering in your official geographic parish. This appears to vary by diocese, so you'll have to ask the parish staff when you register to find out the scoop.
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