Are parish offices connected to the narthex allowed?


This year is the 50th anniversary of the parishes founding, and our former pastor had been working on making some renovations to the church building most of which I was highly in favor of. Now, however, our new pastor is making radical changes to our churches renovation plans.One thing he wants to change truly seems to disturb me. This involves placing offices attached directly to the narthex. These offices are not only for him but also his secretary and business manager plus a meeting room. It keeps bringing to mind the scripture passage of Christ throwing the money changers out of the temple. Now I know this is not the same situation yet it still is business being done within the church. I also oppose this move since the narthex should be the entrance way which helps one turn his or her mind toward the sacred before entering the church.I have tried to talk to the pastor to put the offices somewhere else on the church such as at the back of the sacristy (since all our former pastors have long wanted a larger sacristy it would seem the ideal way to kill two birds with one stone) but he thinks it would work best up front (since our sacristy is on the back of the building.) However, both of our other priests would still have to use the old office which is in truth larger and in a separate building in itself. Though it has been mentioned that it would be a better idea to just expand the old office he points out that other church’s in the area have the offices in the narthex. Is there anything that I can do to stop this? Are my positions way off base? I feel in a time when so many churches in the area are removing the tabernacle in favor of a Fountains or a music area that we could stay a little more traditional and stay more focused on spiritual growth then on just the community. This is something that I have prayed on for months and no matter how hard I try this addition does not seem right. Thanks for you help.



Hi Mike,

The narthex or vestibule, is not in the church proper. I don’t think you have much of an argument, certainly not as far as Church directives are concerned. I gave a mission in Canada were it rains a lot. The vestibule is quite large and opens into the parish hall and kitchen, meeting rooms, the parish office and the priests’ offices. People can also just wait there until their ride arrives—all this without getting soaked. It was great!

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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