Can I just change parishes?


#1

I have a quick question. Our home is located pretty much right between 2 local parishes. We have been going to one for about 5 years and sometimes visiting the other. I work on Sundays, and it is now much more convenient for me to go to mass at the 'other' parish as it is on my way to work. There are also more programs available for my children and more opportunities to serve. Can I register at the new parish? Are there any rules about which parish I am allowed to be a member of? :shrug:


#2

[quote="Abundant, post:1, topic:326988"]
I have a quick question. Our home is located pretty much right between 2 local parishes. We have been going to one for about 5 years and sometimes visiting the other. I work on Sundays, and it is now much more convenient for me to go to mass at the 'other' parish as it is on my way to work. There are also more programs available for my children and more opportunities to serve. Can I register at the new parish? Are there any rules about which parish I am allowed to be a member of? :shrug:

[/quote]

The parish you want to join might have rules, but its rare. Call the parish you're considering and see if you can switch, usually there is not a problem. :)


#3

Being enrolled in a particular parish is not necessarily the same as being a member (i.e.. canonically ascribed) of that parish. In general, a person is a member of his/her geographical parish, whether or not he/she is "enrolled" in that parish. However, irrespective of which parish one is ascribed to, one may always attend another parish (even regularly or exclusively).

The circumstances where one can select which parish to be ascribed to are quite limited. Bottom line is, unless the parish in question is classified as a "personal parish" one would remain a member of his/her geographical parish unless one move beyond its boundaries.

The matter of canonical ascription mainly manifests itself for Sacraments of Matrimony and Holy Orders.


#4

[quote="Abundant, post:1, topic:326988"]
I have a quick question. Our home is located pretty much right between 2 local parishes. We have been going to one for about 5 years and sometimes visiting the other. I work on Sundays, and it is now much more convenient for me to go to mass at the 'other' parish as it is on my way to work. There are also more programs available for my children and more opportunities to serve. Can I register at the new parish? Are there any rules about which parish I am allowed to be a member of? :shrug:

[/quote]

I don't know when the rules changed, but I think Catholics can register at any parish they want to.

When I was a Catholic, I mostly belonged to student parishes as I lived on campus and they were conveniently close.

I think you have valid reasons for choosing one parish over another.


#5

The rules depend on your diocese. In my diocese, you have to get permission from your "home parish" to register in another parish.


#6

[quote="Allegra, post:5, topic:326988"]
The rules depend on your diocese. In my diocese, you have to get permission from your "home parish" to register in another parish.

[/quote]

This is true.

The OP states a location of "Houston". I happen to be in that diocese. Where I live, I am almost equi-distance from 4 parishes. So, when we moved here, I called to ask. In the diocese of Galveston - Houston, there are no rules that restrict at which parish you register.


#7

Why not? Going to the parish that works best for you should not be a problem. People change their parish for many reasons. I am registered at 2 parishes as one has more programs for spiritual growth and one is in need of members.


#8

I switched churches a few months ago. I just stopped going one and started going to another one. I've never registered or anything like that. :confused:


#9

You will really have to inquire at your parish office what the details are, since as you can see, it varies widely by parish and diocese. The canonical ascription to a territorial parish that was mentioned is one of the few universal laws governing membership.

In my parish, for example, registration is strongly encouraged, and mandatory for sacramental preparation and Religious Education. In addition to registration, we require parishioners to be active for four months. This typically means either volunteering in a ministry or using donation envelopes. If you come to baptize your child and the parish office can't find you on file with attendance tracked per envelope usage, and the pastor doesn't recognize you, you won't get very far, we will ask you to come back later. Our parish is fairly strict about this compared to the rest of the known world, so your mileage may vary.


#10

[quote="Elizium23, post:9, topic:326988"]
If you come to baptize your child and the parish office can't find you on file with attendance tracked per envelope usage, and the pastor doesn't recognize you, you won't get very far, we will ask you to come back later. Our parish is fairly strict about this compared to the rest of the known world, so your mileage may vary.

[/quote]

Unreal. This is the kind of stuff that gives Catholics a bad name.


#11

[quote="Abundant, post:1, topic:326988"]
I have a quick question. Our home is located pretty much right between 2 local parishes. We have been going to one for about 5 years and sometimes visiting the other. I work on Sundays, and it is now much more convenient for me to go to mass at the 'other' parish as it is on my way to work. There are also more programs available for my children and more opportunities to serve. Can I register at the new parish? Are there any rules about which parish I am allowed to be a member of? :shrug:

[/quote]

canonlawmadeeasy.com/2008/04/11/parish-registration/

You can register at a parish, but it does not confer membership. It is territorial; you belong to a parish by virtue of living within its boundaries, kinda like a Congressional district. Usually, though, for things like baptism, Confirmation and marriage, the process of the priest where you are registered getting permission from the pastor of the parish to which you belong is one you almost never see (I suppose there are some parishes like the one in the above post that make it more difficult than necessary, but generally you might not even be aware it's going on).

In the sense of the law, you change parishes by moving. But usually you may register at any parish you wish (parish registries are likely an American invention)


#12

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