Do You Attend Mass at Your Terroritorial Parish or Even Within Your Diocese?


#1

Where did you or your children receive your sacraments?

Where do you plan on receiving your sacraments in the future?

Do you consider your territorial parish to be your faith community?

Every now and then this topic comes up and I have to admit it does not make sense to me.

Some priests have told me that it is no longer expected that one attends one's territorial parish since that is not mentioned in the 1983 code of Canon law and some say one should attend one's territorial parish.

We live in a global community now and I don't understand if one is registered at a parish, and spends one's times, talent at money at one parish, why one can't belong to that parish?


#2

We have a parish about 2 miles from our home, but we drive about 12 miles to a different parish. The one close to us is so big and impersonal that we feel like we would be going there just to get our "ticket punched" every Sunday. The parish we do attend is smaller and we feel more of a sense of community there.


#3

I support my territorial parish with the bulk of my contributions, and attend Mass there two out of four Sundays. The other two Sundays each month are reserved for what I call "church road trips." There are a couple of parishes that offer the EF, I sometimes get to one of them. There is a church downtown where I used to attend daily Mass, where the priests are stellar for the quality of their homilies. There is a Marian shrine, a basilica, and many city churches with stunning architecture, truly inspired choirs, or other features.

When I attend these other worship sites, I contribute to them.

I don't think God begrudges my "church tourism" one little bit, and it just adds to my enjoyment of my faith!


#4

We attend te parish that was the territorial parish when we moved here. A new church was built that is actually our territorial parish by we are on the dividing line so we continue to attend the old parish. We have 5 parishes within a 10 miles radius of us.

The reason why you technically don't belong to a parish other than your territorial parish is because of the priests responsibilities, not whether you are registered or contribute. The pastor of the parish is responsible for the souls in his territory. So when you present yourself for marriage, burial, confirmation, or even baptism at another parish (even where you attend regularly) the priest's first responsibilty is to those in his territorial area and so the parish may not be able to accomodate you.

This is in canon law. Does it happen often, maybe not. But does it happen? YES And unfortunately when it happens the person involved (and their family and friends) feel aggrieved and start complaining about how they gave money to parish X etc etc. We are all called to support the church, but the fact that we use envelopes at parish X does not change the fact that we belong to parish Y and the pastor there is the one in charge of our souls.


#5

I live in a remote area but we are fortunate enough to have a parish priest who lives in the rectory here and also attends another flock about 15 miles away. I always attend Mass here in my hometown unless we are traveling. I fully support my parish, am engaged in a variety of ministries in service to the Lord and fellow parishoners and the wider community. Anyone can become a member of a parish by stopping by the parish office to register or even by going online to do so. If you are not a Catholic, talk to the priest and ask about registering for classes to learn what the church teaches.
the bonus for Catholics is that we can always attend Mass, no matter where we go in the world and we can pray the Mass, and receive Jesus in the Eucharist. The first thing we do when we plan a trip is check out the Mass schedules and locations for the nearest parish when traveling here in the US, in MX, the Bahamas, the Virgin Islands, etc. I have not yet been fortunate enough to travel further abroad, but if the opportunity arises, we will follow the same pattern. If there’s no Mass…we are not going there!


#6

[quote="Lost_Sheep, post:2, topic:302468"]
We have a parish about 2 miles from our home, but we drive about 12 miles to a different parish. The one close to us is so big and impersonal that we feel like we would be going there just to get our "ticket punched" every Sunday. The parish we do attend is smaller and we feel more of a sense of community there.

[/quote]

Okay define territorial parish. Does that mean the parish closest to you or just a parish within your city? I go to my downtown parish because I like it there better, there are a couple of parishes closer than the one downtown but I'm used to the downtown one now. :) When I first moved here, the one downtown was the only one I could find on a bus route. Now I know where the others are and they are closer but I'm used to the downtown one now. I'm also registered at the downtown one so I consider that one my parish. :)


#7

I'm actually not sure which parish is my territorial parish.... there are a lot of churches near my house. :confused:

Wherever I'm living, I attend at whichever church is within walking distance. Here at school, I've only seen one church around campus... so I guess that is my territorial parish??? but back home there are several churches.
I consider the church I regularly attend to be my faith community, yes. It would be interesting to do some exploring and visit other parishes (if I had a car) but I think I would still keep attending mass at my territorial parish and contribute there the most. I don't really see a reason to "switch" :)


#8

[quote="TrueLight, post:1, topic:302468"]
Where did you or your children receive your sacraments?

[/quote]

At the appropriate territorial parish.

Where do you plan on receiving your sacraments in the future?

Well it will depend on the sacrament I suppose...
Due to my current situation, I am unable to attend Sunday mass on a regular basis. I am able to attend a Friday noon mass at a nearby (not territorial) parish. That said however, if I should need the sacrament of the Sick I would call my territorial parish where we are registered.

As to "in the future"...I will remain registered at my territorial parish and support them. However I am attracted to the EF which is celebrated downtown and so I might very well attend Sunday mass there.

Do you consider your territorial parish to be your faith community?

Absolutely

Every now and then this topic comes up and I have to admit it does not make sense to me.

Some priests have told me that it is no longer expected that one attends one's territorial parish since that is not mentioned in the 1983 code of Canon law and some say one should attend one's territorial parish.

We live in a global community now and I don't understand if one is registered at a parish, and spends one's times, talent at money at one parish, why one can't belong to that parish?

I don't trouble myself with such details...I belong to the "Catholic" = "Universal" Church. That is good enough for me.

Peace
James


#9

Does it really matter? It doesn't seem to, at least where I live. I have no idea, in all honesty, what our "territorial parish" is. I just know where we registered when we moved here, after attending a wedding for friends there and realizing it was about a mile to mile & a half from home. However, the other church in town is also about a mile, mile & a half away in the other direction - just takes longer to get to with the lights I have to get through.

But I have friends who live on the same side of town I do, but are members at the other parish. And friends who are members where we are, but a good 8 years ago, moved to within 2 blocks of the other parish. They did not move their membership to that parish; they still attend where we do, kids in CCD there, etc.

So, really, at the end of the day, does it matter? Seemingly not, at least here. Maybe other areas are stricter about it, I don't know.


#10

We live in a rural area. Even though there are four parishes within a 9-mile radius, they each have one pastor due to the shortage of priests in our diocese. When the bishop closed 14 parishes a few years ago, he balanced all of the mass times to offer people a choice so that if they cannot make it to one parish at that time, there would be neighboring parishes that could accomodate them.

It works well for many, because our first mass on Sunday is at 10 a.m.
In the summer, many of our people go to the church nearby that has an 8 a.m. mass.
In addition, the various Saturday vigils are celebrated between 4 p.m. and 5:30 pm. so that working people can get to the later mass.

Gone are the days with two priests and several mass choices. But our bishop has done an excellent job in balancing these schedules to meet most people's needs.


#11

[quote="Skye_Ariel, post:6, topic:302468"]
Okay define territorial parish. Does that mean the parish closest to you or just a parish within your city? I go to my downtown parish because I like it there better, there are a couple of parishes closer than the one downtown but I'm used to the downtown one now. :) When I first moved here, the one downtown was the only one I could find on a bus route. Now I know where the others are and they are closer but I'm used to the downtown one now. I'm also registered at the downtown one so I consider that one my parish. :)

[/quote]

Parishes have designated areas they are to service and Catholics living in those areas are (traditionally) expected to go to that Church - "territorial". It's an administrative thing with many ramifications. For example...it prevents people from following a "favorite priest" around from parish to parish (and of course taking their money with them). It prevents this "very good priest" from being overloaded with work while another priest (not as charismatic or well liked) has nothing to do...
In short it prevents parishes from becoming "cults of personality".

There are other reasons for it...but this was the one that sprang to mind for me.

Peace
James


#12

I think that the "concept" of the "territorial parish" is so very very good, and IMO, it's too bad that we have become "global" and therefore feel no loyalty to our territorial parish.

A territorial parish is a "neighborhood" of people who all live fairly close to each other geographically, or at least live in the same section of the city with the same type of incomes, architectures, crime rates, etc.

In the past, when people weren't "global," and most people stayed home most of the time (even their children played ball in the vacant lot, not at a "park district sports core"), the neighbors in each neighborhood got to know each other, and did things together--school, shopping at the grocery store, recreation, block parties, home parties, talking over the back fence (if there was a fence), getting the kids together to play, fixing up the homes of shut-ins in their neighborhood, etc.

I remember these times, and they were really good times. I mourn the passing of the "neighborhoods."

I think the "global" mindset has hurt the Catholic Church, and I think that those who eschew their territorial parish need to carefully and prayerfully consider the possibility that they might be practicing a kind of religion commonly seen in evangelical Protestantism, in which the focus is on "me, myself, and I", or actually, on "my family," which makes it sound more spiritual.

In this kind of "personal" religion, people go to church "to be fed," not to be part of a community of fellow Christians and to get involved with serving them and all serving Christ together.

They do not easily "submit" to any authority other than self, and they find ways to get out of obeying church authority; e.g., "that doesn't meet my needs," or for many Protestants, "I interpret the Bible differently."

Among Catholics, what I've seen is that people say things like, "my territorial parish is so liberal," or "there are no young families (or whatever demographic group you belong to) at my territorial parish," or the biggie that I see on CAF: "my territorial parish priests allow so many liturgical abuses in the Mass."

Ah,well, I'm just a fuddie duddie, I guess, and those romantic times when every Catholic in the neighborhood attended the same parish are gone with the wind.

My husband and I attend our territorial parish, which is down the block from our house.


#13

I grew up when I live now, with a thirty-five year roaming the country with my husband’s job. When we decided to take early retirement we moved back here. I did not go to my territorial parish then and since a new territorial parish has been started. I go to the church where I grew up, made my First Communion and Confirmation and went to the school next door. As far as I am concerned, this parish is “home”.


#14

I grew up in a small town with only one Catholic Church. People also came from local farms, and even nother small towns. We were definitely a community. People noticed if you were absent from Mass and assumed illness or some emergency. Lots of "visiting" went on in the churchyard after Mass.

Today, we belong to our territorial church in a larger town. We have 6-7 times the members we had in my home parish. People are involved in a lot of ministries so there is always something going on after Mass. We have only been here a few years, so do not have many acquaintences yet, but it is starting to feel like a community. I wouldn't always attend our local church. We lived in a town with multiple parishes and selected one that "felt right" to us. I can see visiting others from time to time. I still go to my home parish when I am in that area, and also parishes we used to attend in another city where we used to live. I would like to go to the cathedral of our current diocese, but haven't yet done so.


#15

Don't you think it depends on how well a person has developed spiritually, Cat? I can appreciate that a revert or someone not very strong yet in their faith would need to find spiritual nourishment to help them grow closer to Christ. Those reverts who work and only have one hour for mass on Sunday would truly not be remiss in their desire to "be fed." Maybe that is the interior call that the Spirit is giving them for this time in their lives.

St. Teresa of Avila spoke about these reverts in her early mansions of Interior Castle, saying that they have a deep desire to hear good** homilies**, read good books, etc.

Those of us who are spiritually balanced enough to stay within our own parish may be able to overlook many deficiencies and open our hearts to serve and take an active part in the parish community.


#16

[quote="Skye_Ariel, post:6, topic:302468"]
Okay define territorial parish. Does that mean the parish closest to you or just a parish within your city?

[/quote]

Well, the Church herself defines territorial parish. Each time a new parish is commissioned, maps are redrawn by the diocese to show each parish's new territorial boundaries. It usually means the parish closest to you, but maybe not.


#17

I live right on the border between two parishes ( the churches are almost exactly the same distance from my house). When I first started attending my Catholic church, I didn't know that I was technically in the other parish. By the time I did, the parish I attend was home.


#18

I do go to my territorial parish.


#19

My territorial church. It is about 10 minutes away from my house. We have two full time priests and the choice of one Saturday Mass and four Sunday Masses.

The next closest parish is 30 to 45 minutes away.


#20

I live almost equidistant from 2 churches in my city (one is 1.1 miles away, and the other is 1.5 miles away).

I have actually never attended the one that's .4 miles closer to me, because the other, slightly-further one has a wonderful student ministry that's affiliated with the university I attend as a graduate student. If I am on campus, which I often am, I can easily walk to church!


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