Is it a sin to attend a different Parish every week?


#1

I know that it is ideal to stick with a Parish with which a believer can identify themselves, a place of belonging so to speak. However, I don't think I have identified one yet, hence ever since I was 18 when I able to go to Mass without the restriction of following my parents, I have been attending Parishes either due to geographical convenience or for solitude, away from friends at a particular Parish, so that I could focus on the Mass without distraction. Sometimes I go to the said Parish to see those friends just to maintain the relationship.

I mainly find God through solitude during Mass, so I prefer to sit away from close friends. At the same time, I feel the need to serve others and the community in order to experience God's love through the actions and response of others.

The only solution is to find a Parish that I would stick to 90% of the time, whilst fulfilling the two above criteria.

Another question is, occasionally, would it be okay to attend Mass for geographical convenience in order to see a friend who lives far away and happen to have meetings on a Sunday due to schedule constraints? Is it okay to reject a friend in need just to follow the rule of attending an assigned Parish at a fixed time and day? When would the purpose prevail the rule? What if i would just like to visit a certain friend at a non-regular Parish once in a while?


#2

I don't see how going to church would be a sin. :thumbsup:

I enjoy visiting differernt parishes myself.


#3

We are obliged to attend Mass every Sunday. There aren't restrictions on which parish to attend. Feel free to attend with friends or without at whichever parish you are at that week. It is important that you are known at some parish though. Your parent's would be easiest. Make sure the office there has you on their register. When you attend Mass greet the priest afterward. All this will ensure an easier time when you approach for marriage, a reccomendation or if you have a vocation.


#4

You're all clear mate.Carry on.


#5

You don't say your age, so I'm wondering a few things about your decision to be a nomad.

If you are an employed adult filing tax returns, where would be the proof of your contributions? Do you use a check at these different parishes? Did you know it is a precept of the Church to contribute to its support?

Whenever it comes time for burial (one never knows, huh?) the pastor looks for proof of belonging via these contribution records. Some pastors may hold back on burial unless there is evidence of some sort that you belong there and are a practicing Catholic.

Part of our belonging is not only donating from our treasure, but also sharing our stewardship as far as we are able and called by God in this capacity. Not having a regular parish in which to settle, your participation is lacking.

I applaud you for seeking a niche where you feel a call to belong, but I pray you will not hold back commitment to a parish for a long while. I also travel to about four different parishes, but I am registered at one where I contribute regularly. In this crisis of having enough priests to serve, parishes stagger their mass times to accommodate neighboring parishes. The convenience of different mass times often becomes a choice of where to attend mass.

Finally, it is absolutely not a sin, and I hope you settle your mind on this scruple.


#6

Thank you all for your encouraging replies.

As I live in Australia, there is no such thing as registration, but then i do believe having a main Parish is important.

Some people would oppose the nomadic idea, regardless of whether I am still in the process of searching or not since they would argue that not attending Mass at a fixed time and place every week means putting God below first priority. But then as I said before, sometimes we need to fulfill some other needs whilst simultaneously finding God at a church nearby.

If I were to find my perfect Parish, I will definitely not say that I will attend it >75% of the time, as occasionally, experiencing the Mass with other friends at another Parishes is important, even at the expense of my preferred solitude. Seeing a friend at church is different from just hanging out somewhere else for fun.

Some would say that my changing preference between solitude and friends at mass/Parish is unacceptable as I am just picking the option due me "feeling like it", or "being in the mood". They would say that I am picking my way of going to Mass for own convenience instead of disciplining myself to find God at a fixed time and place as the Pope has prescribed.

As an introvert myself, I do prefer to rotate between solitude and communion. For the Parish with friends, I do participate in the activities and ministries.

I do admit that sometimes it can be due to convenience, as in just to fulfill the obligation earlier at a closer Parish so that I can focus on other pursuits such as studies and such, but then it is not always the case.

Anyway, I'll try to seek the advice of a priest.


#7

:yup:

Still O.K., don't worry about what others think. It is your life, just tell them you need variety or you just want to see what's going on some where else. And that is at least partly true.

However, you should register at your local parish and try to take part in what is going on there. Volunteer your time at parish functions, even if it is the occassional " clean and fix up " events, dinners, etc. You do kinda have an obligation to give at least moral support to your local pastor. Remember, Catholics are in a vast minority in Australia and your pastor is pretty much of a loaner himself and needs to feel appreciated by the Catholics in his parish. I don't know anything about him but you need to be greatful that he has weatherd the storms of modernism. How about going there every week and then a second Mass some place else?

Try not to be too introverted. Not good really. Not all of your friends need to be Catholic, just be sure they are wholesome types. Have you considered a vocation?


#8

My job as an oilfield engineer requires me to travel a lot so I went to a different parish almost every week. It was a blessing to see so many different churches all over our country :]


#9

I also have not joined a parish since my move to this area 11 years ago. It has to do with finding a place where I feel I can belong and contribute, of the parishes near me, none of them make me feel welcome or wanted. The experience of sharing in a community can enrich your faith experience, while I understand your concerns, I urge you to belong and join into a community somewhere.


#10

[quote="roundcheese, post:8, topic:295064"]
My job as an oilfield engineer requires me to travel a lot so I went to a different parish almost every week. It was a blessing to see so many different churches all over our country :]

[/quote]

I second this. I don't travel as much recently, but my job often takes me around the world. Personally, I find the idea of being able to experience & practice my faith in different parishes in almost every city/country I visit (minus some Muslim countries in Africa and the Middle East) to be very... "spiritually enlightening" might be a good to describe it.

God bless,
Dean


#11

I'm assuming Australia follows the normative Catholic rule that one "belongs" to the parish in which one permanently resides. At this point in your life I don't know if that is your parents' home or elsewhere.

But in any case, I suggest visiting your home parish once a month or whatever makes sense. Make yourself known to the priest. If it is customary in Australia to make donations directly to your parish then do so regularly (even if that mean once of twice a year.) You can check out and visit other parishes the rest of the time.


#12

I've read a few articles on the dangers of "Parish Shopping", but I was never going to different different Parishes so that I could settle in one.

However, since I am now determined to find a Parish which I can settle in, I think I will need to do temporary Parish visits. It is important to find a suitable Parish if the local and most convenient ones does not bring out the full potential of myself, as in able to serve the community in ways I am suitable.

It is not egocentric for a believer to find a particular Parish if they feel that God has bestowed a mission for them. However, it is egocentric if one focuses solely on the functionality of a service rather than God's overall purpose when the calling is accepted.

So community is important, but I must be a suitable one.


#13

[quote="calubin_175, post:1, topic:295064"]
I know that it is ideal to stick with a Parish with which a believer can identify themselves, a place of belonging so to speak. However, I don't think I have identified one yet, hence ever since I was 18 when I able to go to Mass without the restriction of following my parents, I have been attending Parishes either due to geographical convenience or for solitude, away from friends at a particular Parish, so that I could focus on the Mass without distraction. Sometimes I go to the said Parish to see those friends just to maintain the relationship.

I mainly find God through solitude during Mass, so I prefer to sit away from close friends. At the same time, I feel the need to serve others and the community in order to experience God's love through the actions and response of others.

The only solution is to find a Parish that I would stick to 90% of the time, whilst fulfilling the two above criteria.

Another question is, occasionally, would it be okay to attend Mass for geographical convenience in order to see a friend who lives far away and happen to have meetings on a Sunday due to schedule constraints? Is it okay to reject a friend in need just to follow the rule of attending an assigned Parish at a fixed time and day? When would the purpose prevail the rule? What if i would just like to visit a certain friend at a non-regular Parish once in a while?

[/quote]

You should still support your particular church (diocese). Permissions and dispensations will always come from the proper parish (closed to where you have an established domicile or quasi-domicile).

Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass. Moreover, they are to abstain from those works and affairs which hinder the worship to be rendered to God, the joy proper to the Lord’s day, or the suitable relaxation of mind and body.

Can. 1248
§1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass.
§2. If participation in the eucharistic celebration becomes impossible because of the absence of a sacred minister or for another grave cause, it is strongly recommended that the faithful take part in a liturgy of the word if such a liturgy is celebrated in a parish church or other sacred place according to the prescripts of the diocesan bishop or that they devote themselves to prayer for a suitable time alone, as a family, or, as the occasion permits, in groups of families.

Can. 209
§1. The Christian faithful, even in their own manner of acting, are always obliged to maintain communion with the Church.
§2. With great diligence they are to fulfill the duties which they owe to the universal Church and the particular church to which they belong according to the prescripts of the law.

    Can. 210 

All the Christian faithful must direct their efforts to lead a holy life and to promote the growth of the Church and its continual sanctification, according to their own condition.


#14

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