Keep on going or go home?

I set a goal to visit every parish in my diocese. There are 74 total Catholic churches in the diocese and I have visited 25 of them. But I recently realized that I have been leaving my home parish hanging. You know, I’m a young, able-bodied guy that could be doing some things for my home parish but because I’m visiting a new parish every weekend, I don’t get to participate in the different ministries my parish has. And, the parish pastor and parochial vicar don’t really know who I am.

What would you guys do? Keep going on with the journey, which will take about another year to complete? Or should I turn around and stay at home (parish)? Don’t I have a responsibility to help my home parish?


p.s. You can check out my website at

Could you prolong your quest another year, allowing you to spend half the time in your home parish, or not limit visiting parishes to Sunday Mass?

I’d hate to see you give it up, in part because I’ve thought about doing something similar (maybe w/ more of a shipoffools format) in my area because it is hard to find well celebrated Masses.

I go to Mass with my dad at his parish on Saturday evenings, but, on Sundays, I go to my home parish. Why not try that as an alternative?

I wouldn’t put a time limit on the goal. We just started something similar. But we go every other Sunday to a new parish, and I can read our home parish bulletin online when we are visiting other parishes on a particular Sunday. I love meeting the other priests in our diocese and seeing all the architecture in the old churches.

you can keep sending in your weekly donations regardless if you go to mass there or not

Thanks for the questions.

Part of the reason I began this quest was so that I could worship alongside my fellow Catholics in the diocese. Attending Sunday Mass with them is the best opportunity for me to do that.

As for prolonging the quest, well, I’m one of those “head first” guys that likes to stick with something until it’s finished. So, if I finish the journey, it would be me going to a different parish every Sunday. If I quit and started attending my home parish exclusively, I would get involved in the different ministries that may need help i.e. I know they have a need for ushers right now.

That’s a good idea too but I do different types of volunteer work on Saturdays so that would kind of conflict.

I actually do this but I was more concerned with helping the parish with my “talents.” I could help with being an usher or get involved with the pro-life group. That’s where I feel like I’m leaving the parish kind of hanging when I should be doing my part to help.

I don’t think that you would have posted this poll if something in your heart wasn’t telling you that it might be time to stop. I think your reasons for thinking of ending this quest are wonderful-yes, of course your home parish needs your talents and you need your parish to be your spiritual home-it is hard to feel at home when you are not physically present.

Follow your heart- it might be the Holy Spirit talking to you!

Go half and half or two masses each weekend. There’s a whole bunch of options here.

You can continue to go to the other parishes in the Diocese, while at the same time participating in the pro-life group at your home parish. If anyone asks why they don’t see you at Mass on the weekend, explain what & why you are doing what you are doing. After you have visited all of the parishes in the diocese, you can exclusively attend your home parish and get more involved (ushering).

Out of curiousity, have you found ones you like better than your home parish? Boy, that’s a lot of churches in your area!!

Excellent question. No, I have not found a parish that I like better than my home parish. My home parish is very traditional and so am I. I doubt I will find another parish as traditional as this one.

Well, I’d say that is a tough decision for you. Because if you really love your home parish it must be hard to be away from it so long. But I also understand the quest you are on, so I don’t know. Could you alternate Sundays: Home parish/Other parish?

I thought about that, but the point of me sticking to just my home parish would be so I could volunteer for ushering or other duties. This wouldn’t work if I missed every other weekend. It’s possible that they only need help every other weekend, so I’ll ask.

That’s an amazing journey :slight_smile: Keep going, even if it takes a while (going to a new parish half the time). You can really learn a lot by branching out from your home parish - even if you do get homesick. Could you maybe be a daily Mass-er at your parish, then Sundays continue the journey? You could get five or six Masses in every week at your parish :smiley:

Unfortunately Mass starts at the same time I need to be at work in the mornings :(. I could try Saturday mornings but I work every other Saturday as well.

Could you always have your schedule adjusted? I struggled with this for months, always wanting to go to confession but I couldn’t since I worked every week when confession was offered. Finally I said, enough with this, and asked that I get off before 3 on Saturdays (and now Thursdays too - they have Low Mass that night!!)

I hope your employers will understand. Mine gave me a look like, confession every week?! but changed my schedule anyway :smiley: It really will help you grow in your spiritual life and put your soul at peace!

I’ve only walked in my shoes, but I can’t imagine not being “rooted” in a parish. The parish, not our diocese, is our primary community of faith (outside of our immediate families of course).
I’m not suggesting you give up your quest, but it seems to me you want both two goals – to finish your quest, and to help in your parish.
How about if you visit one other parish a month – it will take you a few years to visit every parish in the diocese, but it might be a more realistic goal for you. It sounds like you have some regrets about not being more firmly attached to your parish, and you can accomplish that by attending three Sunday Masses there each month.

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