Moving East...

Next April I am moving back to the states from Japan and I want to switch from the Roman Rite to the Eastern/Byzantine Rite. I will be moving to the Houston area and they do have a Byzantine Catholic Church there.

Would someone please tell me how the process of switching rites is done? I really feel a strong pull to go East. The liturgy, music, traditions…Beautiful!!

Thanks for the help.

You may not want to switch, unless you been doing a nice amount of discerning. You only get to switch rites once in your life. As I am sure you’re aware, you don’t need to switch rites to go to Divine Liturgy there. I would say that after a while, if both you and a spiritual director think it may be appropriate to switch, and you really think Our Lord wants you to, then I would begin with contacting the local bishop of the Roman Rite.
I know what you mean. I have been immensely attracted to the Byzantine Rite, and have had thoughts about becoming Melkite or another Byz. Rite Catholic Church.
God Bless.

Hmm some misinformation here

It is possible** but with difficulty** to change your canonical enrolment more than once

You do need to worship and live as an Eastern Catholic for some time before you apply for a Change of Canonical Enrolment. Some Eparchies will actually stipulate a length of time .

It is normally handled by your Priest BUT both RC and EC Hierarchs are involved .

There is a Ruthenian parish (I’ve attended there for 6 years) and a Ukrainian parish. There are also some Eastern parishes not from the Byzantine tradition, such as the Maronite Church.

Do you go to St. John Chrysostom RyanBlack? That’s the church that I plan on going to when I get stateside. I wasn’t aware of the other Eastern Parishes in Houston. I’ll have to google 'em.

So from what I understand from the responses is to attend the church I’m interested in and let the Father know my interest and go from there.


Yes, I do attend St. John Chrysostom. Houston also has Pokrova Ukrainian Catholic Church and Our Lady of the Cedars Maronite Catholic Church. I also expect that there will be a Melkite Catholic Church in the future-perhaps within a few years. Currently, there is a Melkite community that has Divine Liturgy at St. John Chrystostom a couple of times a month.

Awesome! From the photos on the church’s website, it looks like a beautiful church and I can’t wait to celebrate the liturgy there. Here in a couple of months I’ll send Fr. Rafaj an email and let him know my interest.

Why switch? A piece of paper isn’t going to change your spirituality. Unless there is a canonical need to, why bother? I almost switched last year because I want to have my daughter’s baptism in the Ukrainian Church. But my bishop said I should switch with my entire family and my wife said she doesn’t want to rush it. But eventually we did get my daughter baptized last Sunday in the Ukrainian Church. Baptized (by immersion), Chrismated and Communed. And we’re all still canonically Roman.

At the end of the day, its a piece of paper. Spiritually we’re Byzantine. That is all that matters.

The smells, the music, the reverence, the Icons. I want to leave Church uplifted, inspired, and feel like I’ve worshiped God. The Byzantine liturgy is ancient and the Eastern Churches have proudly held on to its liturgical traditions and form of worship.

I could go on but…

I’ve experienced all those East and West – and without a canonical transfer. :thumbsup:

I think you missed my point. Why do you need a canonical transfer? A piece of paper isn’t going to make you Eastern. And not having that piece of paper isn’t going to make you any less Eastern. Just go and live the spirituality.

Right, I follow you, I didn’t realize you can only do this once.

Basically today there is a sway in “General” to the older style Churchs and Mass, this isn’t unique in the East or with the East, Its a fact of life in the West today in Catholicism, period. Its a constant citation by youth in Catholic Schools embracing Christianity. However I would contend that what you think is “spirituallity” is merely a “choice” which you derive good feelings from. I do also, and think its great.

There are individuals who attend the OF congregations build in the 60’s-70s and wouldn’t change for anything. They like the church, enjoy the particular Father and I’m sure the presence of the Lord and His promise to His Church resides in those congregations. Others have little or no use for this today. Different thinking is all it is. Whats old becomes new but once again. basic cycle with life. If I’m pressed for time, there is one close to me in particular I really like the Father and the Church. So I see what they see, and feel what they feel in this sense. Though its OF its an impressive congregation and constructed Church being Round and built as an Amphitheatre. Well here…

Protestants claim the same spirtuallity and presence of the Holy Spirit at Jimmy Swaggarts congregation, with his own Bible and Annointed music, and the aroma of the spiritual.

People are seeking real History and Truth today which has been elusive in the states for some time. Everything but the ancient Churchs has been promoted and indivduals just find these older style congregations of worship refreshing in a period of science and modern evolution. Its like discovering a Rembrandt in your attic. I agree I feel a sense of well being in the older Parish I am accustomed to.

However, I hope you find what you seek.

Latins who are attracted to the East tend to become obsessed with “officially” being a member of the Eastern rite Church. This is unnecessary. Just start going there, no parish is going to turn you away if you regularly go to their church and contribute. The East is less concerned with all of the technicalities of things than we Latins are. The fact that most Eastern Churches in the States follow the Gregorian Calendar make it very easy to integrate yourself, being a Latin, into the Eastern parish life. You just need to make sure not to miss the Holy Days of Obligation in your rite. This is easy because the Holy Days of Obligation are minimal in the Latin rite being that most are moved to Sunday.

No one in the Latin Church is really going to miss you because the Roman Catholic parishes are so big anyway that they don’t know their parishioners. (This is actually a problem but we all know it’s true). I went for daily Mass for two years to a certain parish and the priest never even tried to talk to me.

Right. I tried a canonical transfer but I got my daughter baptized in the Eastern Rite anyway. So I didn’t go through the transfer. Other reasons may include marriage and ordination. I doubt that if I die they will deny my funeral rites to be in the Eastern Rite. So I’m fine with being canonically Roman for now. To me, like I said, its just a piece of paper.

The importance of being enrolled has to do with sacramental discipline and rights and obligations of the faithful. The clergy are to uphold this sacramental discipline and the faithful do not have the same rights in a different Catholic Church sui iuris than in their own. One is enrolled in a Church sui iuris (and thereby have rights, and obligations to it) by virtue of the parents enrollment, for an infant, or by the tradition of their baptism, if an adult convert. If one wants to be a deacon, or a priest, or a bishop, or receive some of the Holy Mysteries in their favorite Church sui iuris, rather than the enrolled Church sui iuris, it can be very significant. It can even invalidate an marriage if the canons are not followed.

Truly, some of the parishes are so big that the pastors have a hard time knowing their people.

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