New parishoners


Who is considered a new parishioner (less than a year - less than 2 years)? We had something go on at Mass yesterday, invitation to new parishioners, and some of us think we are new, and some not.


I would say less than a year. In our parish the Knights of Columbus has a breakfast at least once a month in the parish hall and they offer a free ticket to all new parishioners. I think one time for the free breakfast should be enough.


I’d say probably under a year…people who have not been there long enough to really meet people yet. You might extend to 2 for someone that just sat quietly in the pew for a year and has yet to really meet people.


I don’t like labels, either you are or are not a parishioner. Any welcoming should be done the same day they are baptized or confirmed or received into the church.


I guess what has us confused is that they have no set time that they welcome new members. They don’t do it monthly, every 6 months, or yearly. We have been there over a year and I don’t consider us new but my husband does. Not that it really matters. I don’t like labels either.
I was at a parish one time for over 3 years going to one mass, Sat vigil. When we switched to Sunday morning we were greeted for months and introduced like we were new even though I kept correcting them.:shrug:


Really? Does it it really matter? Oh, how I hate things like this which force people to categorize themselves.

I train greeters and I tell them NEVER say to someone “Are you new?” because they may be attending one Mass for five years and choose this particular Mass to attend on thsi one Sunday. Instead say " I don’t believe we’ve met"

Basically, if it’s a parish event go. I say tear down the barriers. Ladies, storm the Knights of Columbus Breakfast! Gentlemen, battle your way into the Ladies Sodality Christmas Party! And children should takeover Bingo!


I think this is going to vary from diocese to diocese or even from parish to parish. In my diocese, welcoming new parishioners takes place once a year, toward the end of September. If a parish get new priests or deacons, they are also welcomed at this time.

As a general rule, I would say if you were not around the last time an invitation was issued to new parishioners, you’re new.

I don’t like labels either, but I think it’s important to welcome those who have moved into the parish. Where I live, this overwhelmingly happens during the summer. You would not believe how many moving vans I’ve seen in the neighborhood since mid-July. Furthermore, for some reason new parishioners here aren’t shy about letting our priests, deacons and other highly visible people such as the greeters, secretary or head sacristan (:wave:) know they’ve just arrived in the parish. We don’t have to ask people if they are new or not (not that we would do that anyway). They walk up to us and tell us! At that point, wouldn’t it be rude not to welcome them?

The mayor holds a reception every November to which all residents who moved to our city since the previous November are invited and welcomed. Why would it be wrong for the local church to do the same?


I think in this case the OP is talking about people who are new to the parish, not to Catholicism. Our parish has historically had a transient population; people come for a year or two to teach, in a military posting, for a temporary hospital job, etc. At one time it wouldn’t have been unknown to have 50 new families transferred in during July and August. We might not get to really know them for 6-8 months.


I wonder if the priest in charge is trying to start something new, like a monthly greeting, etc.

It is interesting how people view themselves and others (new). I asked my aunt the same question and at her very small parish, she wouldn’t consider someone who had been a member over a month as new.

I am not against people being welcomed, identified if they want to be or invited to a special lunch or free breakfast, etc. It is just who they consider new is what is confusing to me and my husband.


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