Should I go to another Parish for community events?

I live in a city with two different parishes, and seven churches between the two. My parish is the Jesuit congregation in the neighborhood where I live, while the other parish is in the more urban part of the town. I’ve been with this parish my entire life (I’m a Senior in high school), including going to their Elementary and Middle School for my formative years. I have a strong connection with a few of the priests of the parish, but not as much with the other members.

This is mostly because the members of the parish are 75% old people. There are very few community events, no youth ministry, no anything other than the occasional retreat designed for the older generation. Don’t get me wrong, I love my community and my church. But I want to have stronger spiritual connection with God. As Catholics, this means consistently praying and doing good works, both in a community and by oneself.

My parents are divorced, and I go to mass more times by myself than with either of them. This past Sunday, I went to my first mass outside of parish since I was four. It was a Latin Sung mass at the other parish. I also went the day after to a 7:00 AM mass, at one of the other churches of the other parish. The average age of these masses must have been 20 years younger than my own parish. In their bulletin, they have a weekly High School youth ministry and a few other events that I’m interested in attending. I have classmates who are probably a part of it as well.

It may sound like I’ve made up my mind, but I am far from it. The priests of the other parish were not the ones that I grew up with since I can remember. They were not the ones who served the mass where I sang in a youth choir. They were not the ones who attended my Great-Grandmother’s 90th birthday, or the ones who will marry my brother and his fiance. I’m just looking for some advice of what to do, and I thank you for your time in hearing out my question. God bless.

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Is there any reason you can’t do a bit of both? We routinely attend Mass and engage in activities in a neighboring parish as well as our own.

Normally, I would suggest that a person with any financial means should probably support the places they attend and participate, but as a teen in school, that may not be something you can do. Perhaps you can “make it up” later in life.


Exactly what I was going to say. You don’t have to pick just one and never go back to the other.

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If you were to tell this to your pastors, I bet they would tell you to attend youth events. I can’t imagine that they would be against it.


You can split your time between both places. You don’t have to always attend one or the other.

It’s not uncommon for one parish out of several in a close area to be hosting most of the young people’s events or the Young Adults group. They normally welcome any young person who wants to join in, even if that person is from the parish a couple miles away.

You can continue to attend some Masses at your regular church so you stay in touch with the priests and your roots.

Thank you for your advice! I’m fortunate enough to help “pay my way” at both parishes, so I definitely will.

This is exactly what I’m planning to do now. Thanks for the help!

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