Transferring Parishes/Diocese

Hi all! Well, I’m going to be going off to college next year and I’ve got a bit of a question. Considering I will be going to the Catholic Church in the new town should I consider that my new Home Parish? Should I register with them? Also, the college is in a different diocese. Since I’m living there 10 months out of the year, does that become the diocese I belong to and does that bishop become my bishop?

Thanks all!

It depends where you consider home. I still consider home to be where I go during my school breaks (even though I sleep at my college, eat, and get my mail there).
However, while that parish is not your home parish, I would suggest diving your tithe to them (since they will be supporting your spiritual and, in some cases, physical needs). Furthermore, you are obliged to follow the diocesian rules of the parish that you are at.

P.S. Does the college you’re going to have a Catholic group? You should check into that, because most of the best experiances I have ever had as a Catholic has involved Catholic Student Associations.

Many college campus’ have a Catholic student center called a Newman Center.

Don’t just look for a place called the Newman Center. A lot of groups don’t call themselves that. Pretty much just look for anything Catholic.

My school doesn’t have anything Catholic at it–its a tiny school in Western Massachusetts. Maybe I should just speak to the priest at my new church?

Definitely do that!

When you’re in college, your college town isn’t really your “home” (although it can become that). You don’t have to switch parishes or anything, but you should still follow any of the prescriptions of the local bishop while you reside there (such as when the Ascension is celebrated, etc.). Of course, if you want to switch parishes, you could.

Definitely talk to the priest at the local parish, though. If there’s no Catholic group on campus, be sure to start one! :stuck_out_tongue:

What ever you list as your permanent address as far as the college records are concerned would be your home parish.

given that you actually won’t live on campus forever, i would say that your current home which is still your “permanent address” will be where your parish is. you may want to register with the new parish anyway as you’ll be spending a lot of time there and it would be nice if you can volunteer some of your free time. but let them know too that you are a student and won’t be in the area for the long term

it all depends. Is the college town going to be your primary residence? As in you will be living in your own home, not college housing, and not dependent on your parents. The usual case for college students is they are considered temporary residents at the place of their school, and participate in Catholic Campus Ministry, or at the nearest Catholic parish to the campus as visitors. Yes if you can afford it at least a token donation and support in service and other ways is ideal.

Once you get out on your own, or even if after graduation you still live at home while you start your first job, you should register at the parish of your choice as an adult.

Canonically, the situation you describe is that of a quasi-domicile.

Can. 102 §1. Domicile is acquired by that residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there permanently unless called away or has been protracted for five complete years.
§2. Quasi-domicile is acquired by residence within the territory of a certain parish or at least of a diocese, which either is joined with the intention of remaining there for at least three months unless called away or has in fact been protracted for three months.
§3. A domicile or quasi-domicile within the territory of a parish is called parochial; within the territory of a diocese, even though not within a parish, diocesan.

Can. 105 §1. A minor necessarily retains the domicile and quasi-domicile of the one to whose power the minor is subject. A minor who is no longer an infant can also acquire a quasi-domicile of one’s own; a minor who is legitimately emancipated according to the norm of civil law can also acquire a domicile of one’s own.
§2. Whoever for some other reason than minority has been placed legitimately under the guardianship or care of another has the domicile and quasi-domicile of the guardian or curator.

Can. 106 Domicile and quasi-domicile are lost by departure from a place with the intention of not returning, without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 105.

Can. 107 §1. Through both domicile and quasi-domicile, each person acquires his or her pastor and ordinary.
§2. The proper pastor or ordinary of a transient is the pastor or local ordinary where the transient is actually residing.
§3. The proper pastor of one who has only a diocesan domicile or quasi-domicile is the pastor of the place where the person is actually residing.


tee_eff_em just posted the canon law on this (thanks tee…).

In your particular case, whether or not you are a “resident” of your new (college) parish is really up to you–I’ll explain.

If (and only if) you consider your college address to be your permanent address, then your proper parish would be the parish which includes the territory of your actual dorm/apartment–to exclude your present home parish. Most college students consider their dorm to be temporary, but some might consider it permanent. A good standard to apply is to ask the following: what address is on your drivers license? what address do you use for voting? what address do you use to pay your taxes? If you answer “college” to these questions, then your permanent residence would be the college. Most undergrads don’t do this however. Most simply keep their parents address as their permanent one and consider the college temporary–especially if you go out of state and are getting any kinds of state grants/loans for school from your home state.

Since you will certainly be living at college for more than 3 months, your school address would be your quasi-domicile (church language for temporary address).

Since you have a domicile in diocese A and a quasi-domicile in diocese B, both bishops would be your bishops, and both parish pastors would be your proper pastors. For example (and just for example!!!) if you were to get married, either pastor could validly and licitly perform the ceremony.

Thanks! Gotta love Cannon Law for straightening things out :smiley:

I don’t have a driver’s license, but I did not change the address on my passport while away at school. I have, however, voted in my away-from-home address.

Anyways, yes you should register with your parish, you will likely want to get involved, and depending on the laws of your jurisdiction, you will get a nice charitable-donation tax rebate at the end of the year.

I like Father David’s example of marriage, which concurs with canon law, however as for holyday-to-holyday living, I have read on these fora that the bishop of the diocese where you wake up is the one you must obey regarding Holy Days of Obligation (Holy Days of Privilege ;)).

This is a really interesting question!!

Just my :twocents:… I’m going to college in just over two months, and because I personally consider this moving out, and being my new home, I’m definitely registering in that diocese and the parish (I’ve already picked one out - the Latin Mass in Pittsburgh :slight_smile: If you’re ever in Pittsburgh you MUST go!!) because I consider that to be my new home. On summer breaks(at least the first one) and for Christmas I’ll visit with my family, but two and a half months out of the year isn’t home. I’m movin on :):frowning:

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