Volunteering at a New Parish

Hey all. As I’ve mentioned in some threads around here, I’m getting ready to move from an itty bitty town, to the big city. Part of this is that I’ll be leaving the parish I was baptized in, and joining a new one in the city.

Part of the volunteer work I do in this parish, is that I teach PSR (called CCD by some) for 3rd graders, and assist with teaching RCIA. I have no formal training (I started off just assisting with the kindergarten PSR class when I was in high school), I just sort of fell into it, and it’s always felt right.

However, with moving to a new church, I worry about when it will be appropriate to offer to volunteer for such activities. I don’t have the best social skills with strangers, so it’s hard for me to gauge.

Has anyone here gone from volunteering in one parish, to volunteering in another after a move? How did you go about it? I feel really called to continue this work, especially in the RCIA/RCIC, but I don’t want to step on any toes.

Would asking your priest for a letter of introduction be possible -a sort of reference?

I can do that. :slight_smile: Any other suggestions?

A lot of it really depends on the parish. Ours is a small and financially poor parish and as such anyone who is willing to volunteer is welcomed. Other larger and wealthier parishes can afford to be selective, though the spirit of Christian charity should drive them to accept help as it is offered.

One thing I would do is look into your new diocese and see what their regulations are regarding working with children. Make sure you have your VIRTUS training paperwork. A lot of diocesan websites also have the necessary paperwork for background checks available, so having that ready to go would be a plus. Some dioceses may require additional training over and above VIRTUS for individuals with access to minors, so it’d be good to know that ahead of time as well.

You can also check out your new parish and see if they have contact info for the DRE on their website. An introductory email explaining basically what you did in your OP would be a good way to start.

cjmclark is right on with the advice you gave. Also, if your parish has a women’s group like the St. Anne’s Society it would help you get acquainted with the ladies in the parish. I went from a huge cosmopolitan parish to a parish of 50 families. I should ask you for advice. I’ve been here for 10 years and still feel like an outsider. I volunteer when ever I can and that has helped. Good luck on your move. I know you will do great! You’ll have the “small town” warmth and respect for others working for you. People in the city need that and will be attracted to you.:thumbsup:

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