What makes you a member of a parish


Is that more by convention and politeness than by canon law or diocesan policy? I don’t think I’d heard that one before. Marriage, yes – but not baptism.


That’s an interesting possibility and may be the answer. Parishes can be personal rather than territorial. The chancery should be able to clear this up for the OP.


I will check with the diocese but as far as I know, none of the 26 parishes in our diocese were erected as personal parishes.


Can. 857 §1. Apart from a case of necessity, the proper place of baptism is a church or oratory.
§2. As a rule an adult is to be baptized in his or her parish church and an infant in the parish church of the parents unless a just cause suggests otherwise.

Most pastors don’t have a problem letting their flock go “home” to have their babies baptized and consider that a just cause.

I’ve just looked at several parish websites and most have this or a variation of it:

Can our child be baptized in a parish if we do not live within the parish boundaries?

Baptism is a celebration of a living relationship with God and with community (the parish). As such, the sacrament is normally celebrated in your worshiping community. Exceptions are made, however. To have your child baptized in a different parish:

  1. seek permission from the parish’s pastor;
  2. obtain a letter from the pastor of your home parish, granting permission to have your child baptized elsewhere;
  3. attend Baptismal preparation program in your local parish (also to be confirmed in the pastor’s letter).

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