Would you move or travel far to be able to attend a better parish?


#1

We have so many threads with posts from people describing terrible situations at their parish. Poor teaching, wacky liturgy, indifferent priests.
My question is would you move or travel far to a different parish? Maybe you do already. Would you stay and fight it out to change? Your comments?

I’m thankful for my parish. Although my pastor isn’t seen as very spiritual or pastoral - he is very orthodox. But the next best church is over an hour away. And if I had to move for any reason, that would be a very compelling factor.


#2

No, I wouldn’t ‘move’, because what’s a great parish today might not be in 5 years time and vice versa…Travel? Hmm…not if it was a lot further…for me it’s about Jesus and the Eucharist, no matter how bad a certain priest might be

Anna x


#3

I used to be very Christian, and attended Church every Sunday, despite being the only one in my household to do so. My pastor became money orientated and began to run theChurch as a business, not a spiritual haven. I left. I figured, why should I need a priest/pastor whatever to interpret God to me. Since then, I have found God in nature, walking in the countryside near my home, and I feel more conected to Him now than ever before.

Don’t move, open your eyes to God in the world around you.


#4

The important thing is the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receiving the Body, Blood, Soul & Divinity of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

I would put up with a lot of things for that. If there were liturgical abuses I would try to educate people gently and work for change. Sometimes it just takes one person who persists in doing what is right to make a difference.

H


#5

I would not move just because I didn’t like the local parish. (Although if I was moving anyway I might look at parishes near to where I wish to move in order to aid my decision.)

In the past I have regularly traveled for about 30 minutes to attend Mass at a parish other than the local one. But in that case I moved for personal reasons. I just didn’t care so much for the new local parish.

If the local parish to which I belonged changed in a way I considered unfavorable I would probably stay and try to make things better. Failing that I would investigate nearby parishes. I can’t see myself driving more than 30 minutes on a regular basis, (unless the nearest parish was further away than that.)


#6

I can tolerate a lot of things- some things I cannot tolerate- like invalidating Masses, heresy from the pulpit, and a general attitude of “let’s not rock the boat, let’s keep everybody happy and never challenge anybody”. That kind of attitude loses souls. THAT, I cannot tolerate. If I get the impression that that attitude is at my parish, then I find a new parish- no matter how far it is.


#7

Correcty me if I am wrong, but the administrative (for lack of a better term) rule in the Catholic Church in the US is that you may attend anywhere but you can only be a member of record of the parish that has jurisidiction over your geographical area. This rule was made purposely to keep people from parish shopping, and frankly, because the churchocracy knew that some parishes would just wither away while others would flourish if people could vote with their feet. The other point of view is that the Church offers only the sacraments, which people must recognize are equal everywhere. Yeah, right. That’s a correct pastoral stance.

Non-availaibility of membership is of little consequence to most people, If you actually happen to be a donor, the parish will take your money no matter where you come from. But membership is important if you want a sacrament other than communion or confession… Modern parishes will neither marry couples nor baptize children if the parties involved are not members, and they cannot be members if they live in the next county and four parishes removed. If you’re in that situation, they’ve got you by the eustachian tubes. Which is why thousands and thousand of people every year join parishes where they would otherwise be unhappy, and then immediately quit them when they’ve gotten what they want.


#8

I have traveled a little to go to a more orthodox church in the past, but it was always under 10 miles. Right now, I am going to the closest parish to me, but they will be closing it and I do not particularly care for there the consolidate parish will be. I have a couple of choices within 10 miles of me that are prime candidates.

PF


#9

[quote=jbuck919]Correcty me if I am wrong, but the administrative (for lack of a better term) rule in the Catholic Church in the US is that you may attend anywhere but you can only be a member of record of the parish that has jurisidiction over your geographical area. This rule was made purposely to keep people from parish shopping, and frankly, because the churchocracy knew that some parishes would just wither away while others would flourish if people could vote with their feet.
[/quote]

I think that rule varies from diocese to diocese. I know that people around here register where the are most happy. Even across the river in the St. Paul archdiocese. From time to time my wife has wanted to go elsewhere. Not a problem with abuses, but more with not being depressed by the “deadness” of the worshippers. I have stayed through thick and thin for over forty years because I feel one needs to grow where God plants you. We are where we are for a reason.


#10

My question is would you move or travel far to a different parish?

Absolutely not, the fellow parishioners are almost like an extended family, even those who I don’t know by name.

To do so would be like adopting new children when the ones you actually fathered disappoint you.


#11

Yes I would and I do. I know it is hard to believe but there are parishes out there that are so used to the liturgical abuses and disobedience to Church teaching that any move to change things will get you nothing but a lot of grief.


#12

[quote=rwoehmke]I think that rule varies from diocese to diocese. I know that people around here register where the are most happy. Even across the river in the St. Paul archdiocese. From time to time my wife has wanted to go elsewhere. Not a problem with abuses, but more with not being depressed by the “deadness” of the worshippers. I have stayed through thick and thin for over forty years because I feel one needs to grow where God plants you. We are where we are for a reason.
[/quote]

In the United States, you go where you go, but you need to register in the parish where you go. You are technically a member of the parish in your residential boundaries.

As far as Mass itself goes, if you wanted to hit a different parish every Sunday, you could.


#13

I have traveled the better part of my life.

Last year I had a great excuse to travel but I know longer have that excuse and it is not prudent to spend all that money in gas and beat up a car. I am grateful for the five wonderful daily Masses I am able to attend so I have decided I would rotate in between the parish and the Monestary.


#14

I voted YES as I travel 40 miles just about every Sunday to attend the Tridentine Mass.

I do this not just for myself but for my children as well. The stuff that goes on at the local parish here makes me sick. Yet what goes on may seem far from the abuses I have learned about here in these forums.

Ken


#15

I voted yes. I have regularly traveled 10-45 miles (depending on where we lived) to attend an orthodox parish, while bypassing others. Currently we drive 11 miles. I have children, and I owe it to them to have them grow up in an orthodox parish that is inline with Church teaching. Their souls are in jeopardy at some of those liberal parishes. It is a very small sacrifice for us to drive on Sunday morning.


#16

I voted other because yes I would if I had the ability to do so. In my current location, I have been able to see which parish suits me the best. Yes, it is really about receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, but I also want to feel connected to the community (I came from a small church, where everybody knew each other, old habits die hard I guess). The parish that I have found has met my spiritual needs is not my hometown parish, but it also is one of several in my area, which are all within a 30 minute drive (reasonable, in my opinion- I drove 50 minutes to get to the closest Anglican church for two years, and it can get very exhausting). I am very fortunate that I have so many options in my area. However, I realize that not everyone has that many options. If I lived in an area where it was between my home parish and one 45 minutes away, I would probably stay at the one closest to me unless I really thought there were problems that would not be fixed, or violated my conscience/morals. In my opinion, a lot of things really aren’t that big of a deal in the long run, at least not what I have seen. That being said, some of the stories I’ve heard are very disturbing, and if I actually experienced that every week, I might be very tempted to leave.


#17

[quote=anna1978]No, I wouldn’t ‘move’, because what’s a great parish today might not be in 5 years time and vice versa…Travel? Hmm…not if it was a lot further…for me it’s about Jesus and the Eucharist, no matter how bad a certain priest might be

Anna x
[/quote]

If a pastor made a mockery of the Mass with his left wing ideas, jokes,dances, puppet shows, heretical homilies, she just might travel, as I was forced to do. I could not receive Jesus in the Eucharist as angry as he made me feel!


#18

I did in fact move so that I would be at a better paish, but only after fighting for 3 years in an attempt to get a crucifix in the church and trying to have the tabernacle moved from off to the side under the exit sign to a more respectable place in the sanctuary. I got tired of defending the faith at the monthly mens group where I was told things like,“Jesus was not God.”, “Peter was not the first pope, James was.”, “Mary is not a virgin.” When I responded to these claims, I was told I was too Catholic! Yes, I moved. I got tired. Yes, my new parish may go downhill in the next five years. At least I will have had time to regain my strength! It was Fr. Groeschel who gave me the idea to move. He said to me to take my tithe to a different parish if mine was that bad, so I did.


#19

**The closest church is less than 5 minutes walk from my house. It is packed on every Sunday. You’d think I’d be happy with that. However, this church does not offer daily Mass and has only one Sunday Mass. Volunteers are needed to patrol the parking lot to make sure the cars aren’t broken into. They have a band, rather than a organist. It is far more a type of Baptist-y type of music (which I do love to hear, when I attend some of the local Gospel festivals), which I do not like in church.

I currently drive 15 minutes away (I know others travel farther), to attend my current parish which is under review for clustering with other churches that are more like the one I just spoke about.**


#20

I am a rabble-rouser, according to my husband, so when we first became aware of the abuses and trends against Catholic practice and teaching our first instinct was to stay where we are and work for change. Whether are motives are the best, I can’t say, because we get a lot of enjoyment out of being contrarian.

He enjoys having fun with it, dropping bombs in the conversation. as an RCIA sponsor you can do a lot of good because you work one on one with a newbie and can train them right. He hated “Breaking Open the Word” which he called “The Gospel according to Harry (or Don or Annie, whoever was speaking at the time)” but got to enjoy contradicting the obvious misstatements. He is known as “that Jesus guy” because he always insists on “What did Jesus say?” when the outrageious claims came out: gay is okay because Jesus ate with sinners, divorce is okay because Jesus forgave the sinful woman etc etc.

I am the one that used to speak out at every parent meeting for sacraments to correct what the catechist and DRE were saying: no women cannot be priests because the Lord did not choose women as apostles and the Church has spoken once for all time on this issue. Yes, Jesus worked miracles that cannot be explained by science and manipulation of human behavior.

We have had the satisfaction of seeing two former parishes change, without a change in priests. In one we both got on parish council or commissions and influenced hiring of new DRE and other key positions, and helped establish regular times for exposition and Eucharistic Adoration. We also helped influenced the choice of a parish renewal program from a radical one to an orthodox one. That parish now has daily (not perpetual) adoration and is a model of orthodoxy in a sea of dissent surrounding it. In another DH was instrumental in getting them to drop bingo and institute a stewardship and evangelization program. Parish size has doubled since we moved away.

I have a brother who went the “I hate my Catholic family and I hate my priest so I will find God by walking in the woods instead” route. He did not find God in nature, has become a total atheist and his kids have gone to pot competing to see who can live the most immoral lifestyle. He is bitter and unhappy but still won’t step foot in a Catholic Church, even for his own parents’ funera. He is still looking in nature, still coming up empty.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.