Friday, May 4, 2012

Parish the thought...

I found this interesting today:

Roughly one-fifth of the Catholics in the US are not associated with a parish, a new study has found.

While there are about 75 million Catholics in the US, “fewer than 60 million are associated with a specific Catholic church,” reports Clifford Grammich of the Glenmary Research Center. Thus at least 15 million people who identify themselves as Catholic but not with any parish.

One consequence of the relaxing of parish boundaries has been this reality, that sometimes people don't associate themselves with a parish, attend Mass at several parishes, or don't have a regular faith community where they worship. Whether that's something good, bad, or neutral will probably depend on your perspective; but it's certainly a change from the past, where Catholics attended, mainly, their geographical parish throughout their lives.

What are your thoughts, readers, on parishes and your connection to them?

We attend a regular parish and are registered there, but that hasn't always been the case. At times we had looser affiliations with parishes; at times, we attended one of several parishes depending on Mass times and other considerations without officially belonging to any of them. So I'm interested in the following (yes, another survey!):

1. Do you currently attend Mass at one regular parish?

2. Are you registered in that parish?

3. Are you registered in any parish?

4. How important is it to you to have a close tie to a parish?

5. What is your state in life? (This last question is optional, but I found that as a married woman with children it was relatively more important to me to belong to one specific parish then it had been in the past.)

I'll look forward to reading your answers!

26 comments:

JoAnna said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Very; when we bought our house, one of the things we liked most was that it was right behind our church. My husband is in KofC and we volunteer with marriage prep.
5. Married (10 yrs), 4 small kids

Kirt Higdon said...

Yes
Yes
Yes
Very important
Married, retired, children all adults

Will Duquette said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Very
5. Married, school-age children.

Anonymous said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Very important. It was the birth of my daughter that drew me back to my faith and I feel it is important to make and maintain ties to help me on this path. Also, we were so blessed to get a new, wonderful pastor at our parish last year and he has also been instrumental in my faith journey. I also do my best to be an active member of the parish through volunteer work and joining various groups.
5. I am a single mother of one daughter.

Beth F said...

1. Yes.

2. Yes.

3. Yes.

4. Very. We have moved many times in our married life and in good times and bad, cling to the Church. Having a parish family to lean on in those times have helped us!


5. Married with four kids.

Patrick Praying said...

1. Do you currently attend Mass at one regular parish? YES

2. Are you registered in that parish? YES

3. Are you registered in any parish? YES

4. How important is it to you to have a close tie to a parish? INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT

5. What is your state in life? (This last question is optional, but I found that as a married woman with children it was relatively more important to me to belong to one specific parish then it had been in the past.) NEW YORK. ;)

--- I was raised to believe that we could hit the 10 at St. Mary's, or the 12 at St. Ignatius (our parish) or the 7pm at Immaculate Conception. Whatever was convenient, as long as we met a Sunday obligation to attend Mass. Terrible. Now, if I miss the 11am at my parish, I dont go at all. I feel close to my parish AND close to the service I attend and the people I see there.

Diamantina da Brescia, aka Gentillylace said...

Yes
Yes
Yes -- in fact, I am registered in three parishes, though I regularly attend only one of them
Very important
Single, never married, no kids, age 45

Deacon Dean said...

1. Yes, Holy Name of Mary Parish in New Orleans, LA
2. Yes
3. See 1 & 2 above :)
4. Very Important
5. Married 42 years to the woman who makes my life complete, 4 children, 3 grandchildren. Roman Catholic Deacon.

John Thayer Jensen said...

1. Yes - Pukekohe (south Auckland, New Zealand).

2. Yes - ditto

3. Yes, obviously :-)

4. Very. When I was a Protestant, there was a great tendency to 'go where you are fed.' My view is that the parish system is important - that you should submit to God and if the parish is not good (short of really intolerable heresy and a stubborn situation you cannot change), you should do what you can to change it.

5. Married, grown children.

jj

John Thayer Jensen said...

PS - this is just to get onto the e-mail list for comments :-)

jj

kkollwitz said...

Yes
Yes
Yes
Very important
Married, 5 grown children, 2 grandkids who live nearby.

Alice said...

1. We try to attend Mass at our parish every weekend, but sometimes we go to the other parish because the Mass schedule just works out better.

2. Yes.

3. Yes.

4. Important. It's where I made my First Communion, where we married, and where our children were baptized. We intend to send them to the parish school as well.

5. Wife and mother.

Bonus answer: ;)

6. We contribute by direct deposit to our parish and we drop something in the collection at whatever parish we find ourselves on Sunday as well.

L. said...

Outlier -- barely Catholic, married to adamant non-Christian:
1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Not important at all, but it's appreciated when it happens.
5. In a civil partnership, 3 kids.

Anonymous said...

1. No I attend mass at 3 regular parishes ...Daily mass at one , Sunday Mass at another ( because it has an evening mass my husband can attend with the family ) and Wed & Fri school mass at our home Parish

2. We are registered in one of those parishes - our kids go to school there and we attend mass there on Wed & fri and some Sundays

3. Yes

4. Moderately

5. married with 5 kids - 3 still at home

John Thayer Jensen said...

Since some have been a little detailed, I might say that when I said we attend a regular parish, that means our normal Sunday practice. In fact:

- I attend weekday Mass at the Auckland cathedral, since I work in the City, on Monday-Thursday. I don't think I am registered there, but I am a reader, so I have some regular status

- On Fridays I attend Mass at the Newman Centre here at the University where I work - except when they don't have it, when I go to the City

- On Saturdays my wife and I attend Mass at our home parish in Pukekohe

- On most Sundays we attend Mass in Pukekohe - except at least once a month we are visiting our son in Helensville, north of Auckland and then we attend Sunday Mass either there or in Huapai (depending on where it is).

- Except ... well, various other exceptions

The point is that we have a home parish that we always go to unless there are exceptional circumstances - like distance, travelling, etc. What we don't do is to roam around to hear this or that priest or to hear Mass said well here or there (even though it is pretty blah at our home parish - and sometimes worse than blah).

FWIW :-)

jj

Anonymous said...

I am a married mom of 3 kids: 11, 14, and 16. We are registered and attend the same parish. It's extremely important to us as a family to worship together in our parish. We have a wonderful parish life.

Jen in OK

Liz said...

1. yes

2. yes

3. yes

4. fairly important, I've been in the same parish since I came into the Church 15 years ago. It is not my geographic parish (which when I was interested in coming into the Church had no RCIA program). However, it's so large that I can't say I've ever really connected with more than a few people, despite having gotten involved in a number of different things like book groups, study groups, committees, etc. (even taught in the parish school briefly). I'm fairly committed to staying put because I really don't want to hop around. However, if a parish around here suddenly made the EF available regularly I might well switch.

5. Married to a guy who's still Protestant. Grown up kids are Catholic, one is married to a Catholic with one child, other is not married.

Charlotte said...

We are registered at our parish and give money when we can (hard to do when you're in debt). But we are at our parish more for the parish priest than anything - the community there is a secondary consideration for sure.

Given that we Sunday drive alot on the weekends, I would say we're roamers and probably get to our own parish for mass only once or twice a month. I don't feel bad about this at all, as our freedom to be a family on the weekends - as long as we get to mass somewhere - is more important to me than being at our parish every single week. LOVE that we can look up mass times for anywhere on the mobile phone while we're in the car.

The parish we're registered at is not the closest one to our home, but the one we attend is only a 7 minute drive away. We have about a dozen parishes in our town of 80,000, and we feel that allows us to attend where we feel comfortable. For us, that's where we like the priest, who happens to preach truth and is the most orthodox one in town.

Tony said...

1. Do you currently attend Mass at one regular parish?

Yes, for the last 25 years. We went through a renovation, a linkage a flood, and a closing/merge. Now we attend the newly constituted parish.

2. Are you registered in that parish?

Yes.

3. Are you registered in any parish?

See 2.

4. How important is it to you to have a close tie to a parish?

Mass is communal prayer. You need a community to do that. Jesus instituted an ecclisial community, not a book club.

5. What is your state in life? (This last question is optional, but I found that as a married woman with children it was relatively more important to me to belong to one specific parish then it had been in the past.)

Married 27 years, two grown children one graduated college and married, the other a junior. Soon to be commissioned (two weeks) Lay Ecclesial Minister with a focus in RCIA and my wife and I are discerning a secondary vocation to the Permanent Diaconate.

Anonymous said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. see #2
4. very important
5. married, two school aged kids

We attend our regular parish most of the time, but if there is a sports tournament on the other side of town or we are on vacation, we will go more local, but we always keep track of missed weeks with our financial contributions.

bathilda

Laura S said...

1. Mostly

2. No

3. Yes

4. Very!

5. My husband and I have been married for a year and he's still in school, so we aren't permanently settled anywhere with children yet. We are members at the parish we were married at, but aren't able to attend there as regularly as we'd like because it is almost 45 minutes from where we live right now. We do help out with some events there when able and assisted with faith formation at a closer parish during the past school year... but we're looking forward to planting roots somewhere soon!

CGS Momma said...

Yes
No - complicated, but dc do receive first sacraments there
Yes
Very
Married for 19 years with 5 living children

Lauren Anderson said...

1. Yes
2. Yes
3. Yes
4. Most important, that is what I learned growing up that it is all about the community of faith and that your life should revolve around your parish. When I wasn't doing that in past years, my life felt disconnected, gray and I sought to fill that void.
5. Married (woman), no children yet, still in graduate school.

Sal said...

Sal
(Long-time attendee at local EF, so answers may be atypical.)
1)Yes
2)No, not officially. I do not live in the diocese. This applies to many of us. We come from all over a very large metro area.
3) No
4) Very. For nearly two decades, our community had no parish life, as we didn't have a church of our own. So, it is very precious to us now.
5) Wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 3. Only Catholic in family.

eulogos said...

1. I regularly attend Divine Liturgy at one particular parish.
2. I am registered in that parish.
3.I am probably still registered in my territorial parish as well-not sure.
4. Rather important. I wish it were a younger growing parish rather than one whose trajectory towards closure via parishioner death is transparently clear.
5. Married, all my kids are grown up and have left the house.
Susan Peterson

Jonathan said...

1. Yes
2. No
3. No
4. Very
5. Single, graduated college a year and a half ago, and looking to return to grad school. I haven't registered because I end up moving from town to town for school.