We live in a transient society. People move in and out of our communities on a regular basis. Even if we don’t move from our community, we advance in age. All of us are affected by change.
In an ever-changing world, the Church remains for each of us as a rock of stability. If we move to a new community, many of us are inclined to visit a number of Catholic parishes in the area. We search for what will become our spiritual home.
Our Diocese strongly urges each of us to register in one and only one particular parish. This does not mean that we should avoid participating in activities of other parishes. Some of us do take part in activities of parishes in which we are not registered, even as persons who are registered in neighboring parishes participate in activities of St. Mary and Resurrection Parishes.
Let’s look at why we are urged to register in a particular parish. Doing this enables “the Catholic Church” to more readily meet a number of our spiritual needs. For example, if I had to undergo major surgery, I would feel comfortable to call a priest from the parish in which I am registered to request the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. If we or members of our family plan to marry, we can count on the parish in which we are registered to offer vital marriage preparation sessions.
Registering in a particular parish facilitates taking a sense of ownership of that parish. All of us are blessed with time, talents and treasure. Hopefully, our home parish is a most significant setting for investing the gifts which the Lord has entrusted to us. Each of us is a vital member of the Church, the Body of Christ. The Lord is counting on us to build up His Body by using gifts entrusted to us to serve our brothers and sisters in Him in some specific faith community.
If we plan to move and/or transfer our membership from one parish to another, we are asked to request the parish that we are leaving to remove our names from the membership roster of that particular parish. By the same token, if we want to identify with a particular faith community and participate in its life and mission, we are urged to register in that parish. WHEN WE TURN 18, AND ESPECIALLY WHEN WE GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL, we are asked to register separately from our parents, even though we still live in the home of our parents. In this way, we are encouraged to take ownership in the parish with which we identify.
Taking to heart these guidelines in regard to parish registration strengthens both us and the parish in which we are registered to live our faith in a more vibrant manner.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Fr. Nelson Beaver – Pastor