There are many answers to this question. A couple simple ones come to mind:
–It’s a place that has a church building and a parking lot.
–It’s where I go to mass on Sunday.
–It’s where you belong, so when the time comes, you can get married or buried.
Canon Law (rules for church governance) says a parish is a geographical area in which baptized Catholics reside and are offered spiritual aid (religious education and the sacraments).
But this description is rather dry and formal. What is your description? . . . not just any parish but your parish . . . what describes the parish you want to belong to? Here’s mine.
I want my parish to be:
- A place where I can find peace in times of trouble.
- A people who try to do what Christ did.
- A place where I am welcomed just as I am.
- A place where I can learn and grow in my faith.
- A people who are humble and quick to know where we need to do better.
- A people who welcome and learn from the “newcomer”.
- Where I experience God in the liturgy.
- Where I see and hear about opportunities to help others.
- Where our children learn about Christ in a formative and compelling way.
- Where my faith finds practical and creative ways to aid the complex problems of the world.
- Where I can grow in my faith and knowledge of God.
- Where I can learn how to pray.
- Where I meet fun, happy, kind and gentle people.
- Where hope is renewed.
- Where I am continually invited and connected to effective social ministry.
- Where I learn how to bring Christ to others . . .
I could list about 50 more, but it would only bore you. Anyway these are my hopes for this parish . . . Holy Trinity. We are not perfect by any means . . . but we’re trying. I hope you find something of interest in the weekly bulletin/web site. Won’t you join us in trying to make a difference in this world for Jesus Christ?
If you are new to the parish and feel as if none of the things I’ve listed above have happened to you – – – call me. Or write to me . . email@example.com. Tell me how you’ve found things so far at Holy Trinity. I, or someone on the staff, will be in touch with you (if you wish) to further the conversation.
In the meantime . . . God bless your week.