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Back to Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
regarding
PARISH MEMBERSHIP

Q. 1. Can a Catholic be a member of 2 Parishes?

A. 1. A very good question. Prior to Vatican II, such a question would never be asked, nor considered.

As a general rule, the location of your residence determines what Church and Parish you should be associated with. This practice facilitates the Bishop's administration of the Diocese in determining the need of new Churches and schools within the diocesan boundaries. If a large number of Catholics from a certain district decided to go to whatever Church they want to or send their children to the school of their choice instead of supporting their local Church and school, such a decision may lead to the closing of Churches and schools that have little membership and support.

Since Vatican II, because of the many strange practices and liturgical abuses that are taking place in some Catholic Churches, many Catholics have abandoned the Church that they should be supporting based on their residence. They have chosen to join a Church that respects the Catholic liturgy in accordance with the directive received from the Vatican. They become members of a distant Church instead of supporting their local Church that they have rejected. In such cases, they only belong to one Parish, the Church of their choice, not the one that is determined by the Diocese based on their residence.

There are situations when individuals may become members of 2 or 3 Churches / Parishes. Let me explain. Many Canadians, while they are registered members of their local Church, they are also registered as members of another Church in Florida, USA. The reason for this is that they spend anywhere from 2 to 6 months of the cold Winter in the South where they own another home. So they are members of one Church (in their country) in the Summer and they are members of another Church (in another country) in the Winter.

To complicate the matter, there are those who spend their weekends, from May to October, at their distant Summer cottage. That means in the Summer, they attend a different Church that is located in the district of their cottage.

So while family members may register at a local Church, it may rarely attend that Church. If they spend 6 months in Florida at their second home during the cold months and 6 months at their Summer cottage during the warm weekends, then they are never available to attend their local Church on any Sunday or Holy Days.

These Catholics may decide to become members of 1 Parish, 2 Parishes or even 3 Parishes. With a Church membership comes the responsibility of supporting the Church financially. By becoming members of more than one Church, it means a greatly financial responsibility to support a number of Churches. Therefore, to answer the question, "Can a Catholic be a member of 2 Parishes?" Yes, it can happen in certain situations as explained above.



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