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Making Parishes Personal

My family and I live in what many Catholics would consider a suburban “sweet spot”—smack between four Catholic churches placed conveniently to the north, south, east and west of us, with the farthest being only a three-mile drive away. Ironically, perhaps, this farthest one, the one to the west, is also our territorial parish. Ideally, we’d be frequenting our territorial parish. Ideally, there would not be three churches closer, but such is our gerrymandered life.

When we moved to our new home, we registered with this parish, and our kids attended the school there. When the eldest started high school, at a private Catholic K-12 campus, we transferred the younger ones there also, for a variety of reasons, and my wife started attending a more convenient parish for weekday Mass. We soon started going to that parish for Sunday Mass, also for a variety of reasons, and registered there. That church is about an 11-mile drive, and while the K-12 school we started out at no longer exists, this farther parish remains our home.

My wife still attends daily Mass there; my preference is the earlier one at the church about two miles east of us. For confession, we usually drive down to the church two miles to the south. This may all seem very complicated, and it is. In no way do I admit it’s the right way of doing things.

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