Laudetur Jesus Christus! Gelobt sei Jesus Christus! Sia lodato Gesù Cristo! Praised be Jesus Christ!
This will be our final catechesis on the nature of the Virtue of Religion, the Precepts of the Church, and what we owe to our parish. I hope that this has been helpful and insightful, as we all strive to ensure that our churches continue to be lights in a darkened world.
As I have said consistently, everyone is welcome in our parishes. Sometimes daily Mass works better for those who work downtown or in Camp Washington, or maybe a person is seeking out Adoration and Devotions. However, they attend somewhere else for Sundays and consider another church their parish. Others like to stop in from time to time on Sundays. You are always welcome.
If I had to give a brief definition of a parishioner, however, I would do so in this way. Someone who either resides within a particular geographic territory of a parish, or someone who has registered in a particular church with an accepting pastor. That much comes directly from the Archdiocese. To clarify this, since anyone can register theoretically (we recently had a registration online from as far away as Singapore), I would say that a true parishioner is someone who attends Mass at our parishes on most Sundays and Holy Days throughout the year. They give generously of their time, talent, and treasure, insofar as they are able. They are known to the priests, at least by sight. They try to take advantage of special Masses, devotions, and events throughout the year. This is their home.
Those who are parishioners, either by territory or by adoption, are entitled to have the Sacraments in their parish church. This includes, not only the reception of Holy Communion and the Sacrament of Penance, but preparation for Baptism, First Confession, First Holy Communion, Confirmation, & Weddings. They have the right to call upon their pastor, or his delegate, for Spiritual Advice and/or the Anointing of the Sick. They have the right to be educated in the faith. Finally, they have the right to be buried at their parish church. They obtain these rights because of the obligations they accepted when they were baptized, and being faithful to their duties as parishioners. These are the things that a parish properly carries out for its parishioners. Everyone has a parish; some have just chosen to move their parish to a different place. But all do have a parish.
Because of the time involved, and so many responsibilities between two parishes, Christ Hospital, and the Hamilton County Justice Center, the priests are all very stretched. We cover nine Masses on Sunday alone. Thus, this series is presented to educate on the nature of a parish, and to clarify what we are, and are not able to do; also, to clarify what should be done in one’s parish church and what could be done at another church. If anyone, who is not a parishioner, needs any of the above mentioned services, they should contact their pastor who has the obligation to ensure that these important moments in the life of the faith are carried out. One thing not included in the above paragraph, for which we often have requests, are letters of good standing. We are able to only issue such letters for parishioners who are known to us. We are not able to accommodate other requests, because of what we are asked to attest to.
Again, I hope that this is helpful. I pray that our parishes continue to grow, and that all certainly pursue perfection and growth through the treasures offered here. Have a blessed week ahead!