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Do you know Sarah? If you don’t know Sarah, you should go read more about her — she has a strong appreciation for Catholic prison food. Anyways, more than a year ago (Yea, yea, I know. I’m a super-duper blog stalker.) Sarah wrote about her experiences as a parish-hopper. It was a really interesting read for me because it gave me a closer look at something I don’t understand: parish hopping.

Hey Sarah! I Googled “Catholic History Nerd” and this was the third image to come up! You’re welcome. (I don’t think you’re getting a Papal Facepalm, but I thought it was funny.)

How I First Realized That Some People Belong to More Than One Parish

I’ll never forget the first time I realized that there were people out there who belong to/are involved in more than one parish. It was at our first outing with the Young Adults Group at our parish. “Where else do you go?” Was a common question around the table.

Credit: Catholic Journal. (Parish-hopping priests?)

This was confusing to me for a number of reasons:

  1. As someone who has spent the last 25 years of her life moving around the world, finding one parish and “settling down” has always been one of the most important ways for me to make a new place “home.”
  2. During my childhood, my family only parish-hopped once. We belonged to one parish that was close to our house and we belonged to another parish further away where we also went to school. The two years we spent splitting our time between churches were pretty confusing for me. (Important note: I was 10, so my confusion was sort of understandable.) 
  3. I have enough trouble being my charming, friendly self (and getting in good with the pastor) at one parish. The idea that I would have to go through the whole “introduce myself and bake banana bread” rigmarole a two or more parishes is terrifying to me.

The good news is that I’m not alone in my confusion. I asked my grandma about it and she (ever pragmatic, this one) asked me to find out how parish-hoppers determine their weekly contribution. (She also referred to someone’s second parish as “a mistress.” That’s pretty deep.)

So, parish hoppers! How do you determine your weekly contribution? Do you feel like you’re involved with all of the parishes to which you hop? How did you become a parish hopper? 

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