Thursday, August 18, 2011


Your neighborhood parish is not a church. It is a parish. The building is a “church building” but the institution is a parish. We belong to the Catholic Church. The local Church is the diocese. Within the local church are parishes each acting under the leadership of the local bishop. Priests are his assistants in bringing Christ to the local Church.

Being part of a local Church is really beneficial for us. The fact that we are so interconnected is part of our strength. The Catholic Church tends to be more interconnected than most other non-Catholic religions. For this reason when a Catholic parish closes in a struggling neighborhood it tends to be more catastrophic for the neighborhood than when other faiths shutter their doors. Even if the people who attend the parish are not living in the neighborhood the presence of a parish brings resources, attention, people and a stronger political voice to the area because it does not exist on its own but as part of a much larger body.

We should pray for our parishes that they remain strong, viable, effective faith filled places. But we should also pray for the health of our respective dioceses. The stronger/better diocese we have, the stronger and better we are as individual parishes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for these points. I don't think most Catholics recognize this aspect of our strength.