The Catholic Herald
In the Know with Fr Joe
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Q. Dear Fr. Joe: If I don’t like my priest, can I switch parishes?


A. First of all, I think it's important to keep in mind that you are not enslaved to any location for attending Mass. Although parishes are defined geographically, you may participate in another parish's worship and activities. In some dioceses, you may register in a parish of your choosing; in others, your registration is restricted to the parish where you are technically a member - which is the parish in which you reside. Under canon law, whether you regiser or not, you are a member of that parish. I know my family drove 45 minutes to go to a church because the priest there was an incredibly holy, rare man and we didn't want to miss out on that gift. That helped my spirituality immensely.

I do think it's important to go to the Catholic parish that feeds your soul best. A buddy of mine commuted a significant distance to his church and had a bumper sticker that said, "A church alive is worth the drive!" That sums it up well.

I believe that our reasons for switching parishes or not switching are important. If we are switching because Mass is shorter somewhere else, I think that is a bad idea. God deserves our time, talents and energy - basing our worship on how quickly we can get out sends our souls a bad message.

Switching parishes is a big deal and shouldn`t be taken lightly. Make sure that you pray and talk this through with friends before making your choice. Just like in the previous question, trust that the Holy Spirit will guide your open heart.

Enjoy another day in God`s presence!

- Fr. Joe Krupp