Some definitions:

  1. A Parishioner is that person who belongs/is a member of a particular parish.  Membership in a parish is determined solely by where you live per Canon Law.  Can. 107 §1. Through both domicile and quasi-domicile, each person acquires his or her pastor and ordinary.
  2. A Parish is not a church building, but a territorial location – again Canon Law states: Can. 518 As a general rule a parish is to be territorial, that is, one which includes all the Christian faithful of a certain territory.
  3. Registration is an American concept that aids administration in large parishes where a pastor cannot personally know all the people who live there.  Registration is not canonical and has nothing to do with membership in a parish.

To determine if you live in St. Mary Parish check the parish boundaries map.

Pastors appreciate when their parishioners register. With so many parishioners it can be hard to keep track of everyone in the parish without utilizing a database. Among other things, registration allows the parish to have contact information on file, to contact the parishioners about special events, to send offertory envelopes, and to keep track of offertory donations.

Registration for Parishioners:

Registration forms can be found in the book rack in the back of the church and can be turned into the parish office either by putting them in the collection basket or by putting them through the mail slot of the parish office front door at 310 Duke Street. Registration forms can also be obtained at the parish office, or you may access it at the following link: St Mary’s Registration Form.

Registration for Non-Parishioners: 

On occasion a person who is a parishioner of another parish would like to register. In order to register, a non-parishioner must gain permission of his or her pastor as well as the pastor of the parish at which he or she is seeking to register (in this case St. Mary).  If this permission is granted, a non-parishioner will be registered on the books of St. Mary. This means contact information will be kept and envelopes for offertory will be sent.  However, registration at St. Mary will have no bearing upon membership (and canonical rights) in the non-parishioner’s actual parish, that is he or she remains a parishioner in the parish in which he or she lives and retains all the rights of a parishioner in that parish.

Canon Law also specifies that the obligation for attending Mass on Sundays and Holy Days of obligation may be fulfilled anywhere.  Can. 1248 §1. A person who assists at a Mass celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the feast day itself or in the evening of the preceding day satisfies the obligation of participating in the Mass. Therefore, no person is canonically required to attend Mass at his or her own parish and may worship at St. Mary if desired.


Comments are closed.