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I would like to join or attend a Catholic Church. Is there any way to find information about area Churches besides simply attending?

  • Hi! Welcome! Are you talking about choosing a parish? If so, I'm afraid this may fall into the category of "pastoral advice", which is not what our site is designed for (see the yellow blocks on the right). I see you've taken the tour, but you might want to check out what kinds of questions are on topic here, and what's not on topic. I hope to see you ask more great questions! – Matt Gutting Jan 30 '18 at 18:06
  • Possible duplicate of Masses timetable – Geremia Jan 30 '18 at 20:45
  • This question deals about finding information about local parishes. – Ken Graham Jan 30 '18 at 22:47
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One of the oldest sites I've always relied on to find area Masses is masstimes.org. From there you can find your parishes in your neck of the woods that you might be interested in attending.

I believe every diocese in the USA has a website and from there you can usually find parish websites. Most parishes (who have a website) post their bulletins to their parish website, so you can get a feel for the parish without attending Mass (if there's fish fries, bingo, euchre tournaments or adoration and confession, etc...)

Furthermore, lots of parishes can be found on https://www.parishesonline.com/ (I think this used to be called "seek and find") much of the information Masstimes.org, as well as the bulletins, can be found there too.


It should be noted that one of the 'rules for Catholics' and I'm not sure how well it is enforced because I violate it almost every week and nobody has told me not to, is that you should attend Mass in your home parish (regardless of how much you dislike the priests's homilies) I believe this is tied to the 5th precept of the Church, which is to provide for the needs of the Church.

In my experience "Church Shopping" isn't something that is a loved practice by Catholic priests. But in general, they want what is best for you spiritually, so if you need to go to a parish with a great community life, that's great and if you prefer a more austere parish with lots of concrete and no padded kneelers, that's probably OK too.

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Let us start this answer with a simple question.

May Catholics attend Mass at parishes that are not their own on Sundays?

This theme is dealt with in Canons 1247-1248 of the Code of Canon Law:

"Can. 1247 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are obliged to participate in the Mass ....

"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."

Thus, unlike the former code, the faithful are no longer obliged by law to attend Mass at their parishes on Sundays and holy days of obligations. - Attending Sunday Mass at Other Parishes

Apart from this I would suggest that you go to the local parish directory of the diocese where you reside and see if one can find the right set of circumstances that are appropriate for your spirituality.

For example, here is the parish list for the Archdiocese of Vancouver. By going through the list, one is able to see what languages Mass is celebrated in. One is also able to find out which parishes offer the Mass in the Extraordinary Form as well as many other things.

If your personal set of circumstances are more unique than the ones that I have set out, pleases feel free to phone or email your local chancery office when it is convenient for you to do so. I am sure that someone will be able to help you out.

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