Looking for a Parish Community
A Message to Newlyweds
Congratulations on your wedding!
The two of you have entered a lifetime covenant by joining your lives in the sacred union of marriage. Even though this may sound very scary and challenging, you are not alone on this journey! You have so many people praying for you. Family and friends can be great support, but you also need the support of a parish community!
A parish community can be a great source of companionship on the journey you have just begun as a family. The beauty of joining a parish community and finding other like-minded families, is that you and your whole family can develop friendships that may last a lifetime.
Maybe you don’t have a parish community yet, and the church where you celebrated your wedding is not your parish. These are the things you need to consider before joining a parish community:
- Worship style: Different parishes offer different styles of music, prayer, etc. Find the parish that offers what you like in terms of liturgy, prayer, and music.
- Number of parishioners: Some parishes are huge in numbers, and they have several Masses throughout the weekend. Other parishes are very small, ‘everyone knows everyone’. Where do you feel more comfortable?
- Ministries/groups: Look at that parish’s bulletin or website, and see if they offer ministries, groups, or activities for families or young couples.
Once you have reflected and prayed about these aspects, the following steps will help you find the right parish community:
- First and foremost, look at what’s nearby, look at where you live, and identify the parishes that are nearby.
- Visit those parishes by going to Sunday Mass. After you have visited a few parishes in your area, identify where you felt most welcomed and which one offered a more supportive environment for your family.
- Pick up the parish bulletin, visit their website. Introduce yourself to the pastor and/or the Family Life Minister.
- Walk around the church after Mass, see if they have coffee and donuts or breakfast, or a place where the community gathers before/after Mass. This is a great way to get to know other families in the area.
- Join a Bible study group, prayer group, couples’ group, etc. Become active in your parish!
Finding the right parish community is important for a newlywed couple because it will provide a place where you do more than worship on Sundays. Your parish should be the place where your faith as a newly established family will grow and flourish.
Peace and Blessings as you begin your journey!