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Ashley F. wrote:

Hi, guys —

My boyfriend and I are both Catholic but have only recently decided to go back to church. I live in the city and he lives in a town surrounding it. Both have Catholic churches, (one is across the street from me), however, we wish to attend a church in another part of the city. I doubt either of us are within the "parish limits" for that church, but we attended Mass last Sunday and loved the pastor and the community. We do not intend to move their but want to remain a member of the church.

In addition, it is the church we would like to eventually get married in and if you are a parishioner, it is significantly less to hold the ceremony there than if you are just a Catholic wishing to use the church. We are beginning to plan that part of our life together and would like to, not only save money but, have a pastor who really knows the two of us because we are members of that parish. I know from growing up, that people from other towns have come to the church as members, but I am not sure how it works.

  • Is it okay to become a member of that church or do we need to live within the parish?
  • Do we need to do anything differently or get any approvals?


  { Is it okay to become a member of two parishes or do we need to live within one parish? }

Mike replied:

Hi Ashley,

Thanks for the question.

There's really no reason why you can't be a member of two different Catholic parishes.

Ideally, it's best to for you and your boyfriend to devote yourselves to one parish, but if there is a period of time where it would be spiritually better for the two of you to be members at two parishes, you are more than welcome to do so, even if they are in different dioceses. No approvals are needed, though you should probably introduce yourself to the pastors and staff at both parishes.

Being a member of more than two Catholic parishes, can take away from the calling you or your boyfriend may have to serve in the Church in a specific area.

Just my two cents.


Questioner replied:

Hi Mike,

We don't want to be members of two different parishes, just one, but it is not the closest church to either of us.

  • Is that still okay?

Ashley F.

Mike replied:



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