Blog Template Theology of the Body: How do we feel about parish shopping?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

How do we feel about parish shopping?

As a newly minted RC, one faces the new experience of being part of a truly universal communion that is explicitly united in the essential ways. Accordingly, one technically does not need to "shop" for a parish; one can quiet fears about valid orders, orthodox homiletics (hopefully), and "fellowship" and just obediently and regularly show up, as St. Augustine taught, in the parish that is closest to one's home. There, one fulfills what C.S. Lewis describes as the vocation of the layman: to submit with obedience and thanksgiving to whatever of the available teaching and companionship is good, and then to persist in sincere commitment, seeking humbly to reform whatever is remiss.

However: another feature of this universal communion is that it also contains under its maternal roof the whole variety of Christendom's cultures. Among Rome's parishes there is charismatic RC, political RC, family life RC, monastic RC, high church RC, low church RC, evangelical RC, Anglican Use RC, Eastern Rite RC, Jesuit RC, Dominican RC, Franciscan RC, etc. etc. etc. There are even those select parishes that cater to the needs of young, single, transient yuppies. How to choose?

And ought one to "choose?"