Finding a parish can feel like searching for the perfect home. Just as no house will be the perfect combination of layout and style before you go in and make it your own, no parish can be a perfect blend of everything for every person. However, just as a house becomes more life-giving as you inhabit it, a parish becomes more of a spiritual home when you actively participate.
If you are beginning or continuing to search for a spiritual home, here are some helpful suggestions to adopt a proper attitude and take some first steps.
An Open Mind and Heart
Adopt the posture of a pilgrim, rather than a tourist. Be open to receive what is offered.
Go looking for peace, take peace with you. Presume the good in those you encounter.
Be willing to be uncomfortable. Missteps and misunderstandings may happen along the way. Apologize for your faults and be forgiving of people who might (intentionally or unintentionally) offend you.
Be willing to ask: “How can I build up this parish?” rather than “How can this parish serve me?”. This shift in attitude is more conducive to mutual growth.
- Be patient. Finding and building a home in the Church takes time and humility.
Some Ways to Get Involved
Find a parish where there is enough life. This may take a few attempts, so try not to get discouraged.
Attend Mass (3-4 times) to get a sense of the community.
Seek out someone who can engage your questions and issues with Christianity and the Catholic Church.
Get Involved (Religious Education, Eucharistic Ministry, visiting the sick, hospitality):
Connect with someone in a ministry that interests you. Ask them about their experience and what continues to give them life about their ministry.
If you are already involved, invite someone to join you. By inviting them to share their gifts, you will get to know them better while building a culture where young adults feel welcome to serve in various ways.
- Seek out people with common desire to grow in relationship with God. Simply begin gathering to explore this desire and what might be possible. Forming a faith sharing group can be helpful at this stage.
The best first step begins with asking for the grace: “Lord, guide me to the parish where you invite me to help build a spiritual home for myself and others.”