Question: I am new to the Diocese and was wondering what the process is for registering for a parish. Do I have to register for a particular one?
In the Diocese of Arlington, parishioners are required to register at the parish within whose boundaries they live. Your question goes beyond just an organizational policy. Rather, canon law says that priests are responsible for the spiritual well-being (ensuring the sacraments, etc.) of the people within his “domicile.”
Here are some easy steps to register for a parish:
1. Use the ‘Locator’ (found on our homepage or here) to enter your county, city or zip code to locate the closest parish nearest you. Click on the blue church icons to learn the parish’s address, Web site and telephone number. Or you can view the online Diocesan Directory (click here) which gives you details on the parish boundaries for each church within the Diocese. If you aren’t sure how to use these, send us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also two national parishes in our diocese: Holy Martyrs of Vietnam, Arlington and Saint Paul Chung, Fairfax. These churches were designated to serve the Vietnamese and Korean communities, respectively. Parishioners do not have to live within the boundaries of these two parishes to attend. Decisions about any exceptions relating to church registration are made per the pastors’ discretion and done on a case-by-case basis.
2. Call the parish near you to inquire about registration and receive any necessary forms. This is especially important when it comes time to receive the Sacraments!
Also remember that parents receive the “parish rate” if they send their kids to the parish school where they are registered.
3. Become involved in parish life! There are also plenty of diocesan ministries in which you can participate (look at www.arlingtondiocese.org for more details).
Welcome to the Diocese of Arlington!