Post # 1
Here’s the short version of the story: my fiance and I have both been in transit with our education and careers. He is not a practicing catholic and it took a lot for me to convince him to have a catholic ceremony. I was a practicing catholic but have not been for months with years in between. We are having our wedding near his hometown but not in his parish because he really doesn’t like it there. I have called several churches in the area and have been told by some that we have to go back to his home parish despite explaining to them how they had a religious ceremony there a few years ago and was unhappy with the priests. I don’t understand why they keep insisting that we go back to a parish that we’re already unhappy with. Wouldn’t it be easier and less distressing to hear that they can’t accommodate people from outside their parish because their parish is so busy? Why can’t they put that on their website so I know in advance and don’t bother them?
Post # 3
@weddingg13: Catholic churches are very much organized around the idea of serving their own local communities and parish members. Technically, Catholics are not supposed to “shop around” for a parish they like, they are supposed to commit to whichever one whose area they happen to live in (even though in reality a lot of “shopping around” happens when people move to a new city, or are unhappy with something that happens at their own parish.) In any event, though, the expectation is that once you choose a parish, you put down your roots there and become an active, regular member – and that’s where you’re supposed to receive your sacraments – Eucharist on a regular basis at Sunday Mass as well as the “big ones,” baptism and matrimony and the like. Parishes are very wary of engaged couples in particular who want to hold a wedding there for what they see as somewhat “frivolous” reasons (it’s close to where family lives, or – often – it’s the “pretty church” that will look nice in the photographs, etc.) but who don’t worship there regularly now and have no intention of doing so in the future. (This, incidentally, is why parishes have somewhat high costs for holding weddings, and often have a two-tiered fee structure where it costs quite a bit more for non-members than for members. There was another thread about this recently that you might have seen.)
It sounds like you might be from out-of-town and won’t really have an opportunity to establish yourself as a regular Mass attendee at a parish in the area you want to get married? If you are close by, I would suggest going to Mass there a number of times and then talking directly to the priest (bypass the parish secretaries. They often run interference with engaged couples, but if you get the priest on your side, what he says will outweigh their objections.) If your FI’s mom/dad (or a grandparent or other relative, but parents are the best option) is a regular attendee, he or she might be able to make the arrangements with the parish and help you out that way.
Post # 4
i feel for you! it can be so frustrating! i had to deal with a similar situation.
my fiance and i have both left the church we grew up attending. he received all his sacraments there, i received my 1st communion & confirmation there. he left because he’s in the military and is no longer near the church. i left because some new priests took over and i didn’t like the changes they’d made and what the church was becoming (and my fiance didn’t care much for it either).
the church i switched to is in different town and i’ve been going to mass there for almost 4 years now; my fiance joins me when he’s home. when we got engaged (last summer) and i called the wedding coordinator to set a date and whatnot, they told me that i would need to get permission from our home parish to get married in a different church. and i was dreading having to do that; i really didn’t want to have to deal with my old church again. my friend had to get permission to have her son baptized in a different church and they gave her a hard time about it and the priest didn’t even show up for one of her appointments!
thankfully we found a loop hole in the system! since i was baptized in a different church (not the one i grew up attending) and since i technically don’t live in my home parish’s “territory,” they let me off the hook on the letter of permission. and that was a huge relief for me.
with that out of the way, all we had to do was register with our “new” church to become official parishioners there. my mom actually is the one who had to do that since i still live at home.
anyway, sorry this is kinda long. there are so many hoops to jump through with some catholic churches and i know it can be discouraging and frustrating at times, but don’t lose hope!
Post # 5
I had a hard time finding a church also. I had family drama about this church ordeal. My grandparents told me that no church will accept me because I have not been practicing. And, I also did not want to use my parent’s/grandparent’s home parish just because my grandparents have said some unsettling things about how my marriage will not last because the Fiance refuses to convert; and, how they will be embarassed to attend my wedding. I did not want to ask “their” priest and have him be in the middle of our family drama.
I was able to contact another church and the priest was very welcoming. I’m not sure this changes anything but it was the church that I grew up at. I’ve heard other brides being able to get married at parishes outside their “home parish”. i.e. my sister’s friend is living in NYC and was able to get a church in the Cape in MA.
You’ll just have to keep trying. *hugs* Good luck!