Parishes without boundaries


I was among the crowd gathered in downtown Seattle recently to observe the dedication of a new Catholic parish, Christ Our Hope.
Christ Our Hope is among a growing number of “personal parishes” in the U.S. Catholic Church, a current research focus of mine.  Unlike territorial parishes, personal parishes serve a specific population and/or a specially-defined purpose rather than a geographic area.  Various personal parishes in the U.S. are dedicated to serving (e.g.) deaf Catholics, charismatic Catholics, non-English speaking Catholics of many ethnicities, and Catholics who wish to celebrate Mass incorporating Tridentine (Latin) or Anglican liturgical practices. Christ Our Hope was established with a social mission to serve the diverse needs of downtown Seattle.
Personal parishes are, in essence, parishes without boundaries (geographic, at least).

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