Katrina Fernandez was asked some interesting questions a few weeks ago, the third of which came from a man of Cuban descent. His parish liturgy coordinator had invited him to become an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, simply so the roster would show as more “ethnically diverse.” Katrina’s answer was simple:
That’s racist. Your parish seems entirely too focused on external appearances and appearing to be inviting and inclusive when in practice they are alienating different ethnicities. It sounds like they have their priorities confused. Thriving, spiritually beneficial parishes are Christ-centered, not image-centered. My instinct, because I loathe parishes like this, is to tell you to go ahead and write your priest and tell him why you’re leaving, then suggest you find another parish posthaste, but in fairness, you should make an appointment with your priest and discuss the matter with him. It could be entirely possible he is unaware of what the Liturgy Coordinator is doing.
[UPDATE: Katrina has revisited the topic of parish shopping so we decided to revisit this poll! A reader has written in suggesting that parish shopping should only be attempted after extensive prayer on the matter. Katrina agrees, but also claims that if you find a parish to be spiritually harmful, you are under no obligation to stay. What do you think?]
Catholics are discouraged from “parish shopping”; it’s important to worship and witness as members of one’s own community. Shopping happens, though, and it can sometimes make people feel like spiritual refugees. What are your thoughts?