What is a Parish?
The parish is the venue in which the mission of the Church is lived, and the relationship of Catholics to the local and universal Church is mediated. Catholics come to the parish, not the diocese, to celebrate the sacraments, to be catechized and formed, and to receive pastoral care. The Parish is “the Church inserted into the neighborhood and the world,” the place in which the Church encounters the world and the world encounters the Church. However, the Parish is rarely examined theologically or understood from a pastoral perspective.
The book What is a Parish? has three objectives: 1) It frames the parish with respect to the theological, canonical and civil status of the parish. 2) Outlines the further theological work to be done. 3) It proposes criteria for evaluating further theological, pastoral and civil judgments and initiatives concerning the parish and parish life.
Hillenbrand Books, 2011