Discerning God’s will when registering with a parish

Lesle Knop is the executive director of the archdiocesan office of stewardship and development. You can email her at: lesleknop@archkck.org

by Lesle Knop

My family joined the newly formed Prince of Peace Parish in Olathe in 1979. 

The parish community celebrated Mass in a temporary home at the neighborhood Tomahawk Elementary School. 

Affectionately known as St. Gymnasium, the temporary locale for our worship was where I met many dear people who have remained friends for 40 years. 

One of our kids was among the first graduates of the school that had quickly grown along with the parish. Prince of Peace grew so fast, it was soon among the largest parishes in the state of Kansas.

For the next 20 years, our kids attended our parish school and then St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park. 

When our youngest child finally was ready to go off to college, my husband’s dream of “moving to the country” was realized. Our baby tossed her mortarboard to the wind at graduation in May and we were in our new home in rural Miami County by October.

It took time before I could fully let go of my former parish life and officially register at our new parish. When we did, an amazing thing happened: My best friend and husband, long a Christmas and Easter Mass-goer, joined the Catholic Church.  

Little did I realize that the Holy Spirit would call him to Catholic life when we became regular attendees at the beautiful parish in Paola where I learned to “let go, and let God.” 

These words took on new meaning when I let go of my fears and put my hope and trust in Jesus.

There are 106 parishes located within the geographic boundaries of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas. 

Serving the northeast quadrant of the state, our archdiocese is guided by the man carrying the crosier, our archbishop. 

Similarly, each parish, with its own geographic boundary, is led by its pastor, the priest who is responsible for every soul residing within his parish.

While we are welcome to attend Mass at any Catholic parish, when it becomes time to register officially at a parish, we are humbly asked to register at the parish whose geographic boundaries correspond with where our home resides. 

The archdiocesan website at: www.archkck.org provides a helpful map of parishes and their boundaries. The office of stewardship and development works with parishes to routinely update parish rosters to ensure that all registered Catholics receive The Leaven at their home.

I understand very well the feelings of attachment to parish routines and friendships nurtured over many years. When my death comes, however, I know that I will be buried from a single parish. 

I know not what the future holds for me, but I will remember this: Let go, and let God.

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