How do I decide where I should go to Mass?

Traditionally, “parishes” are based on geography and there were very few differences from one parish to another in ritual experiences.  Technically, Catholics are supposed to choose their parish based on these geographical distinctions, but practically speaking almost nobody does this any more.  People choose to worship where they are spiritually fed most often.

Parishes also seem to follow the same kind of expectations.  While the celebration of the Eucharist is the same in all parishes, other things are not.  Some parishes have a great commitment to social justice.  Others have a large commitment to education or to pro-life activities or the poor.  In fact The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in their pastoral letter, Sons and Daughters of the Light, suggested that churches should list the various activities and offerings that they list for young adults so that they can more easily choose where they might be interested in attending mass.

Music also varies from place to place and also some priests are just more gifted than others when it comes to preaching.  Even lectors are better trained in some places than others.

So search around for a place that fits you!  Use the BustedHalo Church Search and find a place in your area that serves the needs of young adults.

Mike Hayes

Mike co-founded in 2001. Currently, Mike is the director of campus ministry at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York. A frequent speaker on ministering to young adults, Mike is the author of "Googling God: The Religious Landscape of People in Their 20s and 30s" and "Loving Work: A Spiritual Guide to Finding the Work We Love and Bringing Love to the Work We Do."