Frequently Asked Questions
The questions below address inquiries we most often answer by personal e-mail. If you have a general question about the Catholic faith and Church teaching, view our "Understanding Our Faith" page.
Find information on obtaining Sacramental Records.
Find information about annulments on the Office for Canonical Services and Tribunal page.
Mass times for churches in the Diocese of Manchester can be found on our online directory.
If you are a charitable organization looking for support, regardless of religious affiliation, learn more about the Bishop’s Charitable Assistance Fund.
Though we are unable to provide direct support for individuals and organizations outside of New Hampshire, the Diocese of Manchester does actively support a number of agencies that do.
For charitable organizations in the U.S., visit the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
Find information about marriage preparation.
Find information about the initiation process of becoming a Catholic.
No matter how long you have been away and no matter the reason, we invite you to consider renewing or beginning your relationship with the Catholic Church. To speak with someone, contact Mary Jane Silvia at (603) 663-0172, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about the Holy Days of Obligation.
Find directions to the Diocesan Administration Building.
In short, the answer is that while parishes are bound to minister to a specific geography and care for those within it, individuals are not bound to worship at that specific parish.
A parish has a defined geography, which in New Hampshire means that each parish is responsible for ministering the sacraments to Catholics within the towns or, in a city, neighborhoods in close proximity. This ensures that no area of a diocese is neglected from reasonable access to Holy Sacraments. National parishes, such as Polish, French or Portuguese parishes, are charged not with a geographic boundary but with a cultural one, and care for the people in areas who share a common language.
While a parish may have a responsibility to care for all Catholics within your community, you as a Catholic can choose to celebrate at another parish. The gifts of different parishes call different people.
The individuals who work and reside at Saint Benedict Center in Richmond, NH, are Catholic men and women who live in community according to their own chosen set of rules. While canonically these individuals remain in good standing in the Catholic Church, neither Saint Benedict Center nor the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary enjoys any recognition, canonical or otherwise, in the Universal Roman Catholic Church or in the Diocese of Manchester.
The Most Reverend Peter A. Libasci, Bishop of Manchester, has granted permission to a priest in good standing to celebrate Mass and hear Confessions at Saint Benedict Center for the residents and their guests. The Bishop has also approved a building at the Center as an appropriate worship space; neither of these actions should be interpreted as a change to the status of Saint Benedict Center or the Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
A group which calls itself “The Religious Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen” (“CMRI”) has established a church in Salem by the name of “Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Mission.” On its website, this group indicates that it offers the Tridentine Rite Mass (sometimes referred to as the “Traditional” or “Latin” Mass), Catechism classes for children, and Confessions and other sacraments.
This group and this church are not Catholic, and do not have the right to call themselves Catholic. CMRI is not in communion with the Roman Catholic Church, and the sacraments they claim to offer have no validity in the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics are not permitted to receive the sacraments from CMRI ministers under any circumstances, nor should they participate in any activity provided by this group.
The members of CMRI are what are called “sedevacantists,” meaning that they believe that the current pope is not truly the pope and that the See of St. Peter is vacant. They believe that there has not been a pope in the Catholic Church since the death of Saint John XXIII, and therefore do not recognize any subsequent pope, including Pope Francis, as head of the Church.
For those who have a desire to attend a celebration of the Tridentine Rite Mass within the Church in union with the Holy See, visit our online directory for a listing of our Latin Masses.
If you have any questions about the relationship between CMRI and the Roman Catholic Church, please contact your pastor, or the diocese.