This chapter looks at the implications of personal parishes for building community across difference. It explores how community works within the context American Catholics’ increased mobility, choice, and differentiation. Personal parishes build local religious community upon similarity. They encourage bonding capital. Bridging capital, or links between dissimilar others, arises out of the interconnections among all parishes in a diocese. Parish matters, but so, too, does diocese. This chapter advances an approach to local religion that is necessarily interdependent and viewed across wider conceptions of space (here, the diocese). Both social and territorial boundaries circumscribe Catholics’ community. This means that Catholic leaders view community across a diocese rather than isolated within individual parishes. Religious institutions make room for diversity by expanding notions of community beyond a single congregation.
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