A parish is a community of the Christian faithful established within a diocese. The pastoral care of a parish is entrusted to a pastor under the authority of the diocesan bishop. The parish is ‘the primary experience of the Church’ for most Catholics. It is where the faithful gather for the celebration of the sacraments and the proclamation of the word of God, and where they are enabled to live distinctively Christian lives of charity and service in their family, economic, and civic situations. It is ‘the living and permanent environment for growth in the faith.’ The parish energizes the faithful to carry out Christ’s mission by providing spiritual, moral, and material support for the regular and continuing catechetical development of the parishioners.
– National Directory for Catechesis (2005), n 60