Best practices for charity and justice
Social ministry is the job of the entire parish community. What are we waiting for?
As the implications of the gospel, baptism, Vatican II, and, specifically, the recognition of the responsibilities that come with being seized by God’s love and Spirit unfold, the American Catholic parish has slowly but surely moved in the direction of being more deliberate about beckoning and organizing its members to engage in the needs of the world, both local and faraway. It’s called parish social ministry. Admittedly, it’s a work in progress.
Best practices for worship
Does your parish have Mass appeal? Try these tips to help liven up your Sunday liturgies.
Let’s start with a confession from a Vatican II Catholic. About 15 years ago, I noticed an announcement before Mass: “In order to more fully, consciously, and actively participate in the liturgy, please silence all pagers, beepers, and cell phones at this time.”
Better Know A Parish: Spirit of Christ Catholic Community, Arvada, Colorado
Parish Name: Spirit of Christ Catholic Community
Location: Arvada, Colorado
Pastor: Father David Bluejacket
Number of Parishioners: 3,400 households
Parish website: www.spiritofchrist.org
Five habits of highly effective parishes
How do bustling parishes stir up so much activity and enthusiasm? Experts share a few key ingredients that have proven to be a recipe for success.
It’s a good man, or rather a good deacon, who sees remodeling a parish bathroom as a great opportunity to attract new parishioners. But then Deacon Jesus Espinoza sees most everything as a chance to welcome newcomers at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish in Aloha, a suburb of Portland, Oregon.
Better Know A Parish: Cross in the Woods, Indian River, Michigan
Parish Name: Cross in the Woods
Location: Indian River, Michigan
Pastor: Father Michael Haney, O.F.M.
Number of Parishioners: 877 persons
Parish website: www.crossinthewoods.com
Don't be stingy with the sacraments
Instead of greeting people with the third degree, the church should welcome them with open arms.
Sounding Boards are one person's take on a many-sided subject and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of U.S. Catholic, its editors, or the Claretians.
One day a woman came to our church office just wanting me to bless her 3-year-old son. Boy, did he put up a fight. The only offices he knew were medical offices, and he thought I was going to give him a shot. Unfortunately, that little boy is not the only Catholic intimidated to visit a church office.
Better Know A Parish: St. Thomas Aquinas, Ruston, Louisiana
Parish Name: St. Thomas Aquinas
Location: Ruston, Louisiana
Pastor: Fr. Frank Folino, O.F.M.
Number of Parishioners: 320 households
Parish website: www.rustoncatholic.com
Ramp it up: How parishes can increase accessibility
Despite a few stellar examples, many parishes have a long way to go to make sure all people can literally get in the door.
How disabilities can promote a true culture of life
By getting to know people with disabilities, we can learn to value all as part of the human family.
In a June 11 audio message to the Italian Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Pope Francis encouraged the association to “spread a culture of encounter, solidarity and hospitality towards persons with disabilities, not just asking for the proper social services but also encouraging their active participation in society.”
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