Parish best practices: A case study in welcoming

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

Growing parishes are the ones that nourish their members through good liturgy, faith formation, and service. They’re also parishes that accept the reality that people inevitably will leave, so there had better be good systems in place for attracting and welcoming newcomers.


Best practices for parish communications

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life

Communication is the key to building an active, engaged parish. And even though some of the steps to good communication may seem obvious, it is surprising how many parishes don’t follow them. How many of these best practices are at work in your parish?

Communicate the right message

Successful parishes communicate welcome, not judgment. “We lead with the best of Catholic tradition,” says Patty Spear, pastoral associate for youth and young adult ministry at St. Joseph Parish in Buffalo. “We meet people at the door, making sure we’re welcoming and open.”


Best practices for engaging youth

By Jennifer Ledonne| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Young Adults
Whether they come with tattoos and piercings or ponytails and polo shirts, youth deserve a warm welcome from the whole parish.

The pews are alive: U.S. Catholic readers on parish music

By Kira Dault| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
Whether the sound of music has them singing to the mountains or running for the hills, U.S. Catholic  readers agree that Mass to the sounds of silence would just be flat.

Week Two: Lent provides a perfect opportunity for conversion

By Father Allan Figueroa Deck, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Prayer and Sacraments Saints, Feasts, and Seasons Social Justice

Students of Pope Francis summarize his agenda with the phrase “pastoral conversion.” Lent is an especially suitable time to think and pray about conversion. But what is pastoral conversion?


Best practices for charity and justice

By Jack Jezreel| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life Social 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

By Karen Baker| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
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

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Article Parish Life

Parish Name: Spirit of Christ Catholic Community

Location: Arvada, Colorado

Founded: 1974

Diocese: Denver

Pastor: Father David Bluejacket

Number of Parishioners: 3,400 households

Parish websitewww.spiritofchrist.org


Five habits of highly effective parishes

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Parish Life
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.


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