US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Better Know A Parish: St. Thomas the Apostle, Chicago, Illinois

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Parish Name: St. Thomas the Apostle

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Founded: 1869

Diocese: Chicago

Pastor: Fr. Elias O'Brien, O.Carm.

Number of Parishioners: 500 or so

Parish websitewww.stapostleparish.org


Better Know A Parish: Our Mother of Sorrows, Greece, New York

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Parish Name: Our Mother of Sorrows

Location: Greece, New York

Founded: 1829

Diocese: Rochester, New York

Pastor: Fr. Paul Tomasso

Number of Parishioners: 1,400 households

Parish websitehttp://motherofsorrows.net


Better Know A Parish: St. Andrew the Apostle, Moore, Oklahoma

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Parish Name: St. Andrew the Apostle

Location: Moore, Oklahoma

Founded: 1962

Diocese: Oklahoma City

Pastor: Fr. Jack Feehily

Number of Parishioners: 1,200 people at our weekend Masses

Parish websitewww.standrewmoore.com


Better Know A Parish: Our Mother of Sorrows, Tucson, Arizona

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Parish Name: Our Mother of Sorrows

Location: Tucson, Arizona

Founded: 1958

Diocese: Tucson

Pastor: Msgr. Thomas P. Cahalane

Number of Parishioners: 8,410

Parish websitewww.omosparish.org


Better Know A Parish: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel, Ramsey, Minnesota

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Parish Name: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel

Location: Ramsey, Minnesota

Founded: 2004

Diocese: St. Paul and Minneapolis

Pastor: Rev. Paul Jaroszeski

Number of Parishioners: 350 households, around 1,050 people

Parish websitewww.stkdcc.org


Special Section: Best practices for parishes

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When businesses wish to stave off a surging competitor or enliven a tired staff, they consult their industry’s “best practices” to improve their own workplace and to better meet the needs of their customers. And if best practices can help make secular organizations more efficient and effective, it stands to reason that they might come in handy for Catholic parishes, too.


Best practices for multicultural communities

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Great parishes shared by several ethnicities discover ways to give each group what it needs while also forging unity.

The medium-sized Midwestern parish shared by communities of Mexican immigrants and non-Hispanic whites had two Easter Vigil Masses, one in English and another in Spanish. During the liturgy of the word at the second service, a man made his way up to the priests and quietly spoke to one of them.


Parish best practices: A case study in welcoming

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
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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
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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
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Whether they come with tattoos and piercings or ponytails and polo shirts, youth deserve a warm welcome from the whole parish.

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