Tips for conserving water in your parish
I grew up in the arid West: the land of prairie, tumbleweed, and newly-constructed subdivisions. I remember, as a kid, noticing the paradox between public concern about drought—and the fact that seemingly every house had a green, water-guzzling lawn. Later, I studied the intersections of human culture and ecology, especially with regard to fresh water. And now, in the 21st century, global fresh water scarcity is one of the major challenges facing humanity. What can we do about this serious situation?
Laypeople should have a role in choosing their bishops
Rather than handing down bishops from on high, the church should listen to those on the ground when choosing its leaders.
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.
Better Know A Parish: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel, Ramsey, Minnesota
Parish Name: Church of Saint Katharine Drexel
Location: Ramsey, Minnesota
Diocese: St. Paul and Minneapolis
Pastor: Rev. Paul Jaroszeski
Number of Parishioners: 350 households, around 1,050 people
Parish website: www.stkdcc.org
Special Section: Best practices for parishes
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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