US Catholic Faith in Real Life

Parish best practices: A case study in welcoming

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith

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 Your Faith

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 Your Faith
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 Your Faith
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.

Best practices for worship

By Karen Baker| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
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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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


The passion of priesthood: Why priests need to demonstrate joy

By Father William J. O’Malley, S.J.| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
For better or worse, people’s experience of the Catholic Church often hinges on the attitudes of their local priest.

In our pampered society, Christianity is not an easy sell. Try offering today’s Christians honor, responsibility, generosity, forgiveness. Try offering forgiveness to kids who've been told, even in Catholic schools, guilt trips are bad for you. Try offering resurrection as a value to people who don't believe they will ever die.


Five habits of highly effective parishes

By Kristen Hannum| Print this pagePrint | Email this pageShare
Article Your Faith
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

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Parish Name: Cross in the Woods

Location: Indian River, Michigan

Founded: 1948

Diocese: Gaylord

Pastor: Father Michael Haney, O.F.M.

Number of Parishioners: 877 persons

Parish websitewww.crossinthewoods.com


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