Supporting Your Community

In the midst of an inability to celebrate public Masses and social distancing this week and in the coming weeks, I wanted to share some ideas for staying connected to parishioners. This is not exhaustive nor the only set of ideas out there, but I believe we can become a stronger community when we face this together without a sense of fear. In Scripture we are told, “Be Not Afraid” more than 365 times! Now is the time to show what our faith means to us, even if we are not gathering for weekly Mass.

Who's Responsible

Who’s job is it to share the Gospel? Who’s responsible for spreading the message of the Good News? Are we prepared to do our part as Baptized Catholics? Or is that why we have the priesthood?

Out of Office Replies

With a request from bishops, governors, and other leaders to stay home except for “essential work” … how is your parish responding? What does your auto-reply look like?

Website Homepage Updates

During this time when public Masses are suspended and virtually every event at the parish is cancelled or is now virtual, use your homepage as a resource.

Visits from Jesus

When parishes can’t celebrate public Masses and we’re called to stay home as much as possible, St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte is getting creative and bringing Jesus to the people!

Establishing a Buddy System

We’re social distancing to protect those in our culture who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and flatten the curve. As I’ve spoken with a few co-workers and parishes, we’ve been discussing that while it’s important that we distance ourselves for their physical health, we need to find ways to take care of their mental, emotional, and spiritual health. All that in addition to basic needs like groceries and medicine.

An Easy Way to Live Stream Mass

If your parish is going to be closed for the next few weeks or months, there are ways available to you to stream the private Masses your pastor might be doing in a way that invites the whole community to worship.

Parish Book Club on the Mass

This parish book club is an example of what can happen when everyone at the parish is on the same page. A focus on a particular topic for all formation from children to teens to adults can transform your parish culture!

Accommodating Needs

What’s the experience at your parish when someone comes in to inquire about a Sacrament? Do they feel welcomed, loved, and embraced? Or rejected because they’ve missed a step? What does your parish do to help them rectify the situation? How do you love them through the process?