One of the benefits of my job as a Parish Coach is that I am able to attend daily Mass at a variety of places around the country. Just earlier this week I knew I would be in a city earlier than I needed and had some time to kill so I went to MassTimes.org and searched for Mass by time on Tuesdays. I found a 5:30pm Mass that worked perfect with my schedule.
I asked Siri to direct me there, and I was off! I arrived at the parish and saw it was a school. Someone helped me find the Church, which is actually inside the school. It looks like they converted the auditorium into a beautiful worship space. They also have a separate adoration chapel, right in this Catholic School.
I tend to stick out when I’m at daily Mass. Looking around everyone else could be my grandparent. However, almost no one ever speaks to me. One the one hand I’m glad they don’t “pounce on the young adult just because they’re at daily Mass” but on the other hand, it’s hard to get to know people when they all leave you alone.
This parish was different though. I didn’t know to grab a music book, so someone handed me one as the first song was being announced. Then after Mass I looked lost trying to find a place to put my book back and someone helped. Father was greeting people after Mass, and I usually try to skirt past to just get along my way. I thought I was safe since he was speaking to someone else.
But I wasn’t. He paused and greeted me, asking if I was from the local college. I said, “No, I’m just visiting from out of town.” This caught both his and the person he was speaking with to ask, “Oh, from where?” and “What brings you to town?”
It was a 60 second encounter, but it made a big impact on me. So many times when we go to Mass we try to be anonymous or we want to let others be anonymous. However, we’ll never know their story or invite them into the community if we don’t reach out. Just saying “Hello, I’m Katie, nice to meet you” can make an impact on a person.
Take time this week to reach out to a new face and say “Hello, I’m Katie (well fill in your own name), and I’m glad your here.” They might start up an hour long conversation with you, they might not. Either way, you’ll make an impact!