Welcome Ministry Initiative

I’ve been working with a recently merged parish in the Archdiocese of Hartford for the past year and wanted to share their new Welcome Ministry Initiative with you today. It began as a seed in the mind of one of their new parishioners who received a bulletin and envelopes upon registration and is now a full blown ministry (even in the midst of Covid-19) to welcome parishioners. One of the older gentlemen who recently received a Welcome Bag said this to his son, “I have never had a Catholic Church welcome me like this! Gifts and information delivered right to my door!”

Celebrating Diversity

When we say “let’s celebrate our diversity” what might that look like? I saw an article from Detroit Catholic that paints a beautiful picture I just had to share!! St. Anne, pray for us!

Hard Conversations Begin with Empathy

A few weeks ago some reminded me about this post when they added a comment: Dicey Conversations. I’ve been thinking about this and “hard conversations” and conflict a lot lately. The secret to having a great hard conversation is starting with empathy. I’m continuing my pull from Dr. Brené Brown’s book Dare to Lead today to talk about some steps for empathy.

Authentic Leadership

There are a lot of books about leadership on the market. I use many of them in the workshops I lead for Dioceses, including the work I mentioned a few weeks ago about the Change Style Indicator. I was cleaning off my desk last week and saw this book again. I’ve loved Dr. Brené Brown’s work for years including her books, TED talks, Netflix special, and her general take on shame, vulnerability, and courage. I want less of the first and a ton more of the last two, don’t you?

Gather and Go

Did y’all see this article from Katie Prejean McGrady about Youth Ministry in the midst of a pandemic? She makes some amazing points that I don’t want us to forget about as we (hopefully) begin to live in our post-pandemic world this fall.

Engagement or Encounter

Why aren’t people coming to Mass? I’m going to list some reasons I hear from family, friends, co-workers, parish surveys, articles, and people I follow on the internet. COVID-19 has exacerbated this issue, but it’s not the only reason why people are staying away from Mass. So here are the reasons I’ve heard:

Our Mission Has Not Changed

Nathan writes from his own experience as a convert (the first Catholic in his family), a bi-racial man, an US Army Ranger, and man of faith in active ministry. He helps me answer a question I’ve been asking over the past six weeks – “What should the Church being doing right now?” // I hope you’ll appreciate this words as much as I did today.

The Family Room

What room do you spend the most time in at your home? I’m going to guess your answer is either the kitchen or the living room (or the family room). The family room is the heart of the home where the family comes together at the end of the day to laugh, bond, talk, watch tv, play games, and more. Imagine now that your parish has a family room where you can sit to rest, catch up, and come together. What a dream!

Listening with the Intent to Learn

A few weeks ago I spoke with a friend of mine who said, “Katie, I feel like I’ve been asked to choose between being authentically Catholic and Black. I’m not going to choose anymore between being Black and being authentically Catholic.” The rest of the conversation I had with her has spurred me on to read and listen more to people whose stories and experiences are different than mine.

Back to Why

Have you ever thought about “WHY your parish exists?” Why is there a Church on that corner? What benefit does it bring? What would be lost if it closed or never existed? My parish has been reopen for Mass for over a month now, but we are still closed for events and activities – and probably will be for awhile. I think many of you are in the same situation as us, or you’re considering opening in the next few weeks.