End of summer greet-off challenge

5 thoughts on “End of summer greet-off challenge”

  1. The reasons that were given to you from that inactive Catholic are insubstantial. They’re important side entrees, but they are without substance.

    If that individual had been absolutely convinced of the substance of the Eucharist and have become a Eucharistic disciple, then there is no way she would ever have even thought of stepping out the door of her parish community.

    Had she been thoroughly Eucharistically evangelized and given the experience of regular Eucharistic adoration, she would see the famine going on in the Evangelical megachurch she now frequents.

  2. I totally agree that as Catholics we need to be more hospitalbe and I accept the challenge to greet six new seekers in the coming weeks.

    I also believe that hospitality is constitutive to being a Eucharistic community. When we are centered on Eucharist we are sent forth to reach out to others, especially those who are searching, as well as members of own community. Just look at Jesus in Luke’s Gospel for a model of table hospitality.

  3. I love this post. It’s really got me thinking how I can step out of my comfort zone and become a seeker. (Seeker, sort of sounds like something out of Harry Potter, don’t you thnk?)

    I recently joined a parish (five months ago) and I know that if I had only stayed with going to Sunday Mass I probably never would have gotten involved in the Church. But because I was and still am) presently unemployed I have been able to attend the daily communion service. This is where I met the “Welcoming Committe” of the parish.

    The daily Mass group here at this parish in St. Mary’s in Albany, Oregon is small and the service is held in a side chapel so everyone knows everyone. When I showed up for the service the first time, everyone knew immediately I was the new kid on the block.

    One particular lady in this group who is very out going, greeted me, introduced herself, and started up a conversation with me. Just small talk but it made me feel that I was indeed welcome.

    After Mass I was invited to stay for the rosary.
    This group was even smaller and even more friendly. They start the rosary with each person given the opportunity to share their particular intention for the rosary. This introduced me to them through their sharing in a prayerful way.

    When it was time to start the meditations for the rosary the leader asked for my name and then inquired if I would like to lead one of the mysteries. I did. Then he asked four others by name if they would take a mystery. This is something the leader does every time and its a wonderful way for the old folks and the new folks to learn each others names.

    After Mass and the Rosary there were a few seconds of more small talk by all in the group. A few days after continuing to attend this daily morning group of worshippers I was invited by this special lady to go with her to a Prayer Shawl ministry. I didn’t know how to knit or crochet but that wasn’t a problem, she took me under her wing and got me started.

    Now I have two questions: 1.)how to find out that “new” person in a larger group such as Sunday Mass?

    And 2.) What about follow-up? In my thinking just being greeted once (even in the warmest, friendliest of fashions) is not going to be enough to make someone feel they “belong” to the parish. There has to be follow-up.

    That new person we “seek out” on Sunday, needs to be “sought out” the next Sunday as well. They need to be “invited” to join me for coffee and donuts after Mass for a few Sundays in a row and introduced to others to expand their Catholic circle. Maybe even offer my phone number and get theirs and make a call during the week.

    Perhaps if I took this “seeker” thing to the max and really got good at it, I could introduce my new friends to each other.

    One more thought before I end this long comment and that might be – what if ‘Welcome Committee’ groups started a sub-committee ministry that made up a “Welcome Basket” for new parishioners and had a six week program to follow up in a welcoming fashion with those new to the parish.

    See, I told you this post got me thinking!

  4. Whenever I attend some of the evangelical churches with family or friends that are members of them, the one thing that they all do is a call out to all new members and visitors. At one of these churches, they actually have these people fill out cards with their names and other information before entering the church and the pastor would call each one of them and personally greet and welcome them. I know our parish does not do that as well as not having any kind of official greeter at each mass. Perhaps we should do one or the other or even both. Have the bishop declare that each parish in his diocese do this.

  5. Oh…just one clarification. The Catholic mass can sometimes have a pretty huge congregation present. So individual call outs is not practical. So at those times, just have all newcomers and visitors stand up so they can be acknowledged and welcomed might be just the thing.

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