NEW: Read a recent article in St. Anthony's Messenger
about Creating More Welcoming Parishes
NEW: Read an Article on
Welcoming Parishes recently published in the St. Augustine Catholic
As Catholics, we have been challenged by the Lord to love our enemies (Mt
5:44). So, if we are called to love our enemies, certainly we are expected to
love those who sit next to us in church. Right? And yet, how many times have
newcomers to a church been greeted with a dirty look because they were sitting
in someone else’s seat?!
Hospitality is manifested in an open and welcoming spirit; a
willingness to drop what we are doing and receive the other person when they
need us. We are reminded of Abraham’s hospitality to the three strangers (Gen
18:1-10). In welcoming the strangers, he was welcoming God.
We recall Jesus’ words: “what you do to the least of my
brothers and sisters you do to me” (Mt 25:40). And then Christ gave us the
exquisite example of hospitality at the last supper when he got down and washed
the disciples’ feet (Jn 13:3-17). And he commanded us, who would claim to be
his followers, to do likewise.
St. Benedict wrote
rules for living a Catholic life. These rules are still practiced by most
monastic communities today. Rule #53 states, “All guests who present themselves
are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you
welcomed me,” (Mt 25:35).
"We must form welcoming communities in which all
outcasts find a home."
XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Final Report #3,
"This book is an invaluable
resource, thank you very much for this body of work."
Marianne Rydel, Milltown, NJ
A Spiritual Process for Creating More Welcoming Parishes
$9.95 plus 3.35 for shipping
and handling (plus sales tax for NY residents)
"A must read for
pastoral leaders wishing to improve their parish's welcoming."
William L. Pickett, PhD, author of
A Concise Guide to Pastoral Planning.