Read an article in St. Anthony's Messenger
about Creating More Welcoming Parishes
Read an Article on
Welcoming Parishes published in the St. Augustine Catholic
Practices in Parishes
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.