If your parish welcoming effort is ultimately left in the
hands of the pastor, staff or a small group of parishioners, the impact of your
effort will be severely limited. Ideally, your parish welcoming committee
will comprise all of your parishioners. While it is nice when the greeter
and/or Mass celebrant welcomes new people, what makes the greatest impact is
when the person next to the newcomer in the pew reaches out and says, "Welcome!
Glad you're here. Please come back."
Creating a welcoming culture in your parish is a process, not
an event. One of the ways to jump start this process is through a parish
mission. Dr. Richard McCorry, founder of the Center for Parish Hospitality and author of the books Dancing with Change and
Company's Coming, will conduct a three day parish
mission with your parishioners. Since there is no one size fits all
welcoming program, these missions will be custom designed by you and Dr. McCorry
around the particular needs of your community. A typical mission might be
designed as follows:
Day 1 - Getting in touch with God generosity toward us.
Day 2 - To show through Scripture and our rich tradition how welcoming the
stranger amongst us is a way of demonstrating our gratitude to God for the many
blessings in our lives.
Day 3 - To instruct in the ways of being hospitable to newcomers in our
For missions beginning on Sunday evening, Dr. McCorry would be available to
offer reflections during the weekend Masses at no extra cost to you. These
reflections are designed to reach the largest possible audience to generate
interest in attending the parish mission as well as to encourage parishioners to
become more welcoming.