Over the years, I have attended Masses, weddings, baptisms, first Communions, confirmations, investitures, and funerals at many Catholic churches locally and while traveling for business and pleasure. One of the common things that I have noticed and have been chagrined over is the fact that other attendees do not seem very welcoming to strangers.
Over the years, this lead me to thinking about comments of Catholics who have left the Church for Protestant churches and the popular non-denominational mega-churches. These wayward Catholics speak about how welcome they feel their and how nice the parishioners in those churches are from their welcoming committees to their new-member committee and the after-service snacks and socialization. What is wrong with Catholics who constantly bemoan the loss of members and declining conversions and sustainment of converts?
I write this blog now to recommend to you the article in this current issue of the St. Augustine Catholic entitled “How Welcoming Are You” by Lilla Ross. As the title suggests, she deals with this very topic. She relates from a book by Richard McCorry entitled Company’s Coming: A Spiritual Process for Creating More Welcoming Parishes. He has traveled all over the country assisting parishes to become more inviting. In doing so, he relates that his “common experience is feeling invisible.”
He directs us to the passage from I Peter 4:9: “Be hospitable to one another without complaining.”
Who should do this - everyone. McCrorry writes that “best welcoming committee is the entire parish.” You can learn more at www.catholichospitality.com.
REM (Ray Makowski) Co-Founder, Director and Secretary-Treasure
Thanksgiving is upon us as is Advent, Christmas and the new year - what a great time to start! Please join me!
Let me know what you think.
Let the light of our Lord shine upon you!