How do we draw people into parish life?
What is your earliest memory of Church?
Mine is sitting in the choir loft of St. Paul Church in Scranton, Pennsylvania, listening to my mother sing Panis Angelicus and wondering when I would be old enough to join the Communion procession. Even then, I knew that I wanted to be a part of life in that particular parish. For me, at three, St. Paul’s was the Church.
All of us — writers and editors, lay or ordained — are parishioners. We experience the universal Church in a comparatively small and intimate place — our own parishes. We attend Masses and baptisms there; we rejoice at weddings and we grieve at funerals. The parish is our family — our brothers and sisters in Christ.
As content evangelists, one of our primary purposes is to connect people with Jesus, and with his Church — in a parish. It can be tempting to fall back on simple reports of parish news — St. John’s hosted a bake sale, the kids at St. Mary’s did a carwash to raise tuition money, there is a summer festival at St. Joe’s. But would that make you want to head to that parish on Sunday morning?
What really draws us to join an organization — whether it’s a civic group, a bowling league or simply a circle of friends? It’s people — people who invite us, who share their stories of why they love Kiwanis, or bowling, or their parish family at St. Pat’s.
In our publications, we have the opportunity to share those stories and extend those invitations to readers who may not otherwise receive them.